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Philip Davis, Peter R. Benson, Robert Waldock and Andrew J. Connorton

Female boxing debuted at the 2012 London Olympic Games. To better understand the performance aspects of the sport, video footage of eighteen 4 × 2-min bouts were analyzed. The boxers involved in the competition were of an elite level (mean ± SD), age 26.4 ± 4.6 y, height 169.3 ± 6.2 cm, and weight 60.3 ± 10.0 kg. Analysis revealed an activity rate of ~1.6 actions/s, including ~16 punches, ~3.3 defensive movements, and ~63 vertical hip movements, all per minute, over the 4 × ~132-s rounds (R). A 2 × 4 (outcome × round) ANOVA with repeated measures over the rounds was used to analyze the data. Winners maintained a higher activity rate in round 1 (R1) and R2; a higher movement rate in R2, R3, and R4; and an increased punch accuracy including the ratio of total punches to punches landed in R3 and air punches as a percentage of punches missed in R1 and R3. Specific techniques that discriminate between successful and unsuccessful female amateur boxers include the straight rear-hand and body punches, higher for winners in R1, as well as uppercut punches and defensive foot movements, higher for winners in R4. Findings highlight the current demands of elite amateur female boxing. These data will be useful for those designing training programs and may also be useful for guiding sport-specific fitness testing.

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Philip Davis, Peter R. Benson, James D. Pitty, Andrew J. Connorton and Robert Waldock

An activity profile of competitive 3 × 3-min elite-level amateur boxing was created from video footage of 29 Olympic final and semifinal bouts in 39 male boxers (mean ± SD) age 25.1 ± 3.6 y, height 178.3 ± 10.4 cm, and body mass 69.7 ± 16.5 kg. Boxing at this level requires the ability to maintain an activity rate of ~1.4 actions/s, consisting of ~20 punches, ~2.5 defensive movements, and ~47 vertical hip movements, all per minute, over 3 subsequent rounds lasting ~200 s each. Winners had higher total punches landed (P = .041) and a lower ratio of punches thrown to landed (P = .027) than losers in round 3. The hook rearhand landed was also higher for winners than losers in round 2 (P = .038) and round 3 (P = .016), and defensive movements were used less by winners (P = .036). However, the results suggest that technical discrimination between winners and losers is difficult; bout outcome may be more dependent on which punch is “lucky” enough to be scored by the judges or who appears to be dominant on the day. This study gives both boxers and coaches a good idea of where subelite boxers need to aim if they want to become among the best amateur boxers in the world.