Boxing is at risk of losing it’s status at the Olympic Games, and this should be of great concern to fans worldwide who follow boxing and the Olympics, as it’s one of the few sports to be considered a part of the original Olympic games in ancient times.
The IOC is going to determine in a few days whether boxing will take place in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
AIBA is the International Federation which has the exclusive rights to organize national and international qualifiers for the Olympics and regulate competition. However, numerous scandals in the past decade in conjunction with a terrible administration that led to changes in the traditional structure of boxing. Amateur boxing’s aim is for Olympic glory while professional boxing’s aim is for income and world championship glory.
The former President of AIBA was Dr. Wu, only to be replaced by Gafur Rahimov, who carries a label as a controversial person linked to possible improper activities. This had led to concerns amongst the IOC which will likely affect their decision on whether boxing will be allowed as a sport in Tokyo in 2020 and whether AIBA will be in charge of regulating boxing in the Olympics.
With AIBA under intense scrutiny and a cloud of corruption, the WBA has offered to take the place of AIBA for the regulation of Olympic Boxing. However, the WBA has their own issues and lacks the credibility necessary to effectively run Olympic Boxing for the IOC.
Wladmir Klitschko, a former Olympic Champion, has thrown his support behind the WBA’s attempts to be in charge of running Olympic Boxing, but even a man of his reputation isn’t enough to over come some of the WBA’s troubles.
The WBA’s motive for attempting to get involved in Olympic Boxing appears to be driven by profit. This motive is also prevalent in the way they crown champions. They have multiple champions in every single weight category, which simply allows them to collect unnecessary sanctioning fees.
For example, they have awarded belts to three different fighters in the Heavyweight Division. Anthony Joshua, Manuel Char, and Trevor Bryan have been awarded belts and their mandatory challenger is Fres Oquendo, who’s been inactive for four years. The Char and Bryan cases have been written about extensively, The case of Joe Fournier is another example of a fighter obtaining a high ranking based on questionable credentials.
Multiple champions don’t only exist in the heavyweight division for the troubled WBA. They have four champions listed in the Cruiserweight division, including Usyk, SHumenov, Goulamirian, and Lebedev.
Boxing deserves better and has a strong case for remaining in the Olympic Games. The focus must be on the amateur aspect of the sport, and associating with the WBA will diminish the importance of amateurs in Olympic Boxing. Thousands of young participants world wide have dreams of representing their country in the Olympic Games and obtaining Olympic glory.
Some of the greatest moments in the Olympics were from young amateurs competing in the sport of boxing and making their name known. Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Lennox Lewis, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Oscar De la hoya are just a few of the big names who started in the Olympics and went on to very successful professional careers. Great amateur boxing belongs in the Olympics, and great professional boxing should not be intertwined.
The IOC is against the ropes, and they must make a decision that will influence the future of one of the oldest sports in the world, one of the original “Olympic Sports” and a part of the Modern Day Olympics since 1904.
Boxing belongs in the Olympics, but to replace the AIBA with the WBA will do nothing to help the future of the sport.
The AIBA, even if you believe they have the best interests of boxing in mind, has been mired in controversy that won’t go away and threatens to blow the sport from the Olympics. To replace them with the WBA, which seems to exist in it’s current form to give everyone a belt and collect their sanctioning fee isn’t much better.
AIBA seems to have a completely different lineup of people since Wu departed and having the structure of the affiliation on National Federations , it would be ideal to see them get their act together and work things out with the IOC.
Can’t boxing find a solution we deserve?
Boxing deserves the best people over seeing it.