5 facts that prove boxing is the best sport at the Olympics

What's your favourite sport at the Olympics? After reading this, it will definitely be boxing.

As Rio draws ever closer, we're taking a look at each of the Olympic sports in turn. This week, we're dropping into the boxing ring.

1. Professionals could be stepping into the ring in Rio.

Tyson Fury
Will Tyson Fury make it to the Olympics? (Simon Cooper/PA)

Fancy seeing Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko complete their trilogy over three frantic rounds in an Olympic ring? Or concussive middleweight king Gennady Golovkin knock a poor young amateur from Vanuatu out cold?

It could happen, after world governing body AIBA announced their intention to allow professionals to compete in Rio. Sadly the reality, for the time being at least, is likely to be rather less dramatic.

2. Olympic boxing has a notoriously rigorous qualification process.

Italy's Roberto Cammarelle fights Britain's Anthony Joshua in a gold medal boxing match at the London Olympics (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Professionals notwithstanding, the process aims to keep mis-matches to a minimum - which cannot be said of all amateur boxing events.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games featured a female fighter from Kiribati - Taoriba Biniati - who had never previously fought a competitive bout in her life. Unsurprisingly, she lost.

3. The sport has been littered with controversies at Olympic Games.

boxing 1988 olympics
Roy Jones and Park Si-Hun (Ron Kuntz/AP)

No controversies are bigger than the 1988 light-middleweight final bout between Roy Jones and home favourite Park Si-Hun.

Despite dominating the final and dealing out two standing eight counts to his outclassed opponent, three of the five judges voted in favour of Park.

Remarkably, flying in the face of all available evidence, a 1997 International Olympic Committee investigation cleared the offending judges of corruption.

4. Nicola Adams will be competing again.

Nicola Adams with her gold medal
Nicola Adams with her gold medal in 2012 (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Nicola Adams could become the first British boxer to retain their Olympic title since Harry Mallin in 1924.

Mallin, the defending middleweight champion, actually lost his quarter-final bout against Roger Brousse of France but his opponent was then disqualified after Mallin showed officials a number of bite marks on his chest.

Brousse refused to accept the ruling and had to be stopped by police from clambering into the ring for the subsequent final.

5. Some of the greatest Olympic boxers actually never turned professional.

cuban boxer in the ring with hands up in the air to celebrate
Teofilo Stevenson celebrates winning in Moscow at the 1980 Olympic Games (AP)

In contrast to today's fighters (who effectively never turn amateur) Cubans Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon both won triple Olympic titles but did not follow the majority of their rivals into the professional ranks for political reasons.

Cuba can boast the grand total of 67 Olympic boxing medals - 34 of them gold.

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