We’re excited with the Games just around the corner this summer so here we’ll feature 5 Top Boxers to Fight at the Rio Olympics!
Boxing as we know it has been around for hundreds of years and was introduced into the Olympic games in the 7th Century BC, way before our time. The sport has evolved and now the prestige of transitioning from the amateur to the professional ranks is why many of these fighters do what they do, consider that top class boxers earn more than any other sportsmen in the world! The Cubans have long ruled amateur boxing with the legend Mario Kindelan being a great example especially in his last Olympics in Athens where he defeated UK’s Amir Khan for the gold medal. Now let’s look at some movers and shakers!
1. Roniel Iglesias from Cuba (Welterweight)
A gold medalist at the London Olympics in the light welterweight class, Iglesias carries a strong pedigree and reputation. A bronze medalist in Beijing, he has won medals in the last two Olympics and is a big favourite to win another. Note, he also captured silver at the Pan American Games in 2015 which qualified him for Rio.
2. Lawrence Okolie from Great Britain (Heavyweight)
He has been described as the new star of British boxing but only time will tell! British heavyweight boxing has been a hit in the last couple of years with Great Britain producing the likes of Anthony Joshua and David Price. Okolie is hoping to become a big household name come summer 2016!
He booked his spot at at the Turkish champions semi-final by stopping his Turkish foe in the first round. In only 23 amateur bouts, Okolie has become one of the quickest rising stars of British boxing in recent times.
3. Shakur Stevenson from USA (Bantamweight)
At the age of 18, Shakur Stevenson is one of the youngest boxers on the US team and his style has been compared to that of Floyd Mayweather. He is favourite to end the drought of medals for the USA as they have not won a single boxing medal since Beijing 2008. You might be thinking that the country that produced Sly Stallone’s “Rocky” boxing franchise would know a thing or two about getting motivated enough, perhaps? Anyway, the great news is Stevenson’s current international record for the US is 17-0.
4. Clemente Russo from Italy (Heavyweight)
One of the most successful Italian boxers of recent times, Clemente Russo is a veteran of the Olympic Games and boasts silver medals at both Beijing and London but won gold at the world amateur championships. This year Clemente will be hoping to finally clinch that gold medal at Rio as it’s eluded him at the last hurdle in the last two Games!
5. Nicola Adams from Great Britain (Flyweight)
Being the first female to win a boxing title, Adams goes down in the history books. That occurred in London 2012 where she won gold in the flyweight division. In the last 7 years Adams has won 3 silver medals and 5 gold medals at major games tournaments and is favourite alongside Ren Cancan to win a gold this year.
Boxing is a very disciplined and demanding sport that uses psycho spatial, motor and even to some extent dancing skills all at once. Keep an eye on the above competitors and expect to see traded some stunning shots!