Olympic Preview: Women's Boxing

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

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).


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.


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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