London 2012 Guide to…Boxing

BOXING is one of the Olympic Games’ oldest sports, having been a part of the ancient Olympic Games in the 7th century BC, and then emerging on the modern Games programme in 1904.

  • Leave it to the pros…or not

The unusual thing about boxing in the Olympic Games is the participants are all amateur. This means they wear protective head-gear, and if the fight becomes too one-sided, the referee will step in to prevent serious injury.

  • Platform for future success

Boxers sometimes use the Olympics as a stepping stone to become professionals. And some of them have gone on to be major figures in the sport, the most notable being Muhammad Ali.

  • Essential facts

There are 10 different men’s weight categories, ranging from 46-49kg (Light Flyweight) to over 91kg (Super Heavyweight). One boxer per nation is allowed in each weight category.

  • Ladies first

For the first time in an Olympic Games, women will be taking part in the boxing events in London. They will be competing in three events – Flyweight (48-51kg), Lightweight (57-60kg) and Middleweight (69-75kg).

  • Punches mean points

Judges press buttons when they see a clear hit by a boxer, and when they do this, a point is awarded. However, three of the five judges must press the button within one second of the punch, in order for a point to be awarded.

  • How to win a fight

There are five ways a boxer can win a fight. They are a knockout, technical decision, disqualification, retirement or a points decision made by the judges’ panel.

  • British hopefuls

Team GB will be looking to collect a couple of medals at the Games. Khalid Yafai in the Flyweight category, Simon Vallily in Heavyweight and Tom Stalker in the Lightweight division.

Meanwhile, female boxers Nicola Adams (Flyweight) and Savannah Marshall (Middleweight) will be looking to become the first ever female boxing Olympic champions.

  • Boxing in London

Men will be fighting three, three-minute rounds, while women will compete over four, two-minute rounds. The fighting will take place at ExCeL in London’s Docklands, a multi-purpose venue that will also host taekwondo, wrestling and judo among other sports at the Games.

And finally…

Look out for: American boxers. They have dominated the sport in past Games (109 medal overall) and will be looking to do so again in London. No messin’.

Not to be confused with: a random fight. This is a serious sport!

Useless but informative fact: boxing has appeared at every Olympic Games since its introduction in 1904, except in 1912 when the Games were held in Stockholm. This was because Sweden forbade the sport.

Boxing in two words: brutal combat.

Boxing in London will take place between Saturday 28 July and Sunday 12 August