Tag Archives: brazil

The Strange Case of Brazil’s William “Thompson” Bezerra 41-0 (40)

Posted on 10/30/2018

By: Ken Hissner

After posting an amateur record of 96-2 with 68 knockouts winning both Cruiserweight and Heavyweight titles Brazil’s William “Thompson” Bezerra turned professional on May 8th 2010 at Perus, Brazil, winning the interim Brazilian Cruiserweight title with a second round knockout over Leonardo De Moura, 3-1 (3).

Bezerra would go onto score 14 knockouts including his debut until he won his only non-knockout fight with a DQ12 win over Paraguay born Hierro Salcedo 5-0 (5) on November 2nd 2010. In May of 2011 he knocked out Argentine born Ernesto Carnesse Gonzalez, 12-1, for the vacant WBC Mundo Hispano Cruiserweight Title in the first round. In October they had a rematch and he won by knockout in the 8th round. He fought 16 times in 2010 and 9 times in 2011.

In January of 2012 Bezerra knocked out Ricardo Augusto Souza, 8-0, in the first of 4 meetings with Bezerra winning all by stoppage. In June of 2013 Bezerra knocked out Jose Robson Dos Santos, 17-0, in 6 rounds. It was a WBA Fedelatin title defense. He would fight 8 times in 2012 and 3 times in 2013. He only fought twice in 2014 and twice in 2015. In his last year of boxing in 2016 he only fought once.

Bezerra would knockout the remaining fighters he faced scoring 26 straight knockouts ending March 20th 2016 knocking out Francisco Marcello Duarte Sobrinho 12-2 in San Paulo, Brazil. All of his fights were in Brazil but one in Mexico knocking out Austreberto Perez Maranon, 5-0, who retired after this fight. Bezerra was 28-0 (27) at the time. Only in his second fight did he not beat a fighter with a winning record.

Bezerra won the South American Cruiserweight title when he was 12-0, defending it 14 times. His highest ranking was in April of 2013 by the WBA at No. 4. He defeated 17 unbeaten fighters. His oppositions combined records were 350-68. He was only 31 when he retired. He was managed by former Argentine boxer Eduardo “El Gato” Corletti, 32-16-5, from 2010 to the end. He passed away in 2017. His biggest win was over George Chuvalo. His matchmaker was Mohammad Sanir from 2010 to the end. His trainers were Joaquim Orlando from 1999 to 2005. Then Jaime Sodre De Franca took over in 2009 to the end. From 2005 to 2009 it is unknown who trained him.

Bezerra has not fought since March of 2016. He has since become a boxing judge from 2012 to 2015 working on 5 shows for a total of 17 bouts. He also served as an inspector on 2 events in January and March of 2018.

In November of 2017 Bezerra contacted me via e-mail saying he had two bouts scheduled with one in December and the other in January. Neither one was fulfilled. As of now Bezerra is MIA!

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Brazil’s Eder Jofre Leads the List of South American Favorites

Posted on 06/28/2018

By: Ken Hissner

This writer remembers reading about Brazil’s Eder Jofre seeing a dead chicken ran over by a vehicle in the middle of the road. He never ate meat again.

Jofre was 46-0-3 before this World Bantamweight champion was defeated. He added the WBC and WBA belts to his World belt. He had rematches with Argentina’s Ernesto Miranda, 15-3-1, who was living in Spain when they drew twice. He defeated Miranda twice when he was 40-3-4 for the South American Bantamweight title. Miranda ended his career with 99 wins. All four fights with Miranda were in Brazil. He drew with Manny Elias, 44-17-1, in November of 1965 between his only two losses to Flyweight champion Japan’s WBA, WBC and World champion Fighting Harada which both defeats were in Japan.

It took almost five years to defeat Elias, 51-21-2 in their rematch. It was in May of 1970. The first Harada fight ended in a split decision in Nagoya, Japan, in May of 1965. The rematch took place after the Elias draw in Nippon, Japan, in May of 1966.

