Women's Boxing

First Olympic Appearance: 2012

by Jennie Wood

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Women's boxing will be included in the Olympics for the first time in London during the summer of 2012. Thirty-six women are able to compete in three categories: Flyweight (51kg or 112 pounds), lightweight (60kg or 132 pounds), and Middleweight (75kg or 160 pounds).

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Did You Know?
Women's boxing first appeared at the 1902 Olympics as a demonstration bout, but for most of the twentieth century the sport was banned in most countries.


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In the women's boxing event, fights are four rounds and go on for two minutes each round. Points are scored every time a boxer punches their opponent's upper body or head. At the side of the boxing ring, five judges watch and individually award points for what they see as successful hits. If a fighter falls to the ground and fails to get up within the referee's 10 count, the bout is over. A fighter can also win if their opponent is disqualified or retires. At any time a referee can stop the bout if they find a boxer unfit to finish out the fight.

Twelve boxers will fight in each weight category. A single elimination format event, the winners of the two semi-final bouts compete for the gold medal. Both semi-final losers are awarded the bronze medal.

The 2012 boxing competition will be held at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in Newham, a London borough. Built in 2000 and expanded in 2010, the ExCel Exhibition Centre can hold up to 10,000 people.

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