Boxing tips for the Olympics: Five promising fighters from around the world
Lee Gormley | August 5, 2016
Boxing tips for the Olympics
Boxing has long been one of the most exhilarating and intense sports on show at the Olympics, having made its first appearance way back in 1904 at St Louis, while the women entered the fray recently at London 2012.
Across 13 divisions, 10 for the men and three for women, 287 fighters will compete in Rio and, after outlining the British and Irish stars to watch out for, Coral now highlight five competitors form around the world that could shine.
So, read on to see who features in our five boxing tips for the Olympics…
Tony Yoka, France
At the Olympics, it’s traditionally the big men that close the show, and that will be no different this year, with bouts taking place every day for two weeks before culminating with the super-heavyweight final.
In the past Games, it was Anthony Joshua that prevailed, and towering Frenchman Yoka looks a worthy 7/2 front-runner to reign supreme this time around at Riocentro, the home of boxing for this Olympics.
The 24-year-old is the reigning world champion and got the better of British medal rival Joe Joyce in their most-recent encounter, as he looks to stamp his authority at 91kg in Brazil.
Arlen Lopez, Cuba
Cuba, as always, are a force to be reckoned with at the Games and possess another roster of extremely talented fighters capable of securing medals on Brazilian soil this summer.
In the middleweight division, 23-year-old Lopez stands out as a potential star for his nation, with the slick and powerful challenger entering proceedings as arguably the best 75kgs in the world.
After an abundance of honours before taking to Rio, Lopez will take to the ring with plenty of confidence and is the 9/4 favourite to pip the likes of Britain’s Anthony Fowler and Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev to Gold.
Shakur Stevenson, USA
The USA haven’t produced an Olympic Gold medallist since 2004, when former super-middleweight kingpin Andre Ward prevailed in Greece, but in Stevenson their hopes of ending that run are boosted significantly.
Although, the hugely talented 19-year-old faces a tough test at 56kg, with the bantamweight division set to be one of the most competitive, as it also features massive Irish favourite Michael Conlan and Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez.
Teenage prospect Stevenson enters at 11/4 to win his weight class, having won the Senior US Olympic Trials last year to book his spot in Rio, as well as emerging victorious at the 2014 Youth Games.
Robson Conceicao, Brazil
The men’s lightweight division also possesses a wealth of talent, and Brazilian medal hopeful Conceicao will look to clinch glory in his own backyard, which he is 12/1 to achieve this summer.
At 60kg, Conceicao will be competing in a division which features two of only three professional fighters at the Games following the new rules which allowed them to enter, with the pair being Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng and Italian Carmine Tommasone.
At 27 years of age, Brazil’s lightweight hope boasts plenty of experience and an impressive background, having won a Silver and Bronze medal at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships respectively.
He also competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and lost a close decision to current WBO super-featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko at the 2011 World Championships.
Yana Alekseevna, Azerbaijan
Over to the women now and in the lightweight division which is headlined by Ireland’s Olympic queen Katie Taylor, Alekseevna of Azerbaijan could yet spring a surprise, having beaten the Emerald Isle front runner earlier this year.
Rising Azeri star Alekseevna banished any aura of invincibility previously surrounding Taylor in April, as she handed the five-time world champion her first loss since 2011 and she is 9/2 to win Gold this summer.