Boxing: The ever-popular men’s Boxing events are joined on the Olympic programme by women’s events for the first time. Boxing featured at the original Olympic Games in the 7th century BC, when opponents fought with strips of leather wrapped around their fists. The sport’s regulations were codified in 1867 as the Marquess of Queensberry Rules.
Field of play
The boxing ring is 6.1m x 6.1m inside the ropes, which are 1.32m high.
Boxing at Games
Since the first Olympic Boxing competition in St Louis 1904, many of the sport’s biggest names have come to prominence at the Games: Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali; 1960), George Foreman (1968) and Oscar de la Hoya (1992) have all won Olympic gold in the past.
The Olympic Boxing competition will feature 10 men’s weight categories. Men’s bouts take place over three rounds of three minutes each; women’s bouts are four rounds of two minutes each. Boxers score points for every punch they land successfully on their opponent’s head or upper body. If a boxer is knocked to the ground and fails to get up within a count of 10 from the referee, the bout is over.
Both the men’s and women’s Boxing events are run in a single elimination format. The draws for the men’s weight categories contain either 16, 26 or 28 boxers, depending on the category. The women start with a draw of 16 or at the quarters stage. The winners of the semis in each category compete for the gold. The losers of the semis are awarded a bronze.
A referee is in the ring. The wellbeing of the boxer is the primary concern of the referee, who also ensures that all hits are legal, provides the count when a boxer is down, and has the power to stop the fight at any time. Five judges sit at the side of the Boxing ring. They watch the bout and individually award points for what they judge to be successful hits.