How Many Pro Boxers Are Competing in the Tokyo Olympics 2021?

Published 07/24/2021, 1:52 PM EDT


Professional boxers have been competing in the Olympics since 2016. This decision received criticism and backlash from boxing purists and cross-field experts. Many argued that letting pro-boxers compete in the Olympics would make it is unfair for most amateur fighters. With no further modifications in this rule, pro-boxers will compete for gold this year as well in the Tokyo Olympics.

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Big names in the sport like Freddie Roach have voiced their displeasure over including pro boxers in the games. Many experts believe the Olympics is a launchpad for professional careers for many amateur athletes. However, pro-boxers entering the games to increase their record and gain medals reduces the chances for new and amateur boxers.

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As per recent reports, 286 boxers will compete in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Out of the total count, 36 men and 7 women have competed professionally before. At the 2020 Olympics, pro boxers will account for 7% of the 100 women, 19% of the 186 men, and 15% of the entire Tokyo group. This is a significant increase from just three professional pugilists at the 2016 events in Rio de Janeiro.

Pro boxers in Tokyo Olympics 2020

An Associated Press assessment suggested that the ‘threat’ of pro-boxers on amateur athletes is not as significant and as pervasive as many experts have made it out to be. Most of the prizefighters this year have very limited professional experience; 23 out of the 43 pro boxers in the Tokyo Olympics have less than three non-amateur fights.

Despite criticism against including professional boxers, this rule can help young pro athletes balance their professional mode of boxing along with getting more chances at enhancing their record.

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Turning pro developed me into a more complete fighter, and I’m coming back as an amateur with no pressure. I loved my taste of pro boxing, and I’m bringing that back to the Olympics,” said American boxer Keyshawn Davis.

Heavyweight boxer David Nyika shared that competing professionally helped him earn from boxing. He said that all competing nations do not have sufficient funding for supporting athlete training sessions. Nyika added that his pro-bouts helped him with staying motivated and also earning enough money at the same time.

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What do you think of including pro boxers in the Olympics?

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Sanjit Misra

454 articles

Sanjit Misra is a boxing author at EssentiallySports. Sanjit fused this passion for writing with his love for jabs, hooks, weaves, and uppercuts and entered the realm of boxing journalism. The elegance, the science, the techniques, and the finesse of hand-to-hand combat was what initially drew him into the world of boxing.

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