Jofre’s third draw was against Uruguay’s Ruben Caceres, 11-1-5, in May of 1958 in Uruguay in Montevideo, Uruguay. In their rematch in July of 1959 Jofre knocked out Caceres in 7 rounds.

Jofre would only have his second bout outside of Brazil in August of 1960 when he defeated Mexico’s Jose “El Huitlacoche” Medel, 43-16-3, by 10th round knockout in a NBA Bantamweight eliminator at the Olympic Auditorium in L.A. In November he won the vacant NBA Bantamweight title knocking out Eloy “Emeterio” Sanchez, 25-12, in 6 rounds at the same facility. He had defenses against the former European champ then the Italian champ Piero Rollo, 53-6-6, stopping him in 9 rounds. He knocked out the OPBF champion Japan’s Sadao Yaoita, 43-9-2, in 10 rounds. He stopped the British champion Johnny Caldwell, 25-0, in the 10th round.

Jofre would travel back to the US in his next fight and win the Bantamweight World title stopping Mexico’s Herman Marques, 19-8-1, living in Stockton, CA, in the 10th round at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. Then give Medel a rematch knocking him out in 6 rounds.

Then Jofre would go to Japan for the first time knocking out Japan’s OPBF champion Katsutoshi Aoki, 33-1-1, in 3 rounds. Then travel to the Manila, in the Philippines, stopping Filipino Johnny Jamito, 33-2-2, who couldn’t come out for the last round after being knocked down in the previous round.

Next Jofre went to Bagota, Colombia, knocking out Bernardo Caraballo, 39-0-1, of Colombia in the 7th round. Next up was the first loss to Harada losing his title. After the second loss to Harada he moved up to featherweight. It took fifteen fights for him to win the WBC World Featherweight title by majority decision over Cuban Jose “Pocket Cassius Clay” Legra, 131-9-4, living in Spain, over 12 rounds in Brazil. Legra would have two fights after this losing to Nicaragua’s Alexis Arguello in his last fight by knockout.

In Jofre’s next two fights which were non-title he knocked out possibly Chile’s greatest fighter in Godfrey Stevens, 71-7-3, in 4 rounds. Then American Frankie Crawford, 38-17-5, was defeated over 10 rounds. In his first defense he would end the career of the former WBC champion Vicente “El Zurdo de Oro” Saldivar, 37-2.

Jofre would win six non-title fights before his final bout being a title defense defeating Mexican Octavio Gomez, 55-15-7, over 12 rounds. His final record was 72-2-4 (50) in October 8th 1976 at the age of 40. At age 82 Jofre is still seen at the fights in Brazil

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Rio 2016 Boxing Recap

Posted on 08/22/2016

Rio 2016 Boxing Recap
By: Matthew N. Becher

All the medals have been awarded and the Rio Olympics have finally come to a close with last night’s ceremonies. In the Boxing division a lot of great fights took place, future world champions got to display their talents to the masses and controversy still reared its ugly head as it always does in this sport. Here were some of the highs and lows of what took place in the past 2 weeks.


USA captures 3 medals:
The US team won more boxing medals then it has in over a decade. Nico Hernandez was able to win a Bronze medal to start off the pace. Shakur Stevenson lost a heartbreaking split decision to Cuban, and now two time Olympic Gold Medalist, Robeisy Ramirez. Stevenson was awarded a Silver medal and will now most likely look to turn professional. And rounding out the Americans that medaled, the Golden Girl, Claressa Shields took home the gold medal for the second time in two Olympics.

