By Martin Petty
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Boxing will begin with a clear slate for the Tokyo Olympics following an acrimonious contest on the 2016 Video games, with the game’s troubled governing physique and all 36 of the Rio officers barred from any involvement within the competitors.
With a historical past courting again to the traditional Olympics and bouts at each Video games previously century, boxing’s ardour, recognition and place on the Olympics is never in query, however persistent disputes over judging high quality have blighted successive contests.
A particular job pressure working the Tokyo competitors rather than the suspended Worldwide Boxing Affiliation (AIBA) is raring to win again belief of boxers and groups by guaranteeing honest fights and constant scoring to maintain allegations of foul play to a minimal.
New transparency measures have been launched underneath boxing job pressure chief Morinari Watanabe, comparable to displaying every choose’s scores on the finish of every spherical and unbiased third-party supervision, vetting and collection of judges and referees.
Watanabe, a boxing newcomer who additionally heads the Worldwide Gymnastics Federation, has stated the game wanted to reorganise to earn the boldness of its rivals.
AIBA, underneath new management, has promised reforms to repair monetary and governance points to be recognised once more by the Worldwide Olympic Committee earlier than the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Boxing will happen from July 24 to Aug. 8 at Tokyo’s Kokugikan Area, the non secular dwelling of sumo wrestling and in current weeks a website for COVID-19 vaccinations.
The competitors will characteristic extra ladies fighters, with 5 weight divisions, up from three in Rio, and the lads’s contest lowered from 10 to eight divisions, in an effort to handle a gender imbalance.
Apart from the judges, a lot stays the identical as in Rio, with a 10-must scoring system and three, three-minute rounds and professionals allowed to compete.
Regardless of the pandemic interrupting qualifying competitions, a powerful area is predicted with massive groups from Russia, Britain and Uzbekistan – a winner of seven gold medals on this yr’s Asian championship and joint high with Cuba with three Rio golds.
Uzbek flyweight Shakhobidin Zoirov has a title to defend from Rio, as does Cuba’s Julio Cesar La Cruz, a light-heavyweight or heavyweight.
One other contender is Filipino middleweight Eumir Marcial, an expert signed by the promotions firm of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who has been giving Marcial recommendation and final week tipped him to take dwelling the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold.
As reigning world and European champion, Britain’s Lauren Worth is a contender for the ladies’s middleweight title, whereas 38-year-old Mary Kom, a parliamentarian and Asian, Commonwealth and six-time world champion from India, might have her final shot at an elusive Olympic gold within the flyweight.
(Enhancing by Peter Rutherford)