Lauren Price, Amir Khan and Anthony Joshua at the Olympics
Lauren Price, Amir Khan and Anthony Joshua have turned professional after winning Olympic medals in Great Britain.

“No one can remove us from anywhere,” protested Umar Kremlev, the President of the Republic under the supervision of the International Boxing Association, at the important special congress last weekend in Armenia.

For the future of amateur boxing, this is not entirely true.

As it is known, boxing will not be included in the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, which could have serious consequences for the sport’s unpaid symbol.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not hide its serious concern about the position of the Prime Minister of the Russian Kremlin, and as a result, the ax may fall on the head of boxing.

On Sunday, when a vote was held to determine whether the Kremlin would be challenged in a new presidential election, there was hope that the KBO could be located in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

However, Boris van der Vorst of the Netherlands has no chance of being nominated after 106 out of 142 MPs. voted against raising the challenge of leadership.

Kremlev was elected unopposed as chairman of amateur boxing’s world governing body in May after Van der Vorst was declared uncapped. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in June that Van der Vorst was wrongly prevented from standing.

In a statement released shortly after the congress, the IOC said it was “extremely concerned” and that “following these worrying developments, the IOC must fully review the situation at its next meeting”.

In June, the IOC’s executive board stripped the IBA, formerly known as AIBA, of organizing the Paris 2024 boxing tournament and its selection process, citing governance, financial, refereeing and ethical issues.

It did the same at Tokyo 2020, with a boxing task force set up to oversee the boxing tournament.

A similar body, set up by the IOC’s executive board, will take over boxing in Paris, but the sport, which has been contested in all but one Olympic Games since 1904, is not currently on LA’s list of sports.

England Boxing has backed a change of management

Vladimir Putin is on the side of Umar Kremlin
Umar Kremlev’s close relationship with Russia is another concern of the International Olympic Committee

The ripple effect of such a move