The final spots in boxing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be decided at the Road To Tokyo Europe qualifying event in Paris from 4-8 June.
Last March, the qualifier started in London before being suspended due to the escalating COVID-19 crisis.
Since then, both the Americas qualifier and scheduled final World qualifier were cancelled with Boxing Task Force rankings determining who will complete the line-up in Tokyo.
Now the top boxers in Europe will battle it out to secure passage to the Games beginning on 23 July, with every minute of every round streamed live on olympics.com.
In the three days of action in London last March, 16 men booked their places in Tokyo by reaching the quarter-finals of the flyweight (48-52kg) and featherweight (57kg) classes.
The flyweights were:
Billal Bennama (FRA), Sakhil Alakherdovi (GEO), Brendan Irvine (IRL), 2019 European Games winner Gabriel Escobar (ESP), Galal Yafai (GBR), Koryun Soghomonyan (ARM), Cosmin Girleanu (ROM) and Batuham Ciftci (TUR).
The qualified featherweights are:
2017 European champion Peter McGrail (GBR), Roland Galos (HUN), Samuel Kistohurry (FRA), Tayfur Aliyev (AZE), Mykola Butsenko (UKR), Jose Quiles (ESP), Albert Batyrgaziev (ROC) and Hamsat Shadalov (GER).
A further 61 boxers – 34 men and 27 women – will make it to Tokyo via these through the qualifiers with an unknown number qualifying thanks to their position in the Boxing Task Force rankings should they not reach the latter stages in Paris.
The breakdown is as follows:
Lightweight (63kg) – 8, Welterweight (69kg) – 6, Middleweight (75kg) – 6, Light heavyweight (81kg) – 6, Heavyweight (91kg) – 4, Super heavyweight (+91kg) – 4.
Flyweight (48-51kg) – 6, Featherweight (57kg) – 6, Lightweight (60kg) – 6, Welterweight (69kg) – 5, Middleweight (75kg) – 4.
Where there are five or six qualifying berths, box-offs between losing quarter-finalists will be required to determined who makes the cut for Tokyo.
Europe Boxing Qualifier Venue
The remainder of the Europe Qualifier will be staged at Le Grand Dome in Villebon-sur-Yvette, 20km south-west of Paris.
Le Grand Dome is owned by the French Federation of Judo, Jujitsu, Kendo and Associated Disciplines (FFJDA) and holds 6,400 spectators, although this event will be closed to the public.
The FFJDA bought the arena from the local government in early 2018, but costs associated with the pandemic have forced a rethink of plans to make it a national centre for judo and other martial arts.
History of European boxers at the Olympics
While Cuba and the United States remain clear at the top of the all-time medal table for boxing at the Olympic Games, European countries (including the old Soviet Union) fill the next six spaces.
The Asian former Soviet states of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have become amateur boxing superpowers, but Russia remains competitive along with the likes of France and Britain.
Ukraine is also a nation to be feared with Oleksandr Usyk and two-time gold medallist Vasyl Lomachenko both victorious at London 2012 before becoming standouts in the pro ranks, following the path of Atlanta 1996 super-heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko.
Oleksandr Usyk wins London 2012 heavyweight gold
Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell both won gold on home soil in London, but Europe claimed just two golds in the Rio boxing tournament courtesy of French super-heavyweight Tony Yoka and Russian heavyweight Evgeny Tishchenko.
Laszlo Papp was the first boxer to win three Olympic gold medals, the Hungarian taking middleweight gold at London 1948 before winning the light-middleweight title in Helsinki and again at Melbourne 1956.
Only Cubans Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon have matched that feat.
Laszlo Papp’s historic hat-trick of Olympic titles
The introduction of women’s boxing at London 2012 has certainly helped Europe’s medal haul with the continent claiming four out of six golds so far.
Nicola Adams was the first women to win Olympic boxing gold and the British flyweight retained her title in Rio before turning pro.
Katie Taylor won lightweight gold in London with France’s Estelle Mossely keeping the gold medal in Europe.
Katie Taylor sends Irish fans wild at London 2012
Europe Boxing Qualifier Schedule
There will be five days of boxing from 4-8 June with action across two rings for the first four days.
Of course, you can see all the action live and uninterrupted on olympics.com.
All times Paris local – CEST (GMT+2)
Friday 4 June
Afternoon session (14:00-16:45)
Women’s middleweight preliminaries, men’s welterweight preliminaries, men’s light heavyweight preliminaries.
Evening session (18:00-21:00)
Women’s featherweight preliminaries, women’s welterweight preliminaries, men’s middleweight preliminaries.
Saturday 5 June
Afternoon session (14:00-17:00)
Men’s lightweight preliminaries, men’s heavyweight preliminaries, men’s super heavyweight preliminaries.
Evening session (18:00-21:00)
Women’s flyweight quarter-finals, women’s lightweight quarter-finals, women’s welterweight quarter-finals, women’s middleweight quarter-finals, men’s flyweight quarter-finals, men’s light heavyweight quarter-finals.
Sunday 6 June
Afternoon session (14:00-16:00)
Women’s featherweight quarter-finals, men’s featherweight quarter-finals, men’s welterweight quarter-finals, men’s middleweight quarter-finals.
Evening session (18:00-19:45)
Women’s welterweight box-off qualification, men’s lightweight quarter-finals, men’s heavyweight quarter-finals, men’s super heavyweight quarter-finals.
Monday 7 June
Afternoon session (14:00-16:15)
Women’s flyweight semi-finals, women’s featherweight semi-finals. women’s lightweight semi-finals, women’s welterweight semi-finals, women’s middleweight semi-finals, men’s flyweight semi-finals, men’s welterweight semi-finals, men’s middleweight semi-finals, men’s light heavyweight semi-finals.
Evening session (18:00-20:45)
Women’s flyweight box-offs, women’s featherweight box-offs, women’s lightweight box-offs, women’s welterweight box-off, men’s featherweight semi-finals, men’s lightweight semi-finals, men’s welterweight box-offs, men’s middleweight box-offs, men’s heavyweight semi-finals, men’s super heavyweight semi-finals.
Tuesday 8 June
Afternoon session (14:00-15:30)
Women’s flyweight final, women’s lightweight final, women’s middleweight final, men’s flyweight final, men’s welterweight final, men’s light heavyweight final.