Boxing qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympics | Questions and Answers

Olympic Channel answers the most frequently asked questions about qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in boxing: From scoring, to weight classes, and much more.

By Andrew Binner

From February to May 2020, some of the world's best boxers, including the top amateurs, will lock horns with the aim of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Full coverage details of how to watch the five boxing qualifying tournaments will be confirmed nearer the time. We'll have all the info on Olympic Channel, so make sure you bookmark this page for all the latest.

Here, Olympic Channel answers the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about the boxing qualification process for the Olympic Games, including the event format, which athletes to watch out for, and everything in between!

How to qualify for 2020 Olympic boxing tournament?

Boxers have two attempts at qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The first is through their continental qualifying tournament. The second is through the world qualifying event, which is open to athletes from the National Olympic Committees (NOC's) who are yet to obtain a quota place in a weight class. The dates and venues of these are:

Africa: DAKAR, Senegal, 20-29 February 2020
Venue: Dakar International Expo Centre, Diamniadio

Asia/Oceania: AMMAN, Jordan, 3-11 March 2020
(Moved from Wuhan in February due to coronavirus outbreak)

Europe: LONDON, Great Britain, 14-24 March 2020
Venue: Copper Box arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

America: BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 27 March-3 April 2020
Venue: CeNARD high-performance athletics training centre

World: PARIS, France, 13-20 May 2020
Venue: Grand Dôme, Villebon-sur-Yvette

There are also five male, and three female 'Tripartite Commission' invitations available. These are for countries that are unlikely to qualify, but can apply for a spot to compete, to encourage inclusion and diversity.

How do they score boxing?

Five judges score fighters on the number of quality blows landed on the target area, technical and tactical superiority, and take into account any point deductions for infringing the rules.

Judges award 10 points each round to who they believe to be the winner of the round, while the loser gets seven to nine points. Scores must be submitted within 15 seconds of the end of the round.

After the final round, each judge combines their round scores to determine a winner. A computer randomly selecting three scores to decide the result.

What is the age limit for Olympic boxing?

To be eligible to compete in Olympic boxing, athletes must be born between 1 January 1980 and 31 December 2001. So ages can range from between 18 and 40.

Can pro boxers go to the Olympics?

Yes. Rules changed at Rio 2016 to allow professional boxers to compete at the Olympics for the first time ever.

What are the rules of Olympic boxing?

Boxers must be a minimum age of 18, and a maximum age of 40.

Facial hair is restricted to a moustache no longer than the length of the upper lip.

Gloves weigh 284g (approx. 10 oz) other than for fights in the men's welterweight class and above where gloves weighing 340g (approx. 12 oz) must be worn..

The competitors must wear either red or blue.

Men's bouts consist of three rounds of three minutes each, and headgear is banned.

Women's bouts also consist of three rounds of three minutes each, and headgear is compulsory.

Boxers must touch gloves at the start and end of the bout, and after the winner is adjudicated.

Bouts can be won by knockout (KO), if the referee stops the contest (RSC or RSC-I due to injury), if a boxer retires voluntarily or his corner throws in the towel (ABD), by disqualification (DSQ), by walkover (WO) or on points.

Five judges score each round to each come to an individual points tally. The verdict is decided by how many judges score in favour of each boxer with 5-0 representing a victory by unanimous decision, and a split decision covering all other eventualities.

Two ringside doctors have the authority to stop a bout for medical reasons.

If the referee stops a bout in the first round because a boxer has suffered a cut eye or a similar injury, his or her opponent is declared the winner. If the cut happens in the second or third round, the judges' point tallies are added up at the time of the stoppage to determine the winner.

How does boxing work in the Olympics?

Boxers at the Olympics are paired off in a random draw. It's a straight knockout tournament meaning the winner progresses to the next round, while the loser is eliminated from the competition.

The preliminary rounds are followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final. The losing semi-finalists both receive bronze medals.

Men and women both compete over three rounds of three minutes each.

Contests are decided by knockout, stoppage inside the distance by the referee, disqualification or on points based on the verdict of five judges at ringside.

How do boxing weight classes work?

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will have eight weight classes for men, and five for women.

The men's categories are: flyweight (48-52 kg), featherweight (52-57 kg), lightweight (57-63 kg), welterweight (63-69 kg), middleweight (69-75 kg), light heavyweight (75-81 kg), heavyweight (81-91 kg), and the super heavyweight (91+ kg).

The women's categories are: flyweight (48-51 kg), featherweight (54-57 kg), lightweight (57-60 kg), welterweight (64-69 kg), and middleweight (69-75 kg).

What country has the most gold medals in boxing?

As of the Rio 2016 Olympics, the United States of America has comfortably the most boxing Olympic gold medals with 50 although middleweight Claressa Shields (2012 and 2016) is their only champion since 2004 when Andre Ward won light-heavyweight gold.
Cuba is next on 37 ahead of Great Britain on 18.

How many rounds are there in Olympic boxing?

Men and women now compete over three rounds of three minutes each. At Rio 2016, women's bouts comprised four rounds of two minutes.

Full details about how to watch the boxing qualification events live will soon be announced. Bookmark this page for more information.


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