Tokyo 2020 Boxing tournament kicks-off at the Kokugikan Arena

TOKYO, JAPAN – FEBRUARY 27: A general view of the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena. The historic Sumo wrestling venue will host the Boxing competitions during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on February 27, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Boxing tournament kicks off today at the Kokugikan Arena, an indoor sporting venue widely recognized as the spiritual home of the Japanese national sport of Sumo wrestling. There, 276 bouts will be contested in 13 weight categories (eight men’s and five women’s events) from 24 July through 8 August.

Today, two sessions and twenty-seven bouts will be contested, in the Women’s Feather (54-57kg), Women’s Welter (64-69kg), Men’s Feather (52-57kg), Men’s Welter (63-69kg), Men’s Heavy (81-91kg) and Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg) weight classes (find the Draw sheets here).

Both Women’s events scheduled for today will make their Olympic debut on the ring of the Kukugikan Arena.

Women’s Feather reigning world champion Nesthy PETECIO (PHI) will be the first to get on the ring today, hoping to win the maiden Olympic gold medal. PETECIO can potentially hand Philippines its sixth Olympic boxing medal and its first in a women’s event. The most recent boxer representing Philippines to collect an Olympic medal was Mansueto VELASCO (PHI, silver) in the men’s light flyweight in 1996.

As in Rio, professionals will face amateurs here in Tokyo. “It’s a great initiative to involve the professional boxers in the Olympic Games,” said heavyweight David NYIKA (NZL), during yesterday’s IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) press conference. “It gets rid of some of the stigma around professional versus amateur boxing. I have boxed as a professional-amateur for seven years now and I don’t feel like there are many professionals that can beat me over three rounds. It just goes to show how hard athletes in amateur boxing work to get to this level.”

Event schedule and results

Find the event schedule and the results here.  

IOC BTF introduced to international media at Tokyo 2020 Press Conference


The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) took the opportunity to explain the journey that brought 289 boxers from 81 delegations to Tokyo 2020 during a press conference held at Main Press Centre, earlier today in Tokyo.

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell, the Chair of the IOC Boxing Task Force Watanabe Morinari, and the Head of IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) Lenny Abbey were joined at the table by female boxer and Ireland’s flagbearer Kellie Harrington (women’s Light 57-60kg) and BTF’s Athlete Ambassador David Nyika of New Zealand (men’s Heavy 81-91kg).

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell, speaking about the IOC Boxing Task Force journey, said:

“We wanted to find a solution for the boxers, to have boxing here in Tokyo. Everything is being done to not only allow boxing to stay in the Games for Tokyo, but to put the focus on the athletes themselves.”

He then added: “We also were very keen to use the opportunity to promote gender equality in boxing, and I think that’s been shown each step of the way again. We went from 36 women in Rio to what will finally be 102 female boxers here in Tokyo. Also increasing the number of (female) weight categories from three in Rio to five here in Tokyo. On the technical official side, we’ve significantly increased the number of female officials in 14 international technical officials here out of 58 which has been a big jump also from previous Games.”

Concerning the boxing scoring system introduced by the BTF, McConnell added:

“As you’ll see here in Tokyo, and it has been the same with each of the qualifiers, the scores will be publicly displayed at the end of each round, not just at the end of the fight. We think this is really a step forward so the boxers know what’s happening with the scoring at the end of each round, everyone knows how the scoring is being done round by round.

“We’ve also put in place more objective and transparent referee and judging criteria and selection process. That’s been done at each of the qualifiers and had really strong, positive feedback after each of the qualifying events we’ve had, from the boxers themselves including the very experienced Olympic boxers involved in those Olympic qualification events.

“We’ve also put in place mandatory prevention and education courses around competition manipulation. So, every qualified athlete, every qualified team official, and every qualified technical official here in Tokyo has gone through that training and education.”

The Chair of the Boxing Task Force, Watanabe Morinari talked about the BTF mission:

“We arrive here after a long journey. The BTF has done as much as possible during the time available to protect the integrity of the sports and to ensure the athletes have a fair field of play on which to compete.

“The BTF focus for the next 16 days, is to ensure the boxers are able to compete at their best on a fair field of play.”

Head of the BTF, Lenny Abbey, answered questions on the changes introduced by the BTF in the referees and judges selection process:

“We took a very extensive process when it came to deciding how we would consider the eligible pool of technical officials for all of the qualification events and the Olympic Games. We started off with background checks, and those that past the background checks had extensive exams on integrity. We have explained to them what is expected. We amended the regulations to provide more clarity on what we expect when it comes to judging and scoring.”

“The refereeing and judging and selection of every technical official for the qualifying events was random. When it comes to the section of referees and judges at a specific qualification event that is also done randomly from a system. There is no human involvement in that.” 

Kellie Harringon touched on the point of increased gender equity and transparency:

“From London to Rio, there were only three women’s Olympic events, and now here in Tokyo we have five. It opens the door to a lot of more female athletes who thought that they hadn’t got a shot at getting to an Olympic Games, and now here they are, and here I am also. So that’s just been fantastic.”

