The year in amateur boxing

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AT last, after far too long a wait, amateur boxing has clarity. It will have an Olympic future, even if the role of governing body AIBA in that future is currently uncertain. The International Olympic Committee set up a boxing task force to administer the qualifying events for Tokyo 2020 and the boxing tournament itself in Japan, due to concerns about AIBA’s governance, finance and officiating.

It meant though that it was only this year, very late in the Olympic cycle really, that there was confirmation on what divisions were going to be contested and that some of the weights were changing. Male categories are being reduced from 10 to eight, with women’s divisions increasing from three to five. The competition rules will remain essentially the same, though now it has been decided that the judges’ scores will be revealed after each round. After a litany of scoring controversies none of the officials from Rio 2016 will be used. But after seemingly endless political wrangling, in 2020 the boxing itself can re-occupy the limelight (even if the Russian boxing federation has threatened to boycott the next Olympics if doping sanctions against representing the country aren’t overturned. That will be another developing story.).

For British boxing 2019 itself has been a banner year. As performance director Rob McCracken celebrated his 10 years at the helm, for the current squad there was success across the board at European Games and World championships for both the men’s and women’s teams.

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