IBA / Astana 2016

History in the making – the story of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships

May 18th, 2016 / IBA, Astana 2016

(*) Photo: AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships Qinhuangdao 2012

With the ninth edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships ready to get underway in Astana, Kazakhstan, the incredible champions and unforgettable performances of previous editions deserve reliving. The competition’s history may only reach back to 2001, but in that short time, legends have been created and remarkable records set.

The first ever AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships was held in Scranton, USA, with Russia’s Elena Sabitova becoming the first athlete to top the podium in the tournament. Among the other finalists in Scranton were three greats of the sport who will once again be chasing glory in Astana; Sweden’s Anna Laurell, Mary Kom of India and Hungary’s Maria Kovacs.

It was a year later in Antalya, Turkey, that Mary Kom would claim the first of her five World titles, a number only matched by Ireland’s Katie Taylor last year in Korea. Both boxers will be looking to add to their impressive histories at the 2016 edition and claim the record outright.

The Russian city of Podolsk held the event in 2005, with the host nation dominating the medals table with seven golds while boxers from Canada, Hungary, India, Italy, Romania and Sweden each won one weight class. It was in New Delhi in 2006 that Katie Taylor took her first world title, following it up with a win in the Chinese city of Ningbo in 2008 where the competition that also saw the likes of Mary Kom, Nicola Adams, Cancan Ren and Ariane Fortin cement their formidable reputations.

Following the IOC decision to include women’s boxing in the London 2012 programme, a surge in popularity made for a superb 2010 tournament in Bridgetown, Jamaica. No fewer than 20 nations registered for the first time, marking the global arrival of the women’s sport with the likes of Brazil, the Netherlands, Thailand and Tunisia claiming debut medals in the new format, ten-category event.

With Olympic qualification places also on offer, a record 305 boxers from 70 nations competed at the 2012 Women’s World Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, with boxers representing Afghanistan, Armenia, Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Jamaica, Nigeria, Serbia, Republic of South Africa and Uzbekistan for the first time. China topped the medal table, while Josie Gabuco made history by winning the Philippines’ first gold medal.

Ireland’s Katie Taylor secured her record-equalling fifth title in Jeju, Korea, two years ago, with Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Panama taking their first golds. US star Claressa Shields established herself on the global boxing scene by taking the world middleweight title, an honour she will be determined to defend in Astana.

Editions Venues Number of boxers
1st AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2001  Scranton, USA 125 boxers from 30 nations
2nd AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2002  Antalya, Turkey 185 boxers from 35 nations
3rd AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2005  Podolsk, Russia 152 boxers from 28 nations
4th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2006  New Delhi, India 178 boxers from 33 nations
5th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2008  Ningbo City, China 218 boxers from 42 nations
6th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2010  Bridgetown, Barbados 267 boxers from 66 nations
7th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2012  Qinhuangdao, China 305 boxers from 70 nations
8th AIBA Women’s World Championships, 2014  Jeju, Korea 280 boxers from  67 nations