Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier closed in Paris. Next stop is Tokyo!

08/06/2021
Paris, 08 June 2021 – Mouras Aliev (FRA) atop of the podium at the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier in Paris (FRA)

Paris, 8 June 2021 – The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier came to an end, today, 8 June 2021. The event which had started last year in London (GBR) and was stopped after day 3 of competition, to then resume in the French capital on 4 June 2021 distributed a grand total of 77 Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota places, which went to 21 different countries (61 quotas were awarded here in Paris, 16 in London, last year).  

Great Britain secured the highest number of Tokyo 2020 slots, claiming four women’s quotas and seven men’s quotas, qualifying a total of 11 athletes (two in London and nine here in Paris). The Russian Olympic Committee followed in second, with 10 quota places (three women’s quotas, seven men’s quotas), while Ireland followed in third with a three men’s and three women’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic berths.  

168 boxers from 37 countries competed here at Le Grand Dome, in the outskirts of Paris. After 170 bouts conducted in four days, today it was all about the medals, and the ranking points that will be used to seed boxers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (being among the top-seeded athletes means a better position in the Tokyo draw). 

Thirteen finals were scheduled to take place today (day 5 of competition), across all the Olympic weight categories. Two medal matches were not disputed, as Rio 2016 Silver medallist, Sofiane Oumiha of France, won gold in the Men’s Light (57-63kg) final, and Azerbaijan’s Loren Alfonso Dominguez finished atop of the Light Heavy (75-81kg)’s podium by walkover.  

Host country France celebrated the victory of Mouras Aliev, who won the Men’s Superheavy (+91kg) gold medal match by points, beating Great Britain’s Frazer Clarke. In the first round, the French boxer gave Frazer a standing count, and continued leading throughout the bout, alternating great defence and powerful blasts. His teammate Billal Bennama claimed gold in the Men’s Fly (48-52kg) event, beating Great Britain’s Galal Yafai after the second round, as the referee ordered to count the points after a cut. Today’s fourth French finalist, Samuel Kistohurry, lost to Russia’s Albert Batyrgaziev in the in the Men’s Feather (54-57kg) event. 

It turned out to be an overall great day also for Great Britain, with seven athletes entered in 13 finals, eventually walking out of Le Grand Dome with two gold and five silver medals. It was once again #1 seeded Pat McCormack and Lauren Price who finished in the spotlights, winning the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) and the Women’s Middle (69-75kg) finals.  

McCormack went against Russia’s Andrei Zamekovoi, in a rematch of the 2019 World Championship final that was won by the Russian on his home turf. It wasn’t an easy one as for the first time in this Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier, the British boxer gave the impression he could lose the match. After a slow start, he took advantage of his unmatchable speed in the third and last fraction of the bout, to win by unanimous decision.  

Price confirmed to be the best European boxer in her weight class, claiming gold in the final against Russia’s Zenfira Magomedalieva (seeded #3).  

Russia’s Heavyweight (81-91kg) finalist Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, the #1 seeded boxer in the qualifier, confirmed to be one of world’s bests in the event, as he outscored Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes Pla by unanimous decision to secure gold. The second top-seeded Russian athlete competing here today, Gleb Bakshi, lost the Men’s Middle (69-75kg) final to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak, who clinched a split decision in his favour.  

Turkey claimed two gold medals, to close this qualifier in style. In the Women’s Fly (48-51kg) event, Buse Naz Cakiroglu had the best of Great Britain’s Charley-Sian Davison. Her teammate Busenaz Surmeneli dominated the Women’s Welter (64-69kg) final, winning by a unanimous decision over Germany’s Nadine Apetz.  

In the Women’s Feather (54-57kg) event, two-time world champion Irma Testa of Italy left no chances to Irish boxer Michaela Walsh – who had walked into this qualifier as the second-best ranked athlete – winning by unanimous decision. Later in the day, Ireland collected a gold medal in the Women’s Light (57-60kg) event, thanks to the stamina of Kellie Harrington, who controlled Great Britain’s Caroline Dubois throughout a nervous final to win by points. 

Coming in next are the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, kicking-off on the 24th of July. Check the complete Boxing schedule on the Olympics.com website.  

Reply the action!   

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier was broadcasted live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. News, photos and results can be found on online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.   



All Olympic Quotas distributed in Paris, in a day of box-offs and semi-finals

07/06/2021
Paris, 06 June 2021 – Frazer Clarke competes in the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier in Paris (FRA)

Day 4 in Paris distributed the last 13 Olympic quotas to be assigned at the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier.  

In total, the event held in the French capital awarded 61 Olympic slots, which went to 20 different countries. These are in addition to the 16 quotas already awarded during the first three days of competition at the London’s qualifier in 2020 (the competition was stopped after day 3), for a grand total of 77 qualification tickets.  

Tomorrow, the finals of the thirteen weight categories will take place and there’s much more at stake than just the medals. Winning here means collecting ranking points, and thus having a better chance to be seeded at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  

At the beginning of today’s first session, the Women’s Fly (48-51) event’s seed #1 Buse Naz Cakiroglu of Turkey defeated Bulgaria’s Stoyka Krasteva by unanimous decision to move on to the final, where she we will meet Great Britain’s Charley-Sian Davison who beat Italy’s Giordana Sorrentino. Svetlana Soluianova of Russia and Sandra Drabik of Poland won their respective box-offs, securing a ticket to Tokyo each.   

Cakiroglu said: “I’ve sparred her [Davison] before, I’ve not boxed her, so that will be interesting. Similar styles as well, so I’m looking forward to it. I know what she does, I know what she’s good at, so it’s just keeping an eye on that and doing what I’m good at to beat her.” 

Boxing powerhouse Turkey produced another victory today as Europe’s #1 Busenaz Surmeneli outscored Ukraine’s Anna Lysenko in the Women’s Welter (64-69kg) event, booking a spot in the final. There, she will face Nadine Apetz of Germany, who claimed a split-decision win against seed #3 Angela Carini of Italy. Russia’s Saadat Dalgatova secured the fifth available quota place in the category, winning the box-off final against Poland’s Karolina Koszewska.  

In the Women’s Feather (54-57kg), Nikolina Cacic of Croatia and Karriss Artingstall of Great Britain pocketed two quotas, prevailing in their respective box-offs. In the race for the medals, Italy’s Irma Testa moved on to the final, claiming a unanimous decision on Maria Nechita of Romania. She’s now bound for a gold medal match against Ireland Micahela Walsh, a #2 seed in the tournament. The Italian athlete said: “I got to fight with the best boxers in the semi-final and in the final. This is something really important for the seeding procedures of the Games. If I don’t win here, I could end up facing the bests in the early stages of the competition in Tokyo. Every fight is hard, and it’s complicated in its own way.” She continued, “I feel tired, I feel pain, but in the end being in the ring is always a good feeling. I am happy I have reached the final. It’s so important to be here.”  

Great Britain’s Pat McCormack, seeded #1 in the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) weight category, showed once again his top class here in Paris, as he met and defeated Aidan Walsh of Ireland in the semi-final. Walsh tried several times to break the British boxer’s guard, but McCormack’s furious reactions left him few chances. A unanimous decision gave McCormack the victory and propelled him in to the final. There, he will face Russia’s Andrei Zamkovoi, in a rematch of the 2019 World Championship final, which was won by the Russian, competing on his turf. In the category’s box-offs, Eskerkhan Madiev of Georgia and Alexandr Radzionau of Belarus secured the last two quota places in the weight class.  

