Boxing

Facts

Discipline of Boxing
Participants 5262
NOCs 175
Competitions held 252 (Venues)
Distinct events 29
IF International Boxing Association, Federation Internationale de Boxe Amateur, Internationaler Kraftsportverband

Description

Boxing was contested at the Ancient Olympic Games. and many other sporting festivals in Ancient Greece. Boxing was then an even more brutal sport, as the combatants wore leather thongs on their hands. Originally the thongs were simple straps of leather but later they were reinforced with sharp pieces of metal, and the glove was called a cestus. The first known Ancient Olympic boxing champion was Onomastos of Smyrna, who won in 688 B.C. The last known was Varasdates of Armenia, in 369 A.D., who is also the last known champion of the Ancient Olympic Games. Professional boxing has been around since the early 18th century, with a recognized list of professional champions dating from the late 1700s.

Boxing made its first Olympic appearance in 1904 at St. Louis. All the entrants were Americans and the event doubled as the AAU Championships for that year. Boxing was again contested at the 1908 Olympics in London. In 1912, boxing could not be on the Olympic Program because boxing required special permits in Sweden at that time. Since 1920, boxing has been on the program of every Olympic Games.

The United States was originally the premier nation in Olympic boxing. However, it has been surpassed in the last 30 years, by first the Soviet Union and, more recently, by Cuba. Three boxers have won three Olympic gold medals, László Papp of Hungary, and Teófilo Stevenson and Félix Savón of Cuba. A number of Olympic boxers have gone on to become professional World Champions, notably Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Volodymyr Klychko, Oscar De La Hoya, and Lennox Lewis.

Olympic boxing has been contested in 12 weight classes, but in 2004 and 2008 only 11 classes were contested. Amateur matches are currently four rounds of two minutes each with a one-minute rest between rounds, although until 2000 they were three rounds of three minutes each. There are five judges who score the match. Scoring is now done by a complicated system in which the judges register successful punches. If three of the five judges register a punch within one second, that scores one point for the boxer who lands the punch. Decisions are made only by the punches landed point score. At the Olympics, all weight classes are conducted by single-elimination tournaments. There is currently no match for third place, with both losing semi-finalists receiving bronze medals. There have been many controversial judging decisions at the Olympics, and because of the difficulty judging the sport, the IOC has told the boxing federation that they had to solve the problems to stay on the Olympic Program. In August 2009, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved women’s boxing to be added to the Olympic Program. Women first competed at the Olympics in three weight classes in London in 2012.

Amateur boxing is governed by the International Boxing Association, which was originally called the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur, although it still uses the acronym AIBA, which was founded on 29/30 November 1946. As of 2018 the AIBA has 203 members. AIBA succeeded the Fédération Internationale de Boxe Amateur (FIBA), that was founded on 24 August 1920 in Antwerpen during the Olympics, with eleven founding members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, And the United States. Before having its own organization boxing was governed together with tug-of-war, weight throwing, weightlifting, and wrestling in the Amateur Athleten Weltunion (1905-1907) and later in the Internationaler Weltverband für Schwerathletik (1913-1920).

