60 men competing in the ten Olympic weight categories, will be World Series of Boxing and AIBA Pro Boxing stars, including Brazil’s hopeful Robson Conceicao and Kazakhstan’s legendary Vassiliy Levit. Among the women competing in the three female weight categories are two major middleweight talents – AIBA Women’s World Champion Claressa Shields and Netherlands’ 2015 European Games winner Nouchka Fontijn.
“As we draw nearer to 2016 and what is likely to be one of the most spectacular Olympic Games of all time, this is the perfect moment for the boxers and organisers to take part in a test event held by Rio 2016 Organising Committee,” said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. “The boxers and the city alike are entering the final stages of preparations for the world’s biggest sporting event, and we want to give men’s and women’s boxing the perfect platform for the enjoyment of fans around the world.”
The event will provide Brazilian sports fans with a sneak preview of the kind of talent they can expect to see in the ring in Rio next year. Thirteen of those taking part in the men’s test event have already secured their place to compete on the world’s biggest stage in 2016. Among those who will be hoping to make a swift return are Cuba’s London 2012 gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez and Kazakhstan’s super-heavyweight hero Ivan Dychko.
The women’s flyweight competition will see the return of India’s five-time World Champion Mary Kom, returning to the ring after injury. Brazil’s own Olympic medalist Adriana Araujo will be hoping to put in a confidence-boosting performance in front of the home fans, with Estelle Mossely and England’s Chantelle Cameron looking to leave their mark in the city.
“Our preparations have gone well and we are excited not just to stage the Olympic Boxing competition, but to have such a strong team ready to compete,” said Brazil Boxing Federation President Mauro Silva. “Our sport is enjoying huge popularity at the moment in Brazil, and if the home fans inspire our athletes to gold medals it will be an experience that nobody will ever forget.”
In parallel to the competition, AIBA will be taking its #HeadsUp! Charter to Brazil to be signed by Mr Silva to ensure the successful roll out of the initiative locally. Launched at the 2015 World Championships in Doha and committed to grassroots development of boxing and its aim to promote boxers’ safety and training as well as creating a more sustainable career platform for athletes.
AIBA with the local organising committee will also organise an engagement event on 3 December in Rio with presence of elite boxer’s for the joy of local fans.