In the Men’s Middle (69-75kg) box-offs, Belarus’ Vitali Bandarenka beat Belgium’s Lancelot Proton De La Chapelle in the first round, as the referee stopped the bout due to a cut and commanded a points’ count. Georgi Kharabadze of Georgia claimed the last quota place, beating Adam Chartoi of Sweden. Rebecca Nicoli of Italy and Maiva Hamadouche of France won the two Women’s Light (57-60kg) box-offs. Closing an action-packed day, competing in the Men’s Light Heavy (75-81kg) box-offs, Emmet Brennan of Ireland outscored Lindon Nuha of Sweden, while Imam Khataev of Russia beat Bayram Malkan of Turkey (seed #3), both by unanimous decisions, and both securing their ticket to Japan.  

Watch the finals: check the schedule and follow on the Olympic Channel 

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier continues in Paris, tomorrow (8 June), with 13 finals taking place on the rings of Le Grand Dome in Paris. Download here the schedule of the finals.  

Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. Coverage is available in all territories worldwide free of charge at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.  

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.  



Paris Day 3: 29 bouts, 20 Olympic quotas, and 2 families bound for Tokyo

06/06/2021
Paris, 06 June 2021 – Frazer Clarke competes in the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier in Paris (FRA)

Twenty-nine bouts took place at Le Grand Dome today during day 3 of the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier in Paris. The best boxers of the continent competed in the Women’s Feather (54-57kg) and Welter (64-69kg) weight classes and in the Men’s Feather (52-57kg), Light (57-63kg), Welter (63-69kg), Middle (69-75kg), Heavy (81-91kg) and Super Heavy (+91kg) events.  

Twenty (20) Tokyo 2020 quota places were at stake. The Women’s Feather (54-57kg) event assigned the first four at the beginning of the afternoon sessions. Irma Testa of Italy beat Croatia’s Nikolina Cacic in the very first bout of the day with a landslide unanimous decision. The Italian showed great potential, leaving few chances for her opponent throughout the three rounds.  

In the same weight category, Bulgaria’s Stanimira Petrova beat Great Britain’s Karriss Artingstall by split decision, claiming a quota place and advancing to the semi-final. There, she will meet Michaela Walsh of Ireland, who outdid Sweden’s Stephanie Thour to qualify for Tokyo. Petrova (#3 seed) and Walsh (#2 seed) set up a thrilling semi-final, which will give us a glimpse of what could happen at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in less than 50 days.  

Michaela’s brother, Aidan Walsh, qualified for Tokyo minutes after his sister. Competing in the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) weight class, he had to fight hard to overcome Ukraine’s Yevheni Barbanov in a 3-2 split decision, before claiming the slot.  

Michaela said: “I was more nervous for his fight than my fight. There was a sense of relief when I qualified, but it means more for me to have my baby brother qualifying than myself. There was a lot of pressure today, but I felt we dealt with it really well. The only way is up now, we are in this tournament to go all the way.” 

Aidan Walsh added: “We want to go as far we can in this competition and win it, just keep getting the wins before the Olympics. I want to say thank you to Team Ireland. Last year, when I was national champion, they picked me to go away to the major competition, and they believed in me when I wasn’t even #1 in Ireland. Since then, I have just progressed massively. I became #1, went to all the major tournaments, done well and come here and qualified for the Olympic Games. This time two years ago I was ready to pack boxing in. There were a lot of things going on behind the scenes, but I stuck it out, the coaches believed in me, my family believed in me, my girlfriend believed in me and my club coaches, who are both here now.” 

Another family affair unfolded in the Welter class, as Great Britain’s Pat McCormack secured his pass to Tokyo, one day after his brother Luke did the same in the Lightweight event. Pat did not delude the expectations of his fans, following the match broadcasted on BBC. He went through the rounds in his own style, boxing with extreme confidence to outscore Georgia’s Eskerkhan Madiev by unanimous decision. Up next, on the road to Paris’ podium, he will meet the Aiden Walsh. 

The second 69kg semi-final will see Russia’s Andrei Zamkovi (seed #2) meeting Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Collazo Sotomayor (seed #3), who both claimed an Olympic quota today.  

Three out of the top-four seeded boxers in the Men’s Middle (69-75kg) weight class advanced to the semi-final today, all gaining a ticket to Tokyo. Andrej Csemez of Slovakia (seed #4) won a very technical bout against Lancelot Proton de La Chapelle of Belgium. After studying and measuring his opponents throughout the first two rounds, the Slovak expert finished the job with a breath-taking assault in the third and last round, moving forward on his road to Tokyo with a unanimous decision. In the semi-final, he will meet seed #1 Gleb Bakshi of Russia, who also claimed an Olympic quota today, as his opponent Vitali Bandarenka abandoned. Second-seeded Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine also made it through his quarterfinal, as Adam Chartoi of Sweden was disqualified. He is now up for a match against Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan, the fourth boxer who qualified today.  

The top-ranked Heavyweight boxer competing here, Russia’s Muslim Gadzhimagomedov, confirmed to be one of the favourites in the race for Tokyo’s medals. Today, he made it through a tense 81-91kg quarterfinal against Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine. Muslim won the first round, losing then to the Italian in the second, as Mouhiidine engaged him with a furious series of punches. Gadzhimagomedov eventually managed to regain control of the ring in the third round, winning by split decision. In the semi-finals, he will face Ammar Abdullabbar of Germany, who produced an outstanding performance today, beating Uladzislau Smiahlikau (seed #4) of Belarus by unanimous decision. Emmanuel Reyes Pla of Spain and Cheavon Clarke of Great Britain will meet in the second semi-final.  

The sparring partner of Olympic champion Anthony Joshua, Frazer Clarke of Great Britain, had to fight hard to fulfil his dream to qualify for the Games, but he finally made it today after beating Turkey’s Berat Acar by unanimous decision, in their Super Heavyweight (+91kg) quarterfinal. In the semi-final, he will go up against Ivan Veriasov of Russia, who overscored Petar Belberov of Bulgaria to qualify for the Games and to advance in the competition. France’s Olympic hope, Mourad Aliev, will go against Azerbaijan’s Mahammad Abdullayev.  

The European Qualifier continues tomorrow: follow the action live!  

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier continues in Paris, tomorrow (7 June). Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. Coverage is available in all territories worldwide free of charge at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.  

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.  



28 Tokyo quotas awarded on European Qualifier’s Day 2 in Paris

05/06/2021

Twenty-eight (28) Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota places were awarded at the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier in Paris, France, today. On Day-2 of the event (which resumed yesterday, more than one year after it was stopped in London, Great Britain), 45 bouts took place in the Men’s Fly (48-52), Light (57-63kg), Light Heavy (75-81), Heavy (81-91kg) and Super Heavy (+91kg) events, and in the Women’s Fly (48-51kg), Light (57-60kg), Welter (64-69kg) and Middle (6-75) events.  

The Boxing Task Force Athlete Ambassador, Sarah Ourahmoune, and Minister of Sport of France, Roxana Marcineau attended the event today and followed the competition with the Chair of the IOC Boxing Task Force, Chair Morinari Watanabe and President of the French Boxing Federation, Dominique Nato. 

In the first bout of an action-packed day, Europe’s top ranked Men’s Light (57-63) boxer, Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov, lost the match due to an injury (cut) 2:46 minutes into the first round, as the referee stopped the contest giving the victory to his opponent Gabil Mamedov of Russia. Mamedov, advanced to the quarterfinals, securing an Olympic berth for Tokyo 2020. On the 6th of June, in the quarterfinals, he will meet Ukraine’s Yaroslav Khartsyz, who moved up in the brackets after a walkover of his Greek opponent Alexandros Tsanikidis.  

In the same weight category, the home team celebrated the victory of Sofiane Oumiha (FRA), who claimed his spot in Tokyo. The 2016 Olympic silver medallist and 2017 world champion went up against Alexandru Paraschiv of Moldova and had to work hard to secure the victory by a split decision (4-1). Damian Durkacz of Poland beat Hungary’s Milan Fodor, claiming a pass to Tokyo. He will meet Belarus’ Dzmitry Asanau, who qualified for the Games by beating Denmark’s Nikolai Terteryan today. Three more quota places went to Javid Chalabiyev from Azerbaijan, Great Britain’s Luke McCormack and Enrico Lacruz from The Netherlands, and. 

