The Rio 2016 Olympic Boxing tournament begins on 6 August, with 74 nations represented by at least one boxer. Great Britain and Kazakhstan will send the largest teams, both with twelve boxers across the thirteen men’s and women’s weight categories, but which country has traditionally been the strongest in the history of the Games?
By far the most successful over the years has been the United States, with an unparalleled record of 110 medals including 50 golds. That does, however, take into account the 1904 Games in St Louis at which 19 medals, including 7 golds, were awarded and the only participants were all Americans. In more recent years, Claressa Shields’ middleweight gold at London 2012 was only the team’s second Olympic title since Oscar Da La Hoya in 1992.
Second on the list, but undoubtedly the dominant force in modern-day Olympic Games competition, is Cuba. Since the country’s first gold medals in 1972, the team has gone on to amass 34 titles, including an incredible 7 gold medals at the Barcelona 1992 Games alone, and looks almost certain to add to that tally with a strong squad heading to Rio.
Third on the list of all-time medal winners is Great Britain. A traditional boxing nation with a total of 53 medals including 17 gold, the London 1908 Games has also slightly skewed the history books in its favour, but the young team is currently enjoyed something of a renaissance and will send one of its strongest teams in recent times to Rio 2016.
Italy, the Soviet Union and Hungary have all won at least ten Olympic Boxing golds, while Russia, Poland, Argentina and Kazakhstan are also in the Top 10.