London 2012: Boxing
Tell me about Boxing:
The London 2012 Games will mark an especially exciting time for boxing as women’s boxing will be making its Olympic debut. The sport of boxing dates back to the time of cavemen, when arguments and disagreements were settled by physical fights. Boxing has been an Olympic event since its debut at the 1904 games in St. Louis. The United States has dominated the boxing field throughout its history in the Olympic games, as athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Oscar de la Hoya and George Foreman have all won gold for the USA.
The 2012 Olympic Boxing event will be hosted at the ExCeL Arena. There will be three events held for women’s boxing and 10 events held for men’s boxing.
What’s up with the scoring?
Audiences will see 286 boxers from all over the world (250 men, 36 women) as they compete for gold. Boxing is held as bouts, which are made up of rounds. A bout is the total of three three-minute rounds for men and the total of four two-minute rounds for women.
In order for a boxer to score during a round he or she must inflict a punch on his or her opponent’s upper body or head. Judges watching the fight decide whether the hit is point-worthy or not. There are five judges that score each fight while a referee stays in the ring with the boxers to ensure that the fight remains safe and legal. A boxer can win a bout if, during any round, he or she knocks out an opponent, meaning that the opponent remains on the floor for 10 seconds.
International athletes to watch:
Under the international spotlight is China’s Zou Shiming, who is looking to defend the gold medal in the Light Flyweight event that he won in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Vasly Lomachenko of Russia will also be look to re-defend the gold medal he won in Beijing in the Featherweight event.
Americans to watch:
The US has 12 boxers heading to London for the 2012 Olympic Games. One man that will undoubtedly catch the attention of US boxing fans is Rau’shee Warren. At 25 years old, Warren will be making his third Olympic appearance. He went to the 2004 Olympic Games at only 17 years old and this year he will be fighting in the Flyweight division.
With the debut for women’s boxing in the Olympics, we have to give special attention to the women that will be representing the USA. Marlen Esparza, a 23-year-old ranked No. 6 in the world, will be looking to take home gold in the flyweight event. Also competing is lightweight Queen Underwood, a 28 year-old who won the U.S. Olympic boxing team trials in February but almost did not make the team after losing by one-point in the world championships. Claressa Shields of Michigan will be competing in the middleweight division after being named middleweight champion of the US Olympic Trials.
Talk like an Olympian – terms to know:
Bout – another word for a boxing match
Cinch – when no punches are exchanged and the boxers look as if they are hugging one another
Technical knockout-when a boxer is too wounded and deemed unfit to continue a fight but the judges
Cross – when the back hand is used to throw a strong hit