Number one seed, Muslim Gadzhimagomedov of Russia, easily passed through the Men’s Heavyweight (81-91kg) round of 16 by beating France’s Wilfried Florentin. The 2019 World Champion is now bound to meet Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhidine, who cleared his bout against Turkey’s Muchahit Ilyas with a unanimous decision.  

The Men’s Super-Heavyweight (+91) category produced a great show in Paris today. Fighting on his home turf, France’s Mourad Aliev moved one step closer to his dream of competing in the Olympic Games, as he won in the Round of 16 by knocking-out Denmark’s Morten Givskov with a phenomenal punch in the first round. On his road to Tokyo, he will meet Georgia’s Giorgi Tchigladze who beat Serbia’s Vladan Babic.  

At the same time, the Men’s Super-Heavyweight’s top seeded boxers in the qualifier, Germany’s Nelvie Tiafack (seed #1) and Croatia’s Marko Milun (seed #2), fell on the Paris’ ring. Tiafack lost to Tsotne Rogava of Ukraine, while on the other ring it was Great Britain’s Frazer Clarke who moved ahead on his Olympic quest. The British boxer beat Croatia’s Milun by a unanimous decision, after giving him two standing counts. Clarke said: “It was a tough one. I knew it would be. He is a seeded boxer and I had boxed him before. I felt quite comfortable, I will be better as the tournament goes on. I put everything into it, I boxed as well as I can. That is what I came here for, to qualify.” 

In the Women’s Fly (48-51kg) category, number one seed Buse Naz Cakiroglu of Turkey, passed though the quarterfinals by beating by unanimous decision Belarus’s Yuliya Apanasovich in the first match of the evening session, thus qualifying for Tokyo. In the same weight category, Stoyka Krasteva of Bulgaria, Charley-Sian Davison of Great Britain, and Giordana Sorrentino of Italy won their respective quarterfinals, all booking a ticket to Tokyo.  

Four quotas were up for grabs in the Women’s Light (57-60kg) category, which went to the Youth Olympic Champion Caroline Dubois of Great Britain (beating Italy’s Rebecca Nicoli), Sweden’s fourth seeded Agnes Alexiusson (winning by split decision against Greece’s Nikoleta Pita), Europe’s #2 Kellie Harrington of Ireland (beating Maiva Hamadouche of France), and Turkey’s Esra Yildiz (prevailing over Hungary’s Kata Pribojski). 

Eight more Tokyo 2020 quota places were up for grabs in the Women’s Welter (64-69kg) and Middle (69-75kg) weight categories. Among the Welters, Angela Carini of Italy won on points against France’s Emilie Sonvico, while the number one seed from Turkey Busenaz Surmeneli beat Ani Hovsepyan of Armenia. Germany’s Nadine Apetz outscored Poland’s number two seed Karolina Koszewska, winning by a 4-1 split decision. Another split decision, a tough 3-2 verdict, gave Ukraine’s Anna Lysenko the victory over Saadat Dalgatova, the number four seed from Russia. 

Competing in the Middle weight category, Europe’s #1 Lauren Price of Great Britain won her match against Ukraine’s Anastasiia Chernokolenko by unanimous decision, to qualify for her first Olympic Games. Two-time world champion Zenfira Magomedalieva of Russia dominated her quarterfinal against Sennur Demir, of Turkey, by ending it in standing count in the second round. A unanimous decision gave Ireland’s Aoife O’Rourke the victory over number four seed Elzbieta Wojcik of Poland, while it was the #2 seed from the Netherlands, Nouchka Fontijn, who won the last quarterfinal, outscoring Sweden’s Love Holgersson.  

The Men’s Light Heavy (75-81kg) category continued today with the quarterfinal bouts taking place at the end of this second day of competition. Benjamin Whittaker of Great Britain continued his positive series securing an Olympic qualification slot with a unanimous decision over Sweden’s Lindon Nuha. In Tokyo, he will be joined by Gazimagomed Jalidov of Spain, who won his quarterfinal and a quota place leaving Bayram Malkan, the number three seed from Turkey, in disappointment. Luka Plantic of Croatia and Loren Berto Alfonso Dominguez of Azerbaijan pocketed the last two quotas up for grabs in Paris today winning their bouts against Emmet Brennan (IRL) and Imam Khataev (RUS), respectively. 

The European Qualifier continues tomorrow: follow the action live!  

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier continues in Paris, tomorrow (6 June). Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. Coverage is available in all territories worldwide free of charge at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.  

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.  



Action starts in Paris, as Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier resumes

04/06/2021

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier resumed in Paris (FRA) today, more than one year after it was stopped in London (GBR) at the end of day 3 of competition on 16 March 2020, due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic.  

Action started exactly from where it had ended last year. 168 boxers from 37 countries are still in the race. They arrived in the French capital to compete at Le Grand Dome from 4 through 8 of June, chasing the remaining 61 Tokyo 2020 quota places up for grabs for the continent.  

Europe’s best boxers on the ring 

Today, the continent’s best boxers stepped onto the ring to compete in the women’s Feather (54-57kg), Light (57-60kg) and Middle (69-75kg) weight classes, and in the men’s Welter (63-69kg), Middle (69-75kg) and Light Heavy (75-81kg) categories, in a total of 44 bouts.  

Top seed Lauren Price (GBR) led the first bout of the day, beating France’s Davina Michel on Paris’ ring A in the round of 16 of the Women’s Middle (69-75kg) event. Boxing in the red corner, she won three consecutive rounds by unanimous decision, leaving no chances to Michel.  

In the Women’s Feather (54-57kg) event, seed #1 Liudmila Vorontsova of Russia did not make it through the round of 16. Her opponent, Italy’s reigning European champion Irma Testa, clearly ruled the first two rounds, winning both by unanimous decision thanks to her jabs. The Russian athlete tried to fight back in third round landing a series of good punches but it was not enough to climb back as she eventually lost the bout to the Italian by unanimous decision, giving up her chances to secure a Tokyo 2020 spot here in Paris.  

During the evening’s session, another top seeded athlete tumbled in the first bout of the qualifier, when Europe’s top ranked Women’s Light (57-60kg) boxer, Mira M. J. Potkonen of Finland, lost to Great Britain’s Caroline Dubois. Dubois, a Youth Olympic gold medal-winner, left few chances to her opponent, as she started off strong, claiming the first round by unanimous decision. She then cleared the second and third rounds by split decision, securing a spot in the round of 8, where she will meet Italy’s Rebecca Nicoli, who stopped Jessica Treibelova, of Slovakia. 

Europe top-ranked Welter boxer, Pat McCormack of Great Britain, turned out to be unbeatable for Monaco’s Hugo Micallef in the first men’s bout of the day, in the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) round of 16. Micallef, who was chasing a first, historical, qualification for Monaco, succumbed to the irresistible pace of McCormack. The British boxer won both the first and the second round by unanimous decision, and then ruled the third round right to minute 2:47, when the referee stopped the bout as Micallef found himself in his second consecutive standing count. 

I boxed him before at the European Games and beat him there, so I knew he was a decent fighter, but I knew I had his number all day as long as I boxed well. Stick to the tactics, and I’ll beat him,” said McCormack. “I’m happy with that, obviously they’ve recognized how good I am. I was sitting in the changing room there looking around and I’ve beaten everyone, everyone that I’ve seen at my weight I’ve already beaten them, so it gives me confidence.” 

