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.