The official draw for the 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships took place at the Rixos Hotel in Astana, Kazakhstan on Wednesday afternoon, following the official weigh-in earlier in the day. AIBA Competition Supervisor Mr Yue Yan confirmed that 285 boxers from 64 nations will take part in the eight-day competition, with the preliminary rounds getting underway on Thursday afternoon at the city’s famous Barys Arena.

Day one will see 35 rounds of boxing across two sessions, including action in the Olympic categories of flyweight, lightweight and middleweight. With the final Rio 2016 quota places awarded to the semi-finalists at each of the three categories, the Quarter-Finals on 24 May will assume extra significance.

Ireland’s five-time Lightweight World Champion Katie Taylor is among the boxers still looking to confirm a Rio quota spot in Astana. She will have a tough opening match as she begins the defence of her title on Saturday night against the winner of the Day One bout between Italy’s Irma Testa and Swedish Youth World Champion Agnes Alexiusson. Success for Taylor would set her on course for a potential semi-final showdown with France’s Estelle Mossely, with both boxers desperate to reach the last four and secure their place at Rio 2016.

Another of the biggest names in women’s boxing, India’s Mary Kom, will be in action early on Day One as she takes the first steps along the path to a potential record sixth world title. The afternoon session also features American Virginia Fuchs, while Great Britain’s Savannah Marshall and Azerbaijan’s Elena Vystropova will meet in the pick of the opening middleweight round, a repeat of the 2012 World Championship final.

“The stage is now set for a superb two weeks of boxing with some intriguing bouts already drawn. The competition will only get tougher as we get closer to the finals, and we are ready to stage an unforgettable ninth Women’s World Championships in Astana,” declared AIBA Competition Supervisor Mr Yue Yan following the draw.

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