At London 2012, the ever-popular men’s Boxing events will be joined on the Olympic programme for the first time by a women’s competition.

Did you know?

An Olympic Boxing glove weighs 284 grams (10 ounces). During the Games, competitors will get through 432 pairs of gloves.
Amateur boxers are not allowed to box past the age of 34.
Boxing featured at the St Louis 1904 Olympic Games because of its local popularity in the southern United States. Women competed as well as men – the only time they have ever taken part in Boxing at the Games, until the decision to include women’s events at London 2012.
The great boxers of Ancient Greece were famed for their defensive, as opposed to aggressive, boxing style – known as ‘atravmatistos’ or ‘uninjured’ fighting.
In Ancient Rome, boxers used spike-studded gloves to take part in gladiatorial contests that usually ended in death.
The ‘ring’ in which a fight takes place is actually a square. Each boxer is given a corner, labelled red or blue. This is also the colour of the clothing they must wear to fight.

Key facts

Venue: ExCeL
Dates: Saturday 28 July – Sunday 12 August
Medal events: 13
Athletes: 286 (250 men, 36 women)

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, named in honour of the nobleman who endorsed them. The essence of these rules is still in place today, governing this perennially exciting and dramatic Olympic sport.

The basics

The Olympic Boxing competition will feature 10 men’s weight categories, from Light Fly Weight (46-49kg) to Super Heavy Weight (over 91kg). At London 2012, women’s Boxing will feature as a full Olympic medal event for the first time, with medals in three weights: Fly Weight (48-51kg), Light Weight (57-60kg) and Middle Weight (69-75kg).
In the Olympic Games, men’s bouts take place over three three-minute rounds, with women’s bouts held over four rounds of two minutes each. Boxers score points for every punch they land successfully on their opponent’s head or upper body.

At London 2012, all Boxing events will be run in a knockout format. The winners of the two semi-finals in each weight category will fight for the gold medal, with the losers of the two semi-finals each awarded a bronze.

Olympic Boxing, past and present

Since the first Olympic Boxing competition in 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.

At London 2012, the Boxing competition will be held at ExCeL, a multi-purpose events venue that will also host a number of other Olympic and Paralympic sports.


Jargon Buster


  • Hook: A short, sideways-thrown punch delivered with a bent elbow.
  • Jab: An arm’s-length, straight-thrown punch.
  • Standing eight count: A precautionary count during which the referee allows a boxer time to recover from a heavy blow or series of blows.
  • Throw in the towel: The traditional way for a boxer’s assistant to concede defeat for his boxer before the end of the contest.

Get involved

Boxing is a great way to get fit and learn a new set of skills. Find your nearest club or gym through your home nation’s federation, accessible through the British Amateur Boxing Association’s website, or through Active Places. The worldwide governing body, the International Boxing Association, also has lots of information about the sport.

Boxing at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

~ by superbowlnyc on February 17, 2011.

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