“I can’t wait to get to Japan and show everyone what I’m about,” he continued. “I just hope me and my brother (Luke) both qualify, and then I’ll be happy. He’s been in the stands today shouting at me, just shouting a little bit of advice and little bits of tactics, and they were working.” 

Team Great Britain also celebrated at the Men’s Light Heavy (75-81kg) event as Benjamin Whittaker – who walked into the qualifier as the top seeded in the category – beat Romania’s Paul-Andrei Aradoaie. Later, during the evening session, Europe’s #1 Gleb Bakshi of Russia beat Norway’s Gedminas Mindaugas in the Men’s Middle (69-75kg) event by unanimous decision.  

The European Qualifier continues tomorrow: follow the action live! 

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier continues in Paris, tomorrow (5 June). Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. Coverage is available in all territories worldwide free of charge at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices. 

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing



168 boxers arrive in Paris to compete in the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier

03/06/2021

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier is due to resume in Paris (FRA), where the event will be held at the Le Grand Dôme in Villebon-sur-Yvette from 4 to 8 June.

The event will resume from where it was suspended, after day three of competition, in London (GBR) on 16 March 2020. There, 316 boxers from 43 nations competed on the rings of the Copper Box Arena, moving forward in the brackets and earning the first 16 quota places assigned to the European continent. Those results and quota places are valid and still stand as the event resumes in the French capital.

After the first 16 quota places were awarded in London, 61 additional Tokyo 2020 quota places are now up for grabs here in Paris, in the last boxing qualifier before the Games, which will see 168 athletes from 37 countries competing for their Olympic dream.

The top eight boxers will earn a Tokyo 2020 spot in the men’s flyweight (52kg), featherweight (57kg) and lightweight (63kg), meaning that all the quarter-finalists in those events will earn a qualification slot.

Olympic quota places will also be assigned to the best six boxers in the women’s flyweight (51kg), women’s featherweight (57kg), women’s lightweight (60kg), men’s welterweight (69kg), men’s middleweight (75kg) and men’s light heavyweight (81kg).

Four qualification slots will be up for grabs in the women’s middleweight (75kg), men’s heavyweight (91kg) and men’s super-heavyweight (+91kg), while five quota places will be available in the women’s welterweight (69kg).

Athletes to watch

There are a number of athletes to watch as the event  resumes. Three Olympic champions have made the Paris list: The Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn (women’s 75kg), France’s Sofiane Oumiha (63kg), and Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Sotomayor (69kg) are ready to put on their gloves and step into the ring, looking for a ticket to Tokyo.

Host country France is presenting a renewed group of young and skilled athletes, ready to pick up the baton from the team that amazed boxing fans in Rio de Janeiro. Their biggest stars include World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Billal Bennama (52kg) and Samuel Kistohurry (57kg), who have already qualified for Tokyo. Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha (63kg) and seven of her teammates are still in the competition, and will be boxing on their home turf.

On its side, Team Great Britain is lining up 12 strong hopes here in Paris. Among them, the spotlight will be on European champion Peter McGrail (men’s 57kg), World Boxing Championships silver medallist Pat McCormack (men’s 69kg), and  European Games silver medallist Benjamin Whittaker (81kg), who said: “I am looking forward to this event so much, and I expect tough competition: there are not any easy opponents in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event.”

Monaco made its debut at the European Qualifier in London last year, and its 69kg hope, Hugo Micallef, defied all the odds to win his preliminary bout and will continue boxing here in Paris, on his road to Tokyo 2020.

Bulgaria’s former women’s world champion Stanimira Petrova (57kg) will also be part of the competition. In the lead-up to the competition, she said: “I trained 20 hours per week in recent months to accomplish my goals in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. I have only one mission, to earn the Olympic spot for Tokyo!”

2018 women’s world champion Kellie Harrington of Ireland is also ready to step back into the ring. “I just want to go out and do my best,” she said, “I have learnt in the recent nearly one-and-a-half years to always expect the unexpected. There has been plenty of challenges with loads of highs and lows, but I have overcome them and adapted. Team Ireland have worked hard and done all we can. All that’s left now is to step into the ring and showcase our craft.”

Follow the action live

Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide free of charge at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.

The Tokyo 2020 quota places up for grabs at the European Qualifier:

Women’s 51kg: 6 slots

Women’s 57kg: 6 slots

Women’s 60kg: 6 slots

Women’s 69kg: 5 slots

Women’s 75kg: 4 slots

Men’s 52kg: 8 slots (already awarded in London)

Men’s 57kg: 8 slots (already awarded in London)

Men’s 63kg: 8 slots

Men’s 69kg: 6 slots

Men’s 75kg: 6 slots

Men’s 81kg: 6 slots

Men’s 91kg: 4 slots

Men’s +91kg: 4 slots



The IOC Boxing Task Force mourns the loss of Raj Kumar Sacheti

05/05/2021

Lausanne, 05 May 2021 – It is with deep sadness that the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) learned the shocking news that the Boxing Federation of India’s Executive Director, Raj Kumar Sacheti, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 56.

Mr. Sacheti was an active member of the IOC Boxing Task Force Experts Group since its creation in 2019 and he contributed greatly to the implementation of the BTF’s mission through his experience and passion for the sport. 

The Chairman of the IOC Boxing Task Force, Mr. Morinari Watanabe, said: “We mourn the loss not only of an experienced sport leader, but also of a good friend and true supporter of the Olympic Movement. The premature departure of Raj Kumar Sacheti certainly creates a huge void in the sports world and in the boxing community.”

“In the name of the International Olympic Committee and of the IOC Boxing Task Force, we would like to express our deepest condolences and most sincere sympathy to the Indian Olympic Association, the Boxing Federation of India, the boxing community of India, and the family of Mr. Sacheti,” continued Mr.  Watanabe. “His dedication, passion, and restless efforts for the development of the sport and the implementation of the Olympic values will not be forgotten.”



Novedades sobre el Clasificatorio de Boxeo de América para Tokyo 2020 en Buenos Aires

15/04/2021

Lausana, 15 de abril de 2021 – El Grupo de Trabajo sobre Boxeo del COI (BTF) ha estado monitoreando la situación en Argentina y América antes del Clasificatorio de Boxeo de América para Tokyo 2020, que estaba previsto en Buenos Aires (Argentina) del 10 al 16 de mayo de 2021. 

En las últimas semanas, se han venido adoptando restricciones de viaje y cuarentenas en toda la región, lo que ha perturbado considerablemente los viajes internacionales y ha planteado problemas logísticos a los equipos que viajan hacia y desde Buenos Aires, lo que dificulta la posibilidad de participar en el torneo. 

Puesto que se trata de un clasificatorio olímpico con un número importante de plazas (49) para los Juegos Olímpicos Tokyo 2020, es sumamente importante garantizar un acceso equitativo y la seguridad de todos los atletas y oficiales, en consonancia con los principios que han guiado la labor del BTF, que sigue comprometido a garantizar un proceso de clasificación olímpica justo y equitativo, ofrecer certeza a los atletas y darles suficiente tiempo para prepararse para Tokyo 2020, sin menoscabo de la salud y la seguridad de los atletas.

Lamentablemente, la situación actual de la región no ofrece las garantías necesarias para que estos principios se cumplan en el torneo previsto en Buenos Aires.

Por ello, tras una exhaustiva evaluación y diversas consultas con equipos, embajadores de los atletas del BTF y expertos en boxeo, así como con el Comité Organizador Local, el BTF ha decidido cancelar el torneo de clasificación y reestructurar el proceso de clasificación de América para Tokyo 2020.

Se estudiaron opciones alternativas, pero dada la complejidad del acontecimiento, la naturaleza del deporte y el gran número de participantes internacionales (400 personas de 80 naciones, oficiales técnicos incluidos), se estimó inviable cambiar la sede de competición a menos de cuatro semanas de la fecha prevista o aplazar su celebración a una fecha posterior.

