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19.07.2018 15:15
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After 112 years of amateur competition, the Olympics are welcoming professional boxers.All three of them.The International Boxing Associations high-profile plan to entice prominent pros to Rio de Janeiro didnt work, leaving the sport without the star-studded tournament many apparently wanted.Only a trio of traditional pros will compete for gold medals, and only hardcore boxing fans have ever heard of them: Cameroons Hassan NDam, Thailands Amnat Ruenroeng and Italys Carmine Tommasone.The Rio tournament will be more notable for what the men arent wearing. AIBA has removed headguards from male Olympic fighters for the first time since 1980.The biggest stars again could be the women, who are back for their second Olympics after providing the best moments in London.Here are some more things to know when the 286-person tournament begins Aug. 6:REIGNING CHAMPSAll three gold medal winners from the inaugural womens tournament in London are back to attempt to defend their titles. Britains Nicola Adams, Irelands Katie Taylor and American middleweight Claressa Shields all stuck with their sport, which has grown rapidly in prominence and quality over the past several years. In fact, only the dominant Shields is a strong favorite to repeat, given the improved competition at flyweight and lightweight.CAN YOU SEE MEAIBA announced its plan to remove Olympic headgear from the men three years ago, citing research claiming the bulky pads actually cause more concussions than they prevent. The quality of their science is considered dubious by many, but many fighters prefer to compete without the gear, and the sport is undeniably more telegenic when fans can see the fighters faces.UNKINDEST CUTThe biggest problem with the headgear removal is likely to be cuts, which will develop more frequently without the facial protection. Qualifying tournaments have been filled with fighters unable to continue to their next bout after getting cut, and Olympic stars seem likely to meet the same fate.BIG NAMESAIBA has tried for years to become a player in international professional boxing under President Wu Ching-Kuo, but it has succeeded only in nations without an established pro boxing culture. The Olympic-style sports growth in former Soviet republics will be obvious in Rio, where Kazakhstan (12 fighters), Azerbaijan (11), Uzbekistan (11) and Russia (11) will be well-represented along with the likes of Britain (12) and China (11). Cuba (10) has a fighter in every mens weight class, but still wont allow women to compete.EVEN THE SCOREAnother big change for Rio is the scoring system, which is no longer based on punch-counting. Fighters will be judged on the 10-point must system traditionally used in pro boxing, with the decision of each judge reduced to a single number. The final scores in the fights will be announced as 3-0 or 2-1. Unlike the headgear change, the move away from reviled punch-scoring has been greeted with broad approval. Still, it probably wont stop more than half of the losing fighters from claiming they were robbed, just as they do in every Olympic-style boxing tournament.YOUNG AMERICANSThe U.S. team is the historic leader in total Olympic boxing medals and golds, but the Americans are sending just eight fighters to Rio after four men and one woman failed to secure spots through qualifying tournaments. The team might be small, but Shields and lightweight Mikaela Mayer are both medal contenders. The U.S. men didnt win a single medal in London, but touted bantamweight Shakur Stevenson has a great shot to end that drought in Rio.THE GREATESTYoure not seeing things on the schedule: Thats Muhammad Ali competing in Rio. The 20-year-old British flyweight with the conspicuous name is among the medal favorites after training in the same gym as Athens silver medalist Amir Khan.HES BACKRussian ex-world champion Albert Selimov is best known for losing his first fight in Beijing to Ukraines Vasyl Lomachenko, the two-time gold medalist whose amateur legend truly began with that masterful performance. While Lomachenko reigns as a professional world champion eight years later, the 30-year-old Selimov is back at his second Olympics, fighting for Azerbaijan as a naturalized citizen. He is a medal favorite at lightweight.WATCH OUTCuba, another traditional world power, could return to prominence in Rio after winning just two gold medals in London -- a down Olympic cycle by its standards. Among its several strong medal contenders are London flyweight gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez, now fighting at bantamweight; three-time amateur light heavyweight world champion Julio Cesar La Cruz; and lightweight Lazaro Alvarez, a three-time world champion in two classes. Air Max Shop Italia . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. Uomo Nike Air Force 270 Safari AH6772-004 . And when it opened, every player was at his stall. Thats a sure sign that a team is in a slump and is searching for answers. "Its embarrassing to be at home and play the way we did," said defenceman Josh Gorges. . Booth picked up 65 caps after making her national team debut in 2002 at the age of 17. She most recently played for Sky Blue FC of the National Womens Soccer League. "It just felt like it was my time to move on," she said in a phone interview from her hometown of Burlington, Ont. Donne Nike VaporMax Moc Flyknit Multicolore Nere & Hot Punch AA4155-003 Vendita Online . But what about the officials? Every sport has officials and they also have stories about hard work and sacrifice but their accomplishments are seldom recognized by anyone outside their inner circle. Nike Air Max 270 Flyknit Uomo . Hey!" The lower tier of the School End of Queens Park Rangers Loftus Road was packed solid with a very festive-sounding Chelsea choral section in this particular part of South Africa Road London, W12. Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette isnt one to sit on a pat hand if his teams struggling. His latest batch of line changes prior to Tuesday nights game may have unearthed a new No. 1 line.The combination of Filip Forsberg, center Ryan Johansen and James Neal single-handedly erased a 3-0 second period deficit to the St. Louis Blues with goals that sparked a 6-3 comeback win at Bridgestone Arena.They combined to try 22 shots, 12 of which made it to net, and consistently drove play for most of the last two periods. Laviolette is hoping for more of the same Thursday night when Nashville hosts the Minnesota Wild.They got going, and they were generating a lot, Laviolette said of Tuesday night. They spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. We got zone starts that started in our favor. If youre in the offensive zone already, you can start generating. If youre in the defensive zone, you have to figure out how to get through two zones just to get to the O-zone.Getting to the O-zone against Minnesota is one thing. Beating Devan Dubnyk has been another. The big goalie has been on some kind of run this season, continuing it Tuesday night in a 5-1 home victory over Florida by stopping 29 shots.Dubnyk (14-6-3) lowered his goals-against average to a miniscule 1.60 and stopped nearly 95 percent of the shots thrown at him this season. Thanks in large part to his brilliance, the Wild (16-8-4) have won five straight.We need to keep climbing, Dubnyk said. Its exciting to be in this spot with games in hand as well, and again those games dont matter unless we win them. But itss still a good situation to be in and winning is fun, so youve got to keep doing it.ddddddddddddAnother encouraging sign for Minnesota on Tuesday night was the play of Zach Parise. The left winger broke a seven-game goal drought while also pouring six shots on goal, taking the puck away five times and blocking two shots.First-year Wild coach Bruce Boudreau called Parises performance exceptional.It was good to see him get one early, Boudreau said. He had opportunities. I thought he played a really good game. He was really blocking shots, especially in the first period when we really needed it.A struggling Predator also took strides in the right direction Tuesday night. Forsberg tallied only his third goal in 28 games and was all over the ice, trying 11 shots in 19:02 of ice time and looking as dangerous as he has all season.It was his first marker since a Nov. 23 victory over Dallas and left Laviolette with hope that this might be the game which sparks Forsberg, who last season tied a franchise high with 33 goals.I really liked his game tonight, Laviolette said of Forsberg. I really liked that he was finding his opportunities. He had 11 shots at the net. That kind of aggressive play will lead to the results.This is the seasons first meeting of the Central Division rivals, who play five times this season, three in Nashville. That could be an edge for the Predators (13-11-4), who are 10-2-2 at home and averaging nearly four goals per game. 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