Uzbekistan ruled the podium:
The country of Uzbekistan took home 7 medals in all (3 Golds, 2 Silvers & 2 Bronze). They were represented from the smaller fighters to the bigger, and have now officially cemented their name onto the international scene with the showing in these games.
Hasanboy Dusmatov, the Light Flyweight Gold Medalist, was awarded the Val Barker trophy for the most outstanding male competitor. Dusmatov is also the first of the amateurs competing in this year’s Olympics to sign a professional contract. (He has signed on with South African Promoter Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves)

The Pro’s couldn’t cut it:
In a year that eliminated the head gear, the International Boxing Federation also allowed Professional fighters to compete with the Amateurs for the first time. This was a hot topic throughout the boxing world, with many seeing it an unfair advantage to let a seasoned veteran compete with amateur fighters. It turned out to be a non-topic. As most amateurs were not threatened by the professionals being allowed to compete, they proved themselves right. The two most well-known pros that turned out for the games, Hassan N’Daam of France and former world champion Amnat Ruenroeng could not get passed the first round and the round of 16 respectively. The amateur style was not to their ability and both will now have a difficult time with backlash in their pro careers.

Allegations of Fixed matches, again:
In the history of the games match fixing has been the black eye of the sport. The fights of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Roy Jones are two of the most famous that have ever taken place, and this year saw a few too many fights that seemed to follow suit.

AIBA was forced to take a look at fights that many felt were clearly swayed by dishonest referees and/or judges. AIBA issued a statement that agreed that some negligence may have played a role, but that no evidence could be found in the ‘fixing’ of fights. Several Judges and Referees were excused from the games early (though they were not named) and AIBA did not overturn any of the results. It is a very difficult process to manage the amateur boxing officials, but more thought and efforts need to go into the games. It seems that this happens in every Olympics now, and it is hurting the sport in a great deal.

Claressa Shields becomes history:
Claressa Shields is only 21 and may be the best female boxer on the planet. She capped off her time in Rio, the same way she did in London, with a Gold Medal. Shields became the first US boxer, Male or Female to win two gold medals. She was also awarded the Val Barker trophy for the Most Outstanding Female boxer in the games.

Shields right now is at the top of her sport and has options. She can show up again and go for the three peat, which only 3 boxers have ever done before. Or she can turn pro and try and weave her way through the Female boxing scene, which has historically not been so rewarding to its fighters.
Either way, she is a very bright star in the sport and she will be at the top for a long time.

See you all in four years, 2020, when Tokyo plays host.

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2016 Olympic Boxing Results: The USA Medals; AIBA sends home Judges & Refs

Posted on 08/18/2016

2016 Olympic Boxing Results: The USA Medals; AIBA sends home Judges & Refs
By: Matthew N. Becher

The Boxing portion of this year’s Olympic Games have been in full swing and slowly coming to an end. The first of the medals have been handed out and The United States has already done better than it has in the last 2 previous games.
​The International Boxing Federation, also known as AIBA, has issued a statement in which it conducted an investigation into fraud and/or corruption, due to the outcome of a few fights which have taken place during the tournament. AIBA stated that they had no conclusive evidence of any wrongdoing, but did dismiss several Judges and referees for performances “not at the level expected”.


​Here is a quick wrap up of who has taken home medals and which final fights are to come. A side note, all boxing weight classes award two bronze medals.

Light Flyweight 46-49kg
Bronze: Nico Hernandez (USA)
​Joahnys Argilagos (CUB)
Silver: Yurbejen Martinez (COL)
Gold: Hasanboy Dusmatov (UZB)

Flyweight 52kg
The semifinals are all set for this weight class to take place tomorrow afternoon, Friday 8/19
Shakhobidin Zoirov (UZB) will take on Yoel Finol (COL) and the winner will face off in the Gold Medal match on Sunday 8/21 against the winner of Misha Aloian (RUS) v. Jianguan HU (CHN)

Bantamweight 56kg
Bronze: Vladimir Nikitin (RUS) (Nikitin pulled out of his match with Shakur Stevenson due to injury)
​Murodjon Akhmadaliev (UZB)
The Gold Medal matchup will be between Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba and Shakur Stevenson of the United States. Stevenson will be attempting to become the first American male to win a Boxing Gold since Andre Ward did so in the 2004 games. Also, according to social media messages revealed yesterday, this will be Stevenson’s final amateur fight, as he has signed on with Floyd Mayweather Jr.s promotional company, The Money Team.