«Esta es una decisión difícil, pero pone a los boxeadores en el centro de la decisión y brinda certeza a atletas, federaciones nacionales y comités olímpicos nacionales de cara a los Juegos Olímpicos Tokyo 2020 —afirmó el presidente del BTF, Morinari Watanabe—.La evolución de la situación en Argentina y en toda la región, y las consiguientes restricciones de viaje hacia y desde Buenos Aires, podrían haber provocado que los atletas y sus equipos no pudiesen participar en el clasificatorio, lo cual es un riesgo que no se podía tolerar».

Por lo tanto, se ha reestructurado el proceso de clasificación para la región América con el fin de adecuarlo a la cancelación del torneo de clasificación. El BTF ha confirmado el siguiente enfoque:

  1. Teniendo en cuenta que únicamente los boxeadores inscritos en el Clasificatorio de Boxeo de América para Tokyo 2020 habrían podido optar a una plaza olímpica, la atribución de las 49 plazas correspondientes a dicho clasificatorio (33 masculinas y 16 femeninas) estará limitada a los deportistas inscritos en él.
  2. Las 49 plazas del Clasificatorio de Boxeo de América para Tokyo 2020 se atribuirán en función del ranking del BTF, de conformidad con la cláusula D.3 del sistema de clasificación de boxeo de Tokyo 2020 (versión de marzo de 2021). 
  3. La atribución de las 13 plazas inicialmente previstas para el Clasificatorio de Boxeo Mundial y redirigidas a América se efectuará después de la atribución de las 49 plazas correspondientes al Clasificatorio de América y se regirá por los criterios de admisibilidad del sistema de clasificación en vigor. La inscripción de boxeadores por parte de sus federaciones nacionales y CON respectivos para participar en el Clasificatorio de Boxeo de América se entenderá como «participantes en una (1) prueba de clasificación olímpica organizada por el Grupo de Trabajo sobre Boxeo» y servirá, junto con otros criterios, para asignar dichas plazas.

Tras la aprobación formal por parte de la Comisión Ejecutiva del COI, prevista el 7 de mayo, se publicará una versión enmendada del sistema de clasificación de boxeo para Tokyo 2020 que refleje los citados cambios.

El Clasificatorio de Boxeo de Europa para Tokyo 2020 se retomará en París (Francia) del 4 al 8 de junio.



Update on the Boxing Road to Tokyo Americas qualifier in Buenos Aires

15/04/2021

Lausanne, 15 April 2021 – The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) has been monitoring the situation in Argentina and the Americas, ahead of the Boxing Road to Tokyo Americas qualifier scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires (ARG) from 10 to 16 May 2021. 

In recent weeks, tighter travel restrictions and lockdowns have been implemented across the region, which have significantly disrupted international travel and pose logistical challenges to teams travelling to and from Buenos Aires, jeopardising their ability to participate in the event. 

Given the nature of the event as an Olympic qualifier which will award a large number of direct quota places (49) for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, ensuring fair access and a safe environment for all athletes and officials is of the greatest importance. This is in line with the key principles followed by the BTF, which remains committed to delivering a fair and equitable Olympic qualification process, providing certainty to the athletes and allowing sufficient time for them to prepare for Tokyo 2020, while always prioritising athlete health and safety.

Unfortunately, the current situation in the region does not provide the assurances needed for these principles to be followed at the event scheduled in Buenos Aires.

For this reason, after a thorough assessment and consultations with teams, the BTF’s Athlete Ambassadors and boxing experts plus the Local Organising Committee, the BTF has decided to cancel the event and restructure the Tokyo 2020 qualification pathway for the Americas region.

The BTF studied alternative options, but due to the complexity and nature of the sport of boxing and the large number of international participants (400 people from 80 nations, including technical officials) it was deemed not possible either to change the location, with less than four weeks to go, or to reschedule the event to a later date.

“This is a difficult decision, but it is one that puts boxers first and gives athletes, National Federations and National Olympic Committees certainty ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said the BTF Chair, Mr Morinari Watanabe. “The development of the situation in Argentina and across the region, and the resulting travel restrictions to and from Buenos Aires, could have resulted in athletes and teams not being able to participate in the qualifier, which is a risk that could not be taken.”

The Tokyo 2020 boxing qualification pathway for the Americas region has therefore been restructured in order to reflect the cancellation of the event. The BTF has confirmed the following approach:

  1. Considering that only the boxers registered to compete in the Americas qualifier would have had a chance to gain one of the Olympic quota places originally at stake in the event, the allocation of the 49 athlete quota places (33 for men, 16 for women) of the Americas Olympic Qualifier will remain exclusive to the athletes registered for the event.
  2. All 49 quota places of the Americas Olympic Boxing Qualifiers will be allocated via the BTF Ranking in accordance with the section D.3 currently found in the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing (dated March 2021). 
  3. The reallocation of the 13 quota places originally due to be obtained at the World Olympic Qualifier and redirected to the Americas will be conducted only after allocation of the 49 athlete quota places of the Americas Olympic Qualifier, and will follow the Eligibility Criteria found in the current Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing. It should be noted that the registration of the athletes by their relevant National Federation and NOC to participate in the Americas Olympic Boxing Qualifiers will be understood as “participating in one (1) of the Olympic Qualification Events organised by the Boxing Task Force” and serve, along with the other criteria, for the purposes of allocating such quota places.

An updated version of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing – reflecting the aforementioned changes – will be published following formal approval by the IOC Executive Board, which is expected by 7 May.

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier is due to resume in Paris (FRA), where the event will be held from 4 to 8 June.



Paris selected to host the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier

02/03/2021

Lausanne, 02 March 2021 –  Following the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) decision to restructure the Tokyo 2020 boxing Olympic qualifying path, the BTF has selected Paris (FRA) as the host city of the European Boxing Road to Tokyo Qualifier. As previously communicated, the event will take place from 4 to 8 June 2021.  

The BTF has selected Paris as part of its initial commitment to organise its events in the host countries of recent or upcoming Olympic Games, and because of the opportunity to continue to benefit from its already established relationship with the Local Organising Committee, which was originally entrusted to organise the now-cancelled Final World Qualifier.  

The European Qualifier will resume from where it was suspended on 16 March 2020. The official draw, conducted in London on 13 March 2020, and the competition schedule that resulted from this draw, will remain valid. The established results (recorded between 14 and 16 March 2020 in London) and the 16 Olympic quota places earned on 16 March 2020 will remain valid for the boxing tournament of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 



Tokyo 2020 boxing Olympic qualifying path to be restructured

15/02/2021

Lausanne, 15 February 2021  In the past 10 days, and reflecting the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) goals of transparency and putting athletes first, the BTF has consulted all boxing NFs, NOCs, its technical experts, the boxing Athlete Ambassadors and medical experts for their input, to understand the individual situations and considerations for the remaining Olympic boxing qualification events. This has included a review of the current challenges to international travel and related restrictions in many countries, and the resulting impacts on a fair and equitable Olympic qualification process.

The main consensus of the feedbacks received on the remaining boxing Olympic qualification process was as follows:

  1. To ensure fair and safest possible conditions for the boxers from all regions, including having the same opportunity to recover and properly prepare for both the qualifiers and, more importantly, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020;
  2. The importance of safeguarding the minimum period of 30 days between consecutive events (i.e. the last Continental Olympic Qualifier and the Final World Qualifier, and the Final World Qualifier and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020), especially given the current situation; and
  3. Additional concerns regarding the ever-evolving travel restrictions, quarantine requirements and governmental policies that could affect the athletes’ preparation timelines, their ability and ability to participate in the Olympic qualifiers and the presence of technical officials at these qualifiers.

