Olympics 2012: a beginner’s guide to women’s boxing

Did you know the earliest recorded women's bout took place in 1722 near Oxford Circus?

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Women’s boxing makes its Olympic bow at London 2012, although it did feature as a demonstration sport at the 1904 Games in St Louis. It was then banned in many countries and only resurfaced due to legal challenges in the 1970s and 80s.

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The format is slightly different from the men’s competition — bouts consist of four two-minute rounds (not three of three), and competitors wear chest protectors as well as head guards.

This country has a venerable tradition in women’s boxing — the earliest recorded bout took place in 1722 at an inn near Oxford Circus. But the British Amateur Boxing Association didn’t allow females to fight under its auspices until 1996. Demeaning folly or enlightened recognition of equality? You decide. Johnny Acton

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Last-16 bouts from 1:30pm BBC1, BBC Olympics 12