“In regards to the scores being displayed after every round, I think that’s absolutely positive. I never know whether I win or lose a fight, anyway. But it does help to know if you are up or down. I could be winning clearly, and I will come back thinking: am I winning or losing? You never know when you are inside (the ring) what’s happening.

BTF Athlete Ambassador David Nyika commented on the Boxing Road to Tokyo qualification:

“I can say as an athlete, as a competitor, and as a spectator, that these qualifying tournaments have been absolutely spot on. I’ve never felt safer and in better hands than I have since the IOC stepped in and took charge.” 

On the topic of refereeing and judging, the New Zeeland’s athlete added:

“I know I’m not the only athlete who feels that in the past they’ve been on the receiving end of unfair judging, unfair referring, so this is a massive step in the right direction and I really hope that these changes that are being implemented can stand strong and continue to be a part in our sport. I get a lot of comfort knowing that the BTF is taking this role very seriously”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Boxing Tournament will start tomorrow with two sessions and 27 bouts on the ring of the Kokugikan Arena.

Tokyo 2020: Official Draw and Sport Entries Check


The Tokyo 2020 Boxing Official Draw took place today, at the Kokugikan Arena (the boxing competition venue), where 276 bouts will be contested in 13 weight categories (eight men’s and five women’s events) from 24 July through 8 August.

Find the complete Official Draw results here:

Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg)Draw Sheet 
Men’s Heavy (81-91kg)Draw Sheet 
Men’s Light Heavy (75-81kg)Draw Sheet 
Men’s Middle (69-75kg)Draw Sheet 
Men’s Welter (63-69kg)Draw Sheet 
Men’s Light (57-63kg)Draw Sheet 
Men’s Feather (52-57kg)Draw Sheet 
Men’s Fly (48-52kg)Draw Sheet 
Women’s Middle (69-75kg)Draw Sheet 
Women’s Welter (64-69kg)Draw Sheet 
Women’s Light (57-60kg)Draw Sheet 
Women’s Feather (54-57kg)Draw Sheet 
Women’s Fly (48-51kg)Draw Sheet 

The Official Draw followed the Boxing Sports Entries Check, that was held today at the Team Processing Center of the Olympic Village. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Boxing Tournament will see 289 athletes (102 women boxers and 187 male boxers) from 80 National Olympic Committees and the Refugee Olympic Team competing on the ring of the Kokugikan Arena.

Event schedule and results

Find the event schedule and the results here.  

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

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 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.   

Tokyo 2020 boxing Olympic qualifying path to be restructured


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


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.

Boxing legend Klitschko announced as “IOC Boxing Task Force Champion”


Atlanta 1996 Olympic champion Wladimir Klitschko (UKR) has been announced today as the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) Champion.

The super-heavyweight legend will join the BTF along with the 10 Athlete Ambassadors, who were nominated earlier this year in an effort to promote the athletes’ voice by engaging with the athletes face-to-face at the competition venues as well as through digital channels on issues that are most prevalent within the boxing community.

Klitschko will be engaging with athletes and fans at selected Boxing Road to Tokyo qualifying events, and across digital channels, helping the BTF to spread the values of boxing and fair play.

Klitschko said: “I had the chance of taking part in the Olympic Games in 1996. That participation was the origin of my further career – and in some way made me the person I am today. Now I want to give back what I received and support the initiative for boxers to keep getting the same chances I had and be part of the next Olympic Games.”

The BTF was created by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in June 2019. This followed a decision by the IOC Session to keep boxing on the sports programme for Tokyo 2020, but to suspend IOC recognition of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) due to concerns over finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging.

The IOC EB gave the Boxing Task Force the mandate to organise and deliver the five qualification events for boxing and the Olympic boxing competition in Tokyo, and to develop a Tokyo 2020 qualification system for boxing. The overarching goal of the BTF is to minimise any disruption for the athletes and to create a clear, just and fair pathway for boxers to realise their dream of competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The Tokyo 2020 tournament will feature 286 boxers (186 men, 100 women) competing in 13 weight classes (eight for men, five for women). Olympic Quota Places will be awarded during the Boxing Road to Tokyo, which comprises four continental qualifiers to be held in Dakar, Senegal (20-29 February), Amman, Jordan (Asian/Oceanian qualifier, 3-11 March), London, Great Britain (European qualifier, 14-24 March) and Buenos Aires, Argentina (Americas qualifier, 26 March–3 April). A fifth and last competition, the Final World Qualifying Event, will be held in Paris, France, from 13 to 20 of May.

The qualifiers will be broadcast by the Olympic Channel, through multi-platform coverage that will include live streaming of all bouts across all weight categories from the first day of competition through to the finals for each event. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide at and its apps for mobile and connected TV devices. Find additional information and updates on the events at