The BTF met on 12 February 2021 and reinforced the health and safety of the athletes as the key focus, along with prioritising the Continental Olympic Qualifiers. This prioritisation of the continental events:

  1. Ensures that athletes of all regions have a fair and equal opportunity to qualify;
  2. Increases the time for athlete recovery and appropriate preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, reinforcing the BTF’s focus on medical and safety considerations; and
  3. Protects the BTF rankings and seeding system for the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament.

Therefore, after exploring all possible scenarios, the BTF has decided to restructure the remaining parts of the boxing qualification pathway for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as detailed below.

Completion of continental qualification events

The African and Asian/Oceanian continental qualification events have been completed, and the European qualification event has been partially completed.

European Olympic Qualifier:

The European Olympic Qualifier, initially scheduled to be held in London (GBR) in April 2021, has now been pushed back to June 2021. The location and dates will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Americas Olympic Qualifier:

The Americas Olympic Qualifier has been confirmed to take place in Buenos Aires (ARG) from 10 to 16 May 2021.

Replacement of World Olympic Qualifier with use of BTF rankings

As a consequence of prioritising the Continental Olympic Qualifiers, and the rescheduling of the European Olympic Qualifier, the final stage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic boxing qualification process has been restructured. The final World Olympic Qualifier, scheduled to take place in Paris (FRA) in June 2021, will not be held.

The 53 quota places (32 men and 21 women) planned to be allocated at the final World Olympic Qualifier will now be allocated equally across the four regions (Africa, Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe) and all the weight categories. Following the fundamental principle of universality, one nominal quota (by name) will be allocated to the best ranked athlete not yet qualified per region and per weight category, as per the BTF rankings upon the conclusion of each respective continental event.

This ensures a new reallocation pathway, which is based on international on-field results recorded over the past four years (2017-2021), including but not limited to the BTF Olympic Qualification Events.

To ensure the utmost transparency and integrity of the allocation process, the BTF rankings were reviewed by an external auditor to ensure that all results have been accounted for accurately and in compliance with the BTF’s “Summary on Ranking & Seeding for the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020”.

Athlete Ambassador Mary Kom of India – Olympic bronze medallist (London 2012) and six-time World Champion – added: “I would like to thank the Boxing Task Force for listening to our feedback, and for putting the health and safety of the athletes first in their decision process. BTF events are Olympic qualifiers, we should never forget that. Everybody deserves a fair opportunity to participate and have the appropriate time to recover after a competition and to prepare for the Olympic Games.”

Athlete Ambassador Shelley Watts – a Rio 2016 Olympian and a 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion from Australia – said: “All boxers from all regions should have the same opportunity to prepare, compete and qualify for the games & recover between events. While I feel sorry for the athletes not getting a chance to compete in a Final World qualifier, I 100% support the BTF’s solution to rearrange the qualification pathway to Tokyo 2020 in the best interests of all athletes!”

“This is the best way forward,” continued Athlete Ambassador Lukmon Lawal, London 2012 Olympian and 2011 All Africa Games silver medalist from Nigeria. “The BTF found a way to reorganise the Olympic Qualification path in a transparent manner. The continental qualifiers are protected, and the best boxers in the world will have another chance to qualify for the Games through on-field results accounted in the BTF Ranking.”

2016 Olympic Silver medalist and 2008 World Champ Sarah Ourahmoune, an Athlete Ambassador from France, said: “In my opinion, cancelling the Final World Qualifier and using the BTF World Ranking to distribute the 53 Olympic Quotas is the best option, in today’s context. This ensures that no athlete is excluded from the new qualification pathway to Tokyo 2020. We should not forget how many nations around the world are now facing travel restrictions and quarantine periods that affect boxers’ preparation and ability to compete.”

An updated version of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for Boxing – reflecting the aforementioned changes – will be published as soon as possible following the formal approval of the IOC Executive Board, which is expected by the end of February 2021.



Tokyo 2020 Boxing European Qualifier update

29/01/2021

Lausanne, 2021/01/29 – The Boxing Task Force (BTF), in a virtual meeting conducted yesterday, decided that the European Qualifier for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Boxing tournament will no longer be taking place in London in April.

The decision was taken in light of the current situation and increased travel restrictions to/from the UK and taking into consideration the feedback received from the European Boxing Federations and NOCs. 

The BTF is currently evaluating all possible options (including April in another location) and will provide an update regarding the European Qualifier on 17 February 2021.

The BTF would like to express its gratitude to the British Olympic Association, GB Boxing, UK Sport and all their stakeholders involved for their great commitment and efforts in supporting us during these extremely difficult and ever evolving times.



European boxing qualifier suspended, all results to be valid when the competition resumes

17/03/2020

In light of the constantly changing landscape worldwide, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) decided to suspend the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier in London, Great Britain, after the last bout of the third day of competition on 16 March.

The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event – as well as the subsequent Americas and world qualifiers – amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home.

The BTF’s priority remains the qualification of athletes on the field of play, and it aims to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June.

When it resumes, the European qualifier will pick up from where it was suspended. The official draw, conducted in London on 13 March 2020, and the competition schedule that resulted from this draw, will remain valid and will apply when the event resumes. Only those athletes who were still in the event at the end of the third day of competition will be eligible to participate when the competition resumes. The established results (recorded between 14 and 16 March 2020 in London) will be valid moving forward, and the 16 Olympic quota places earned on 16 March will be valid for the boxing tournament of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Once again, the BTF would like to thank the host nations, the organising committees and all the participants involved for their support and tremendous efforts in dealing with this extraordinary situation.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@olympicboxing.sport.



IOC Boxing Task Force suspends European qualifier in London and all remaining events until May

16/03/2020

In light of the constantly changing landscape worldwide, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) has decided today to suspend the current Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier in London, Great Britain, and the subsequent Americas and final world qualifiers, which were scheduled to take place in May.

The European qualifier, which started on 14 March and was planned to run until 24 March, will be closed after today’s evening session.

Safeguarding the well-being of the athletes, officials and all other participants is a top priority for the BTF. Since the preparation phase of the event, the BTF has been working in close cooperation with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) – the delivery body of the competition – as well as its stakeholders, its own medical experts and the national health authorities, to set up the necessary precautionary measures.

The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event today, amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home.

The BTF will continue to evaluate the situation daily, aiming to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June. The BTF’s priority remains the qualification of athletes on the field of play, and it will inform all stakeholders as soon as more information is available.

At the same time, the IOC is fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as was recently outlined again in the following statement: https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-statement-on-the-olympic-flame-lighting-and- the-olympic-games-tokyo-2020 .

The BTF would like to thank the host nations, the organising committees and all the participants involved for their support and tremendous efforts in dealing with this extraordinary situation.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@olympicboxing.sport

(Find here the IOC Boxing Task Force Statement on the matter, in PDF format)



Great Britain’s Peter McGrail: “The quota is a proud moment for my family and my gym”

16/03/2020

Sixteen European boxers qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Great Britain earned two quota places. One of them was achieved by Great Britain’s European Champion Peter McGrail at the men’s featherweight (57kg) who accomplished his minimum target, the quota for Tokyo.

“I am really proud of the result and to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It was also a very proud moment for my family, my home city and my gym, the Everton Red Triangle. I felt good going into the Qualifiers and had a really good training camp before the start of the event.

I was focused as always; I am in the competitions which is the most important factor in my successes. My opponent for the quota was a very good one from the Czech Republic, he had great movements, but I knew that I can beat him. He is a young talent, but I had the experience to win this contest.

I am expecting good opponents in the Olympic Games and a tough tournament as always. I am really excited to get to Tokyo and I know I have the skills to win these contests in Japan. I really hope that the Olympic Games go ahead as it planned,” said Great Britain’s two-time World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Peter McGrail after earning his quota place to Tokyo.