All-time medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 50 24 39 113
Cuba CUB 37 19 17 73
Great Britain GBR 18 13 25 56
Italy ITA 15 15 17 47
Soviet Union URS 14 19 18 51
Russian Federation RUS 10 5 15 30
Hungary HUN 10 2 8 20
Poland POL 8 9 26 43
Argentina ARG 7 7 10 24
Kazakhstan KAZ 7 7 8 22
France FRA 6 9 10 25
South Africa RSA 6 4 9 19
Germany GER 5 12 12 29
East Germany GDR 5 2 6 13
Bulgaria BUL 4 5 9 18
Thailand THA 4 4 6 14
Ukraine UKR 4 3 7 14
Uzbekistan UZB 4 2 8 14
Republic of Korea KOR 3 7 10 20
Canada CAN 3 7 7 17
People's Republic of China CHN 3 3 6 12
Yugoslavia YUG 3 2 6 11
Czechoslovakia TCH 3 1 2 6
Ireland IRL 2 5 9 16
Mexico MEX 2 3 8 13
Democratic People's Republic of Korea PRK 2 3 3 8
Finland FIN 2 1 12 15
Japan JPN 2 0 3 5
Romania ROU 1 9 15 25
Denmark DEN 1 5 6 12
Venezuela VEN 1 3 2 6
Mongolia MGL 1 2 4 7
Netherlands NED 1 2 4 7
Norway NOR 1 2 2 5
Kenya KEN 1 1 5 7
Brazil BRA 1 1 3 5
Belgium BEL 1 1 2 4
New Zealand NZL 1 1 1 3
Algeria ALG 1 0 5 6
West Germany FRG 1 0 5 6
Dominican Republic DOM 1 0 1 2
Sweden SWE 0 5 6 11
Nigeria NGR 0 3 3 6
Uganda UGA 0 3 1 4
Philippines PHI 0 2 3 5
Turkey TUR 0 2 3 5
Spain ESP 0 2 2 4
Belarus BLR 0 2 0 2
Azerbaijan AZE 0 1 7 8
Puerto Rico PUR 0 1 5 6
Colombia COL 0 1 4 5
Australia AUS 0 1 3 4
Chile CHI 0 1 2 3
Egypt EGY 0 1 2 3
Ghana GHA 0 1 2 3
Cameroon CMR 0 1 1 2
Unified Team EUN 0 1 1 2
Australasia ANZ 0 1 0 1
Czech Republic CZE 0 1 0 1
Estonia EST 0 1 0 1
Tonga TGA 0 1 0 1
Morocco MAR 0 0 4 4
India IND 0 0 2 2
Republic of Moldova MDA 0 0 2 2
Tunisia TUN 0 0 2 2
Armenia ARM 0 0 1 1
Bermuda BER 0 0 1 1
Croatia CRO 0 0 1 1
Georgia GEO 0 0 1 1
Guyana GUY 0 0 1 1
Lithuania LTU 0 0 1 1
Mauritius MRI 0 0 1 1
Niger NIG 0 0 1 1
Pakistan PAK 0 0 1 1
Syrian Arab Republic SYR 0 0 1 1
Tajikistan TJK 0 0 1 1
United Arab Republic UAR 0 0 1 1
Uruguay URU 0 0 1 1
Zambia ZAM 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Félix Savón CUB 3 0 0 3
Teófilo Stevenson CUB 3 0 0 3
László Papp HUN 3 0 0 3
Oleg Saitov RUS 2 0 1 3
Boris Lagutin URS 2 0 1 3
Zou Shiming CHN 2 0 1 3
Ariel Hernández CUB 2 0 0 2
Ángel Herrera CUB 2 0 0 2
Héctor Vinent CUB 2 0 0 2
Harry Mallin GBR 2 0 0 2
Jerzy Kulej POL 2 0 0 2
Oliver Kirk USA 2 0 0 2
Mario Kindelán CUB 2 0 0 2
Guillermo Rigondeaux CUB 2 0 0 2
Aleksey Tishchenko RUS 2 0 0 2
Vasyl Lomachenko UKR 2 0 0 2
Nicola Adams GBR 2 0 0 2
Robeisy Ramírez CUB 2 0 0 2
Claressa Shields USA 2 0 0 2

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Light-Flyweight Men 13
Flyweight Men 24
Bantamweight Men 25
Lightweight Men 25
Light-Welterweight Men 17
Welterweight Men 24
Middleweight Men 25
Light-Heavyweight Men 23
Heavyweight Men 25
Super-Heavyweight Men 9
Flyweight Women 2
Lightweight Women 2
Middleweight Women 2
Light-Flyweight Boys 2
Flyweight Boys 2
Bantamweight Boys 2
Featherweight Boys 1
Lightweight Boys 2
Light-Welterweight Boys 2
Welterweight Boys 2
Middleweight Boys 2
Light-Heavyweight Boys 2
Heavyweight Boys 2
Super-Heavyweight Boys 2
Flyweight Girls 1
Lightweight Girls 1
Middleweight Girls 1
Featherweight Men 23
Light-Middleweight Men 13