Lightweight 60kg
Bronze: Lazaro Jorge Alvarez (CUB)
​Otgondalai Dorjnyamb (MGL)
Silver: Sofiane Oumiha (FRA)
Gold: Robson Conceicao (BRA) (This was the first Olympic Medal in Boxing for the country of Brazil)

Light Welterweight 64kg
The semifinals will take place in this weight class on Friday 8/19 with Vitaly Dunaytsev (RUS) v. Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (UZB), with the winner taking on either Artem Harutyunyan (GER) or Lorenzo Collazo Sotomayor (AZE). The Gold Medal match will be at 2pm on Sunday, 8/21

Welterweight 69kg
Bronze: Douleymane Diop Cissokho (FRA)
​Mohammed Rabii (MAR)
Silver: Shakhram Giyasov (UZB)
Gold: Daniyar Yeleussinov (KAZ)

Middleweight 75kg
Bronze: Kamran Shakhsuva (AZE)
​Misael Uziel Rodriguez (MEX)
The Gold Medal match will take place this Saturday, 8/20 at 2pm between Arlen Lopez (CUB) and Bektemir Melikuziev (UZB)

Light Heavyweight 81kg
Bronze: Mathieu Albert Bauderlique (FRA)
​Joshua Buatsi (GBR)
Silver: Adilbek Niyazymbet (KAZ)
Gold: Julio Cesar La Cruz (CUB)

Heavyweight 91kg
Bronze: Rustam Tulaganov (UZB)
​Erislandy Savon (CUB)
Silver: Vassiliy Levit (KAZ)
Gold: Evgeny Tishchenko

Super Heavyweight +91kg
The semifinals are set for Tomorrow Friday, 8/19. The first match is between James Yoka (FRA) v. Filip Hrgovic (CRO). That winner will take on the other semi bracket winner between Joe Joyce (GBR) v. Ivan Dychko (KAZ). The gold medal match will take place on Sunday 8/21

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The Ladies take the Ring: Claressa Shields seeks another Gold; Katie Taylor is upset by Finland’s Potkonen

Posted on 08/15/2016

The Ladies take the Ring: Claressa Shields seeks another Gold; Katie Taylor is upset by Finland’s Potkonen
By: Matthew N. Becher

​The Women began fighting on Friday in three weight classes. The higher seeds mostly did what was predicted, with the biggest upset coming this morning when defending 60kg Lightweight Gold Medalist Katie Taylor, of Ireland, was defeated 2-1 by Finland’s Mira Potkonen.


​The next biggest fighter of the sport, American, Claressa Shields has been patiently waiting for her first fight as a #1 seed. She will take on Russian Iaroslava Iakushina on Wednesday.
Some things to remember in Women’s boxing. This is only the 2nd Olympics with the Women boxing in the games. There are not as many participants as the men, yet. Most of the top seeds have a direct spot, straight to the quarterfinals. Once more countries start competing, the rounds will expand. Also, the Women still wear headgear. This is the first time the men have gotten rid of the headgear in over 25 years. So we’ll see what happens as far as the Women go.
Here is how the other weight classes are stacking up so far.

Flyweight 48-51kg

On Friday, the Flyweights kicked things off, with Tetyano Kob of Ukraine, Mandy Bujold of Canada, Ingrit Valencia Victoria of Columbia and Sara Ourahmoune of France all advancing to the Quarter finals.

They will all compete tomorrow for a spot in the medal rounds.

The favorites in this division are Nicola Adams of Great Britain, Ren Cancan of China, Peamwilai Laopeam of Thailand and Zhaina Shekerbekova of Kazakhstan.

