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Boxing set to throw a punch in Rio

Published:Tuesday | August 2, 2016 | 12:00 AMLeroy Brown

Boxing, one of the most popular sports at the Olympic Games after track and field, will run from August 6 to 21 and will take place at Pavilion Six of Rio Centro, with 286 boxers from 74 countries participating.

There will be 250 male competitors in 10 weight classes and 36 female boxers in three weight classes.

The men's categories range from the light flyweight division at 49 kilos to the superheavyweight class, which is for boxers 91 kilos and over.

The weight classes for women are flyweight 51 kilos, lightweight 60 kilos, and middleweight 75 kilos.

Women were allowed to enter the boxing competition for the first time at the London Olympics in 2012, and all three gold medallists then, middleweight Claressa Shields from the USA, lightweight Katie Taylor of Ireland, and flyweight Nicola Adams from Britain will all be defending their titles at these Games.

For the first time at the Olympics, male boxers will fight without headgear.

Three years ago, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) banned the use of headgear by their male boxers who are 18 years and over, and this rule will be in place at these Games.

Female boxers still have to wear headgear, however.

Most of the dominant boxing nations have qualified representatives in every male weight category. Leading the count is Cuba, whose 10 male boxers qualified.

Cuban females are not allowed to box, so they have no entries in that section of the competition.

Kazakhstan, one of the former Soviet Republics, and Great Britain, have qualified 10 men and two women each.




Russia has qualified nine male and two female boxers, but their entry is still being "reviewed and analysed". Each athlete's anti-doping record is being reviewed by AIBA at this time. China has qualified eight men and three women for a total of 11. Azerbaijan have qualified 10 men and one woman, while Uzbekistan and France each have teams of 10 men and one woman, while Morocco has a team consisting of seven men and three women. Trinidad and Tobago and the Haitians have each qualified one boxer.

Something new for boxing in this Olympic Games is the introduction of professional boxers. There was a furore when AIBA made the announcement that this was happening. Rules were changed to allow this and there was even a special qualifying tournament that included non-AIBA professional boxers.

It has turned out, however, that only three non-AIBA professional boxers qualified this time around and they are not major players. They are Hassan N'Dam from the Cameroon, Amnat Ruenroend of Thailand, and Italian Carmine Tommasone.