The Olympic boxing competition features 10 men’s weight categories, from light flyweight (46-49kg) to super heavyweight (over 91kg). Women’s boxing features medals in three weights: flyweight (48-51kg), lightweight (57-60kg) and middleweight (69-75kg).
Boxers compete against opponents in the same weight class in a raised ring that is 6.1m square. In the Olympic Games, men’s bouts take place over three three-minute rounds, with women’s bouts held over four rounds of two minutes each. Boxers attempt to land blows above the waist on the front part of their opponent’s head or body using the front, knuckle part of their gloves, in order to score points.
Five judges count both the blows and the fouls committed. Fouls include hitting below the belt, tripping or kicking, using the ropes to help attack or passively defending. If, as a result of a blow, a boxer falls, is outside or partly outside the ropes, is hanging on the ropes or is semi-conscious and unable to defend himself, the referee separates the boxers and begins a countdown. If the boxer is unable to continue after ten seconds, his opponent wins. Otherwise, the bout resumes after eight seconds (a standing eight count). Three standing eight counts in a round or four in the bout against one of the boxers automatically ends the bout. If the bout lasts four rounds, the judges’ scores determine the winner. The winner of each bout advances to the next round.
The winners from the two semifinals in each weight category fight for the gold medal, while the losers of the two semifinals are awarded a bronze.