Lightweight 57-60kg

The Lightweights also started last Friday with Mira Potkonen of Finland narrowly defeating the local Brazilian Adriana Araujo. Also advancing to today’s Quarterfinals were Chinas Junhua Yin, Mikaela Mayer of the United States and Italy’s Irma Testa.

So far, Mira Potkonen upset the reigning champion Katie Taylor of Ireland. While Junhua Yin also upset Yana Alekseevna of Azerbaijan to advance to the Medal rounds.

Later this afternoon, Irma Testa of Italy will match up against Estelle Mossely of France. And the fight to watch will be against Mayer of the US, as she squares up against Anastasiia Beliakova of Russia.

Middleweight 69-75kg

The Middleweights began their competition yesterday. Advancing were Iaroslava Iakushina of Russia, Dariga Shamikova of Kazakstan, Andreia Bandeira of Brazil and Savannah Marshall of Great Britain.
The division will continue on Wednesday with the Golden Girl Claressa Shields taking on the Russian Iakushina for a chance at history, with Shields vying to become a two time Olympic Gold Medalist.
Also fighting on Wednesday are Shakimova v. Khadija Mardi of Morocco, Bandeira of Brazil v. LI Qian of China and Marshall of Great Britain v. Nouchka Fontijn of The Netherlands.

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Rio Olympic Boxing Update: Prelim Action in 5 weight classes

Posted on 08/08/2016

Rio Olympic Boxing Update: Prelim Action in 5 weight classes
By: Matthew N. Becher

The Boxing portion of the 2016 Rio Olympics is in full swing, as participants in five weight classes, from the Light Fly to the Heavyweights have begun their preliminary journeys toward Olympic medals. Here is a list of some of the upcoming action and who to look out for. A side note on these games, this year is the first year that the punch total system has been abandoned and the more professional boxing style of the 10-9 rule is being used in a three round bout. Also, headgear, for the men has been taken away. This is the first time in over 30 years that the amateurs will not be wearing headgear.


Light Flyweight (46-49kg)
Galal Yafai (GBR), Yurberjen Martinez (COL), Carmona Heredia (ESP), Joselito Velazquez (MEX), Mathias Hamunyela (NAM) and Nico Hernandez (USA) were all successful in their first preliminary fights and advanced past the round of 32. They will all have tough tasks this morning as they take on their official ranked opponents to advance to the quarter finals. Fighters to look out for will be Joahynys Argilagos (CUB), LV Bin (CHN), Rogen Ladon (PHI), Patty Barnes (IRL) and Egorov Vasilii (RUS).

The matchup of the weight class will be Argilagos of Cuba and Egorov of Russia, two of the top seeds from two of the top boxing countries.

Lightweight (60kg)
Making their way through to the round of 16 in the Lightweight division are Carmine Tommasone (ITA), Daisuke Narimatsu (JPN), Carlos Balderas Jr. (USA), Hurshid Tojibaev (UZB), Joseph Cordina (GBR), Anvar Yunusov (TJK), Enrico Lacruz (NED), Adlan Abdurashidov (RUS) , Reda Benbaziz (ALG), Sofiane Oumiha (FRA), former professional world champion Amnat Ruenroeng (THA), and David Joyce (IRL).

The fights to watch out for will be Carlos Balderas of the United States against Japans Daisuke Narimatsu, Adlad Abudrashidov of Russia against Reda Benbaziz of Algeria, and of course the former title holder Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand against Frances Sofiane Oumiha.

Welterweight (69kg)
The welterweight class is one of the busiest, with the final round of 32 finishing up qualifying this morning. So far the following fighters have advanced to the round of 16: Rayton Okwiri (KEN), Tuvshinbat Byamba (MGL), Steven Donnelly (IRL), Eimantas Stanionis (LTU), Shakhram Giyasov (UZB), Vladimir Margaryan (ARM), Soulemane Cissokho (FRA) and Saylom Ardee (THA).

The favorites in the weight class are Mohammed Rabii of Morocco and Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan. But do not take your eye off the Cuban fighter Roniel Iglesias who may look to upset the division.

