A promotions company based in Madrid, led by former WBC super welterweight and middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, has filed a lawsuit against AIBA (International Boxing Association) and the Spanish Boxing Federation. Historically, AIBA has ruled amateur boxing, but a few years ago it began to also focus on professional boxing. Martinez believes AIBA´s plan involves controlling professional boxing exclusively, with the ultimate goal of monopolizing the sport.
The Argentine claims AIBA is implementing a nefarious plan using constant threats to the federations, who are menaced with expulsion, as well as exclusion from the Olympic Games. Among the actions more difficult to tolerate from AIBA, according to “Maravilla” are:
- Forcing the National Federations to be only affiliated to AIBA, expressly forbidding any contact with the traditional professional boxing organisations as EBU-WBC-WBA-IBF-WBO.
- Prohibiting member associations from any other professional organisation other than AIBA.
- Forcing national federations to issue professional licenses to competitors only if they are part of AIBA professional boxing.
- Forcing national federations to present to them the results of their elections, their federal structure and their statutes, with the main goal of getting ratification.
- Obliging boxers to sign a commercial contract with a company owned by AIBA, Marketing Arm, to manage the boxers’ careers, eliminating of the market Promoters and Managers.
- Prohibiting the issuance of professional licenses to coaches, referees … etc, if they are not part of AIBA professional boxing.
- Threatening National Federations of being expelled from AIBA in case all the impositions are not fulfilled, which obviously, would have the consequence of not sending boxers to the Olympics.
- The Spanish Boxing Federation has become the tool for spreading this behavior and actions imposed by AIBA. After suffering clearly these kinds of injustices which interferes with national sovereignty through these awful practices, plus the growing fear of AIBA’s power and by clearly having suffered damage, we are forced to take the case to justice, letting it decide the legality of the regulation that seeks to impose a private association .
In a statement the 40-year old says: ‘With this action against AIBA and the Spanish Boxing Federation, Maravillabox Promotions, wants to denounce publicly and seek legal protection, not only for its commercial interests, but also for other countries, federations, developers, managers, coaches and boxers. This is a global conflict that threatens to destroy boxing as we know it and as we want it. Myself, Sergio Martinez, owes everything I am to boxing, not to AIBA. We all are boxing and AIBA wants us to be part of their monopolism practices. That needs to be judged by the law, as the creation of monopolies only leads to the destruction of industries. The filing of this demand to the court, is something I owe to all of boxing and, including all parties involved (promoters, managers, boxers, coaches, federations, committees, television … etc). Thanks to boxing, today I have the opportunity and freedom to exercise my right of justice. I have nothing to fear from AIBA, and no one should fear them. We need to face them and tell them that their practices violate the ambitions of all boxers who dream of becoming a world champion. That is our dream- becoming world champions … not winning AIBA tournaments. We are aware that there are countries in which the imposition of AIBA may cause laughter, but in places where the industry is not developed yet it can lead to the disappearance of boxing, as we know it. That’s to what we oppose and we will fight against it until the last bell ringing … We are looking forward to all members of the boxing family joining us in these actions. We want to publicly thank the support we are receiving from the world organisations, WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and EBU who have expressed their position and irrevocable commitment to this lawsuit.’