AIBA Has Reached Rock Bottom

The World Boxing Council (WBC) is extremely worried about the Internatioanl Boxing Association (AIBA), with less than six months to go to the 2016 Olympic Games.  Boxing is set to allow professional fighters to compete for the first time but already there have been complications to this process, causing the WBC to release a statement on Thursday calling this the AIBA’s ‘shameful lowest stage in the entire history of Olympic boxing.’

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman further added:  ‘There is a great ignorance and lack of information of what has happened in amateur boxing in recent years, which has positioned amateur and Olympic boxing and its world structure at its worst level.  AIBA has announced its intent to allow the participation of professional boxers in the next Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which will take place in only four (slightly more than five – ed) months.  This fact only demonstrates the big failure of AIBA in its process of determining the participants in the tournament.  The so-called World Series of Boxing has been an embarrassment, showcasing very low-level fights and dangerous mismatches.  So, now AIBA is attempting to include fully developed professionals to compete in the Olympic Games.  AIBA has threatened expulsion or suspension of several countries from international tournaments, up to and including the Olympics, if that country does not accept to be ruled only by the exclusive authoritarian imposition of AIBA rules and regulations.  In doing so, AIBA has sought to intimidate and abuse its power, in order to establish a monopoly on professional boxing as well, even by eliminating the word “amateur” from its own name, meaning that for AIBA, amateur boxing no longer exists.  Boxing cannot be considered without keeping separate amateur and professional boxing, for the most basic principle of safety, by avoiding such dangerous mismatches between experienced professional fighters and amateur boxers.  This is something AIBA is not able to understand, because it seems their leadership does not have a clue of what boxing really means and represents.  AIBA’s priority appears to be the commercial and business aspects of the sport.  Boxers are obligated to sign commercial contracts with AIBA and its affiliates, which positions AIBA in an undeniable and clear conflict of interest.  For example, by matching amateurs against professionals and eliminating headgear, AIBA is showing that it does not seem to care about the physical wellbeing of the fighters or the correct practice of the sport around the world.  How can multi-day boxing be conducted in tournaments safely and fairly without headgear?  The youth of the world deserve to have the options and opportunities in amateur boxing.  In reaction to these circumstances, the World Boxing Council today announces the second stage of the WBC Amateur program.  We cannot remain passive in the face of this injustice and the terrible treatment that the sport is receiving from AIBA and from many of the national federations affiliated to it.  Finally, we invite all who have suffered abuse of power to work for the benefit of boxing, to lose the fear of AIBA and its multiple mistreatments and actions, which have only hurt our beloved sport.’