Light heavyweight (81kg)
The Light heavy’s have completed their round of 32 yesterday with one of the biggest upsets of the games happening on Saturday afternoon when Brazilian Michel Borges defeated professional title contender Hassan N’dam of Cameroon, sending the pro home early after only one bout.

The following fighters have advanced to the round of 16 Mehmet Unal (TUR), Hrvoje Sep (CRO), Borges (BRA), Juan Carlos Carrillo (COL), Carlos Mina (ECU), Joshua Buatsi (GBR), Albert Ramirez (VEN), Peter Mullenberg (NED), Teymur Mammadov (AZE) and Mikhail Dahaliavets (BLR).

This weight class is full of fun fights with an array of upsets that have and will happen. The favorites still look to be Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan and Julio Cesar La Cruz of Cuba, but at this point, anything could happen.

Heavyweight (91kg)
Only two preliminary fights needed to take place in the round of 32 on Saturday with Juan Nogueira of Brazil and Lawrence Okolie of Great Britain advancing.
The favorites of the Heavy’s are Erislandy Savon of Cuba, Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan and Evgeny Tishchenko of Russia.

It is the heavyweight division, so the fights should be very exciting and anyone can win, with just one punch.

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Team USA Boxing Preview: Rio Olympics 2016

Posted on 07/14/2016

Team USA Boxing Preview: Rio Olympics 2016
By: Matthew N. Becher

​We are less than a month away from the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, with the boxing portion taking place from August 6th thru the 21st. All of the competitors for team USA are set, with six men and two women representing the country. Here are a few notes that may help you keep things in order.


The USA Representatives:
-Carlos Balderas (Lightweight/132lbs) 19 years old; Santa Maria, Calif
-Charles Conwell (Middleweight) 18 years old; Cleveland, OH
-Nico Hernandez (Light Flyweight) 20 years old: Wichita, Kansas
-Mikaela Mayer (Lightweight) 26 years old: Los Angeles, Calif
-Gary Antuanne Russell (Light Welterweight) 20 years old: Capitol Heights, Maryland (Brother of WBC world champion Gary Russel Jr.)
-Claressa Shields (Middleweight) 21 years old: Flint, Mich. Defending Olympic Gold Medalist
-Shakur Stevenson (Bantamweight) 19 years old: Newark, NJ
-Antonio Vargas (Flyweight) 19 years old: Kissimmee, FL

The missing Captain:

The captain of team USA is heavyweight Cam F. Awesome, formerly known as Lenroy Thompson, who qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, but was not able to make this year’s team. Unfortunately Awesome will not be competing at the games in Rio, and fulfilling his dream of winning an Olympic medal. He has also speculated that this may be the end of his boxing career, as he is more of a fan of the amateur boxing style instead of the professional one. For many that have followed amateur boxing for the past several years, Awesome’s personality and leadership will be greatly missed.

The Contenders:

While all of our athletes are more than good enough to come home medalist, the cream of the crop are narrowed down to two of our boxers. On the Men’s side, it is Shakur Stevenson. Stevenson is 23-0 in international competition and one of the best young fighters in the world. He has the ability to really make a name for himself in these games and become the first US, Male, Olympian to win a Gold Medal since Andre Ward did it over a decade ago, at the 2004 games in Athens. The other hopeful to bring home the gold, is none other than the best female fighter on the planet, Claressa Shields. Claressa won the Gold 4 years ago in London at the age of 17, becoming the first women to ever win a Gold Medal in the inaugural year of Women’s Boxing at the Olympic Games. Shields is not only a heavy favorite to win, but could outshine all other athletes at this year’s games. She has the makings to be a star and the goods to become a phenomenal pro someday.

Olympic Boxing will be held from August 6th-August 21st. The first events will begin at 10am EST on the 6th. Check this website for updates

http://www.nbcolympics.com/live-stream-schedule/boxing?day=1 and all streaming fights from NBC.

