Boxing at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021 will be the sport’s most gender-equal Olympic competition ever, with two extra women’s weight divisions.
Mary Kom has qualified for another Olympic Games, but can the six-time world champion finally get the Olympic gold that still eludes her?
Here, we take a closer look at the athletes in contention for the medals and take in some Olympic history in our guide to Olympic boxing at Tokyo 2020.
Boxing’s continental Olympic qualification tournaments are being managed by the IOC Boxing Task Force.
The Africa and Asia-Oceania tournaments concluded before the coronavirus-enforced global lockdown, while the Europe, Americas and World events will be completed in the coming months.
On the men’s side, watch out for Uzbekistan’s accomplished team. Reigning Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov is odds on to retain his flyweight title, while world champions Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (featherweight) and Bakhodir Jalolov (super heavyweight) will have their eyes on a maiden Olympic title.
Andy Cruz of Cuba is the reigning light welterweight world champion, and big things are expected of him in the Olympic lightweight division.
Britain’s Pat McCormack will be looking to light up the welterweights, while we are set for a fascinating tussle in the middleweight category between Filipino Eumir Marcial, and Oleksandr Khyzhniak - the Ukranian being called ‘the new Vasyl Lomachenko’.
Elsewhere, Russian heavyweight Muslim Gadzhimagomedov will be quietly confident of adding Olympic gold to his world and European titles.
Six-time world champion Mary Kom will be the most experienced female boxer in Tokyo, but will have to overcome talented Chinese Taipei pugilist Huang Hsiao-wen to win the flyweight division.
Huang’s compatriot Lin Yu-ting is one to watch in the featherweights, while another Chinese Taipei fighter in Wu Shih-yi and Ireland’s Kellie Harrington are favourites to meet in the lightweight final.
World champion Lauren Price will hold Britain’s best hope of winning Olympic gold, in the middleweight event.
All times are Japan Standard Time (GMT/UTC+9)
The competition will take place from 24 July - 8 August 2021.
20 Feb 2020 - 8 Jun 2021
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournaments
Dakar, Amman, London, Buenos Aires, Paris
Boxing has the honour of being hosted at Tokyo’s Kokugikan Arena, which is the spiritual home of Japan’s national sport of sumo wrestling.
The arena is bowl-shaped, meaning all 7,300 fans will have an excellent view of the ring action in the centre of the auditorium.
The boxing competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021 will have two fewer men’s weight divisions and two additional women’s divisions compared to Rio 2016.
Women will compete in five categories, including fly (51kg), feather (57kg), light (60kg), welter (69kg), and middle (75kg).
The eight men's brackets will be fly (52kg), feather (57kg), light (63kg), welter (69kg), middle (75kg), light heavyweight (81kg), heavy (91kg), and super heavy (91+ kg).
Another major recent change to the rules sees the possibility of professional boxers winning medals in Tokyo. Prior to the 2016 Games, only amateurs were allowed to take part. None made it past the last-16 in Rio.
Boxing has featured at every modern Olympic Games since St. Louis 1904, with the exception of Stockholm 1912.
Women's events were added to the programme at London 2012.
Some of the world’s greatest-ever athletes have graduated from the Olympic boxing’s previously amateur ranks, including gold medallists Muhammad Ali (previously Cassius Clay - gold, Rome 1960), George Foreman (gold, Mexico City 1968), Sugar Ray Leonard (gold, Montreal 1976), Wladimir Klitschko (gold, Atlanta 1996), Floyd Mayweather (brzone, Atlanta 1996), and Anthony Joshua (gold, London 2012) to name but a few.
At Rio 2016, rule changes meant that male boxers were no longer required to wear protective headgear in competition, although they remained mandatory for women.
The amateur-only rule was changed for Rio, where professional boxers were allowed to compete for the first time.
The most consistently successful countries in boxing have been the United States (50 gold medals), and Cuba (37).
At Moscow 1980, Cuban legend Teofilo Stevenson made Olympic history by becoming the first boxer to earn the gold medal in the same division three times.
Every gold medallist in Olympic women's boxing so far has come from Europe and the United States.