The 2021 Olympics are almost upon us. Olympic boxing is unique to amateur and professional boxing. Here are the rules you need to know.
Olympic Boxing stretches back more and 2500 years ago, where it originated in Athens, Greece. Since then, it has come a long way, and professional boxing has evolved over the last hundred years. Olympic, amateur, and professional boxing have similarities, but they’re all a bit different. Here’s a primer to understand the differences between Olympic boxing and professional boxing.
While Olympic boxing lacks the popularity of professional boxing, it’s often used as a steppingstone for boxers to generate momentum as they head into their professional boxing careers.
That has changed a little bit over the last few years. Since 2016, professional boxers have been allowed to compete at the Olympics, although that’s a trend that’s still not in vogue yet. However, several talented professional boxers are competing at the 2020 Olympics.
Olympic boxing is considered amateur boxing, but the previously stated rule changes blur the lines a bit. Regardless, wins at the Olympics only count towards a boxer’s amateur boxing record.
Olympic boxing rules closely mirror professional boxing with a few exceptions
Before 2016, Olympic boxing was scored based on total punches landed. Although the system was computerized, it often yielded controversial results. Since the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, scoring has moved to a 10-point system similar to professional boxing. This scoring system will be employed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In Olympic boxing, the winner of a round receives 10 points, while the loser receives nine points or less on five judges’ scorecards. In professional boxing, there are only three judges, but they score similarly. Boxers are scored based on punches landed, clean affective punches, and ring generalship. This system is based on subjective scoring, but so are many Olympic sports, including gymnastics, diving, and ice-skating, but that’s a winter Olympic sport. A fight in the Olympics can’t end in a draw. At least 3 judges will rule in a boxer’s favor, and their scores will overrule the two opposing cards.
Professional boxing bouts can be 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12 rounds. Fights in the Olympics are only 3 rounds. Both have three-minute rounds. Amateur boxers in the Olympics used to wear headgear but no more. That changed prior to 2016 as well.
That should cover all the Olympic boxing rules. Tokyo 2020 Olympic boxing begins on Saturday, July 24, from the Kokugikan Arena, in Tokyo, Japan. There are a total of five rounds of the tournament, including the finals.