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AIBA to allow pro’s in the 2016 Olympic games, Fair or Foul?

Posted on 06/08/2016

AIBA to allow pro’s in the 2016 Olympic games, Fair or Foul?
By: Matthew Becher

Last month a vote took place with AIBA (Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur or International Boxing Association) in which 84 out of its 88 federations agreed to allow professional boxers to participate in the upcoming summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This will be the first time that professional boxers will be allowed to compete in a, regularly, amateur event and against other amateur participants. This brings up many questions of why this has been changed so close to the actual events and why a mixing of pro’s and novices would be thought to be Okay to do.

2011 SAT&CO AIBA World Boxing Championships, Baku

The reasoning for AIBA to allow professional athletes and amateurs to compete with one another is to “increase the amount of competitive boxers”, having amateurs step up their competition can only make them better. What then happens to amateur boxing? Under this new model, the true amateur boxer, who has gone through years of tournaments and trials just to make it to the Olympics will be able to retain their amateur status, but why would they? If you are already going to end up fighting grown men and paid prize fighters in the biggest stage that an amateur can achieve, why not just become a pro as early as possible, get paid yourself. An amateur trying to make an Olympic team goes through a very intense and grueling process to just qualify for an Olympic games. It only comes around every four years, and within those four years, you are traveling, training and for most of these youngsters, still going to school. If you could sign with a promoter, make money fighting and still be able to be able to fight in an “amateur” styled tournament, why stay in a dorm room with other amateurs?

What happens to the great amateur programs of the world, namely the Cubans and Russians? We see so many great professional Cuban and Ex-Soviet country fighters right now, and the main reason why they are so dominant is because they are from Socialist countries, that have extremely disciplined amateur programs. They are paid, not always handsomely, and are only allowed to fight in amateur style tournaments. This, in most people’s opinions, engrains the trades of the sport into them so well, they become second nature. If a fighters has 300+ amateur fights, then they know when to jab and when to duck. It becomes like breathing, it is instilled. They biggest highlight for these men, especially the Cubans, who are technically never allowed to turn pro (unless they defect from their native country) is winning an Olympic Gold, some even do it multiple times. If pro fighters can just get in there with the amateurs, what would happen to these dominant boxing countries?

Safety also has to be an issue. This year, AIBA has also decided to go back to the days of no head gear. This is an issue all in itself, and does seem to have some great benefits, but does it when we start putting 18yr old kids in the ring with say 30+ year old men, some who are current or former world champions. Watching fighters like Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, or Artur Beterbiev knockout other professionals in 1 round is one thing, but how does that play out when they put that kind of power on a novice? Many amateurs seem to have no problem with this happening, but we suspect that as bravado. You cannot expect an amateur, who may have sparred with pros in the past, to be able to take that type of power. Sparring with headgear is one thing, a real fight is completely different.

What does AIBA look to get out of this? Is it higher ratings, since Boxing may be on the docket to drop as an Olympic sport in the future? Do they want bigger Knockouts? Most amateur fights go to decisions and work on a point system, does getting rid of Headgear and adding professionals increase viewership and knockdowns? Do they want Stars now, instead of building them up like it used to with Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Oscar De la Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Vasyl Lomachenko, George Foreman, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and the list can go on and on.

Some boxers have showed interest in actually participating in this. Manny Pacquiao has said he would see how it would balance with his new Senatorial duties. Amir Khan has shown interest in participating for his parent’s homeland of Pakistan. Light Heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev looks to be making his way to Rio. Other boxers have spoken out about it, speaking about its safety issues. The World Boxing Council has even put out a warning, that any professional boxers who do decide to participate in the Olympics will be banned from their rankings for two years. It is a debate that is going on right now, and both sides are making good points to their arguments. Should professionals be allowed to compete in the Olympics, they do in Golf, Basketball, Tennis, Hockey….but those guys aren’t getting punched by fully developed, trained, fighters.

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