A bittersweet day 3: 16 quota places awarded for Tokyo 2020 but Olympic boxing qualifiers suspended from Tuesday

16/03/2020

The Boxing Road to Tokyo Olympic European qualifier has been suspended following the last bout of the day on Monday. For more information, please read the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF)’s statement on the suspension here.

It was an extremely long day in London’s Copper Box Arena, and there was a strange feeling in the air as all the fights took place behind closed doors. But the action did play out as scheduled – 55 bouts across five weight categories: women’s fly (48 – 51kg), men’s fly (48 – 52kg), men’s feather (52 – 57 kg), men’s welter (63 – 69kg) and men’s middle (69 – 75kg).

The first bout of the day, in the women’s fly (48 – 51kg), saw Poland’s two-time European Games medallist Sandra DRABIK beat Ukraine’s Rio 2016 Olympian Tetiana KOB. Drabik won the bout 5-0 with some good footwork and angled punches. After the fight, Drabik said:

“I knew my opponent from several previous events; we’ve already met four times before this important contest. I had to move better and I beat her with my footwork and speed. The next fight will be such an important one, and I’ll prepare the best tactics with my coach to realise my goal, which is the quota place for Tokyo.”

In the same weight category, Giordana SORRENTINO (ITA) put in a brilliant performance against number two seed Anush GRIGORYAN (ARM) to claim her second 5-0 victory of these qualifiers. It was the same score, and an important home win, for Charley-Sian DAVISON against her Irish rival, Carly McNAUL, in what was the 100th qualifying fight over the last three days.

Speaking immediately after her bout, Davison said: “It was nice to shake off the ring rust and get the first one out the way. Onto the second one now. I think I boxed well considering I haven’t done it in a while competitively. I’ve only had spars in training but that’s totally different to doing it for real, especially at an Olympic qualifier.”

She added: “I felt I could have been sharper, but I think the nerves were there a little bit. But the first one is always shaky, and now it’s out the way I can perform better next time. I’m always hard on myself and you’ve always got to improve on things; you never stop learning.”

The Republic of Ireland’s Michael NEVIN could be one of the dark horses of these qualifiers. The 2019 European Games bronze medallist used his longer reach against the Netherlands’ experienced Max VAN DER PAS in their middleweight (69 – 75kg) contest.

“I feel that I developed well in recent months after the tough preparation for the qualification event. I was taller than my Dutch opponent and our tactic was based on working from longer distance today. It was such a good fight, and I’m ready for the next one. I didn’t check my draw, just moving ahead step by step in this event, but I’m sure my coaching staff will have the right tactic in the next round,” summarised the Irish boxer following his 4-1 victory.

During the evening session, the first 16 quota places for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were assigned: eight for the men’s fly (48 – 52kg) and eight for the men’s feather (52 – 57kg). Two boxers from the British boxing team earned their tickets to Tokyo – the first being the current light flyweight Commonwealth champion, Galal YAFAI, who got the better of his Russian opponent, Rasul SALIEV, with a unanimous 5-0 win.

After the victory, the Birmingham-born Yafai said: “I always give my best and, today, I showed that. I’m buzzing to come out with the win and my ticket to Tokyo 2020.”

Later on, the number one seed in the men’s feather category (52 – 57kg), Peter McGRAIL, showed his boxing skills in the ring with a comfortable win over Czech boxer Kevin GODLA. “I knew in the back of my mind I was good enough, and now I can tell people I’m actually going to the Olympics,” beamed McGrail, the 2017 European and 2018 Commonwealth champion from Liverpool.

In light of the constantly changing landscape worldwide, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) made the difficult but necessary decision on Monday to suspend the current Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier in London, Great Britain – as well as the subsequent Americas and concluding world qualifiers, which were scheduled to take place in May.

The European qualifier, which started on 14 March and was planned to run until 24 March, officially closed after Monday’s evening session.

Find all the results from day 3 in London here: morning session 5A5B, evening session 6A6B.

Read the IOC Boxing Task Force statement on the suspension, in PDF format.



London’s LOC Statement on Boxing Road to Tokyo Qualifier

15/03/2020

Please find the original statement of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the Boxing Road to Tokio European qualifier in London (GBR) here (click to open). The staement reads:

Due to the changing situation with Coronavirus and concerns for public, athlete and volunteer welfare the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) has taken the decision that from Monday 16 March 2020 the Boxing Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying event at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will take place behind closed doors. This unfortunately means that no spectators will be permitted to attend the event.

The decision comes into force with immediate effect and covers both the 12:00 and 18:00 sessions that are due to take place on Monday 16 March 2020 and all other sessions up until the end of the tournament.

The Local Organising Committee of the Boxing Road to Tokyo event understands the reasons for the decision and apologises to ticket holders for any inconvenience this may cause.

Any customers that also took out an insurance policy with TicketPlan when they purchased their tickets should contact the company direct via the TicketPlan website. The Boxing Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifier will continue to be streamed live on the Olympic Channel and can be viewed at https://oly.ch/2vqhjng



A busy second day at the Copper Box Arena: 50 preliminary bouts in 5 weight categories take place at the European Boxing Olympic Qualifier in London

15/03/2020

A total of 50 bouts took place on Day 2 of the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Olympic Qualifier. The English capital is the stage where 318 athletes (219 men and 99 women) from 43 countries are competing for 77 Olympic quota places in 13 weight categories (eight men’s and five women’s events).

The opening bout of the day saw a dominant performance in Ring A from the Italian, Irma TESTA in the Women’s Feather (54 – 57kg); the current European champion beat a former European silver medallist – Sandra BRUGGER of Switzerland – with a unanimous 5-0 victory. Testa said after the fight:

“I felt good, it was my first bout and the first one is always the most difficult because of the tension. I am now very excited to have the chance to go forward in the tournament; I want to reach at least at the semi-finals and grab my pass for Tokyo.” The 22-year-old Italian added: “My next opponent will be Russia’s Liudmilla VORONTSOVA, who claimed silver in the last Women’s World Boxing Championships, but I defeated her in 2019. She’s more experienced, so I have to be at my best.”

In the Men’s Lightweight (57 – 63kg), Russia’s Gabil MAMEDOV advanced to the next round by defeating his Georgian rival, the U22 European Champion, Lasha GURULI. Mamdeov gave his thoughts after the bout:

“I knew the Georgian boxer well and I built up a strong strategy against him. The first round wasn’t perfect, but I received good advice in the break and improved from the second round. Now I am looking forward to my next bout here (which will be against the number-one seed, Hovhannes BACHKOV of Armenia)”.

Later in the Light Heavyweight (75-81kg), Switzerland’s 27-year-old boxer, Uke SMAJLI, overcame a points penalty, for using his head in the second round, to eventually beat Greece’s Polyneikis KALAMARAS, 4-1. In the same weight category, the tournament’s number four- seeded Umar DZAMBEKOV (AUT) suffered a surprise 3-2 loss. His Croatian opponent, Luka PLANTIC was cheered on by a number of local fans in the Copper Box Arena as he proceeded to the next round.

The 60th bout of the weekend came during the evening session in Ring A, where the number-one seeded boxer in the Women’s Welter (64 – 69kg), Busenaz SURMENELI (TUR), made light work of her opponent, Elina Orvokki GUSTAFSSON (FIN). It was a unanimous 5-0 win for the current world champion from Turkey.

In the same weight category, number 3 seed Angela CARINI (ITA), who won a silver medal at last year’s World Championships in Russia, dominated her bout against the Irish boxer, Christina DESMOND, claiming a unanimous 5-0 win. It was the same result for 38-year-old Karolina KOSZWESKA (POL), who beat Madeline ANGELSEN (NOR). The Polish boxer had a 10-year professional career, took a hiatus and is now back as an amateur hoping to compete in what would be her final Olympic Games.

2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rosie ECCLES (GBR) lost her evening clash against number four-seeded Saadat DALGATOVA (RUS). It was a 4-1 split decision, with four of the judges scoring the bout 29:28 in favour of the Russian.

Find all the results from London’s day-2 here: morning session 3A3B, evening session 4A4B.

Today (Monday 16 March) will see another 55 preliminary bouts at the Copper Box Arena. However due to the changing situation with the coronavirus, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) has made the difficult but necessary decision to hold the rest of the tournament behind closed doors, effective immediately. No spectators will be permitted to attend any of the remaining sessions. The action will begin today at 12 p.m. (find the detailed competition’s schedule here).

Follow the action live

Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Russian. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide for free at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated London qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner platform. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.



Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier starts in London: 35 inaugural bouts at the Copper Box Arena

14/03/2020

The Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifying event, which will see 318 athletes from 43 countries competing for 77 Olympic quota places in 13 weight categories (eight men’s and five women’s events), kicked-off at the Copper Box Arena in East London.

Today, the outstanding 7,500-capacity venue located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, bequeathed by the Olympic Games London 2012, hosted the first 35 bouts of the boxing qualifier.

Women’s Light (57 – 60kg)

Great Britain’s talented teenager, Caroline DUBOIS – the current Youth Olympic Games champion – was first in the ring for her fight against Belarusian Ala STARADUB. All five judges awarded Dubois the victory, even though the 19-year-old admitted afterwards she was “okay, not [her] best” and “can be much better”.

Right after Dubois’ victory, Greek boxer Nikoleta PITA caused a surprise upset by claiming a 4:1 win over the experienced and successful Delfine PERSOON of Belgium. After the fight, Pita said: “I knew my opponent was a professional world champion, so I used the best workable tactic against her, which was based on my footwork. Amateur boxing is different from professional boxing, and I used speed to beat her. I prepared well for this Qualifier and trained hard to accomplish my dreams.”

Men’s Feather (52 – 57kg)

The 24-year-old Italian Francesco MAIETTA suffered a 3:2 split decision defeat against the Czech Republic’s Kevin GODLA, while the Hungarian Roland GALOS won his fight by the same margin against Bosnia’s Alen RAHIMIC.

There was a rapid victory today for Ukraine’s three-time European Championships silver medallist, Mykola BUTSENKO, who won his bout in just 2 minutes and 46 seconds, after a cut against his Danish opponent Frederik JENSEN, caused a stoppage in the first round and the win was given via RSC (Referee Stops the Contest).

Five more bouts were won by unanimous 5:0 decisions today: Arslan KHATAEV (FIN), Samuel KISTOHURRY (FRA), Edgaras SKURDELIS (LTU), Tayfur ALIYEV (AZE) and Artur BAZEYAN (ARM) all advanced to the next round.

Men’s Middle (69 – 75kg)

Azerbaijan’s Kamran SHAKHSUVARLY won plaudits with his 4:1 win over Austrian Edin AVDIC; and a 3:2 split decision handed victory to Moldovan Andrei VREME against Kosovo’s Besart PIREVA.

Women’s Fly (48 – 51kg)

In the evening session, the two-time World Championships silver medallist Stoyka Petrova KRASTEVA (BUL) returned to the ring after a one-year break to beat Aikaterini KOUTSOGEORGOPOULOU (GRE) – it was a familar feeling for the Greek athlete, who lost her quarter-final at last year’s European Games in Minsk to another Bulgarian, Gabriela Dimitrova.

It was comfortable 5:0 victory for the 19-year-old Italian, Giodrana SORRENTINO, who beat her German rival, Ursula GOTTLOB, to advance to the next stage.

Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg)

The last bout of the afternoon session and the 16th of the day, saw Danish boxer Morten GIVSKOV claim a 5:0 win against Romania’s Daniel BURCIU. The most eagerly-anticipated fight of the day was scheduled in the evening between the current Commonwealth Champion, Frazer CLARKE (GBR), and two-time Olympic silver medallist Clemente RUSSO (ITA). But the fans were left disappointed and concerned after the Italian withdrew with an abdominal problem, giving Clarke a walkover victory.

The European qualifying event on the Boxing Road t­o Tokyo will run until 24 March in London – the action will continue today (Sunday 15 March) with 50 more exciting preliminary bouts.

Find all the results from London’s day-1 here: morning session 1A1-B, afternoon session 2A2B.

Tickets now available

Tickets for the Boxing Road to Tokyo in London are on sale online here (click to open link). Prices starts at GBP 5 (adults) and GBP 2.50 (concessions) for weekday sessions.

Follow the action live

Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Russian. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide for free at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated London qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner platform. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.



GB Boxing team targets Tokyo 2020 as Olympic boxing returns to London

13/03/2020

The third stage of the Boxing Road to Tokyo series, the European qualifying event, is about to kick off in London, Great Britain, from 14 to 24 March. The competition will be held at the Copper Box Arena, a legacy venue from the Olympic Games London 2012 that will be used again for this awaited competition.

A total of 318 boxers (219 men and 99 women) from 43 nations have registered to compete in the event which has 77 Olympic quota places at stake.  

Yesterday has been a great opportunity for the national media (among them also BBC and Sky Sport) to meet the 13 members of the GB Boxing Team (10 from England and 3 from Wales) that arrived this morning at the Arena and has been available for interviews and photos. Present this morning and ready to grab their ticket to Tokyo:

MEN

  • Galal Yafai – Flyweight (52kg)
  • Peter McGrail – Featherweight (57kg)
  • Luke McCormack – Light-Welterweight (63kg)
  • Pat McCormack – Welterweight (69kg)
  • Lewis Richardson – Middleweight (75kg)
  • Ben Whittaker – Light-Heavyweight (81kg)
  • Cheavon Clarke – Heavyweight (91kg)
  • Frazer Clarke Super Heavy (+91kg)

WOMEN

  • Charley Davidson – Flyweight (51kg)
  • Karriss Artingstall – Featherweight (57kg)
  • Caroline Dubois – Lightweight (60kg)
  • Rosie Eccies – Welterweight (69kg)
  • Lauren Price – Middleweigh (75kg)

The men are a young group in which seven out of eight have won at least one medal at a Major (European or World) Championship.

The 28 years-old and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Frazer Clarke, said: “It’s a dream of mine to go to the Olympics and I wasn’t just going to give up. I watch motivational videos about never giving up. I’ve put so much into this – 17 years of work. I have a partner and daughter I want to make proud. I am doing this not just for my future but our future.”

He also added: “The other two times I felt like I could have gone to the Games and got the experience. This time I feel like I am a serious competitor. I want to go as a serious competitor, lead the team into Tokyo, act as the elder, set an example and get a gold medal.”

The five women squad includes the recent Middleweight’s World Champion, Lauren Price, joined by the Featherweight World Championship medallist, Karriss Artingstall and 2019 European Championship bronze medallist, class 1996, Rosie Eccles in the Welterweight category.

The 19 years-old, Caroline Dubois, has never compete as a senior yet but has reached outstanding results as a youth: she won the gold medal at the Girls’ lightweight competition at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games. Also, she was named from the BBC, Young Sport Personality of the Year in 2019.

“Being 19 at the Olympics, God willing win the gold, that is not something many have done and is what I want to do. I want people to remember me as a great boxer. Not as one of the best female boxers but one of the best boxers, period. I want people to recognise that I am good and be inspired by me.” Dubois explains.

Tickets now available

Tickets for the Boxing Road to Tokyo in London are on sale online here (click to open link). Prices starts at GBP 5 (adults) and GBP 2.50 (concessions) for weekday sessions.

Follow the action live

Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Russian. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide for free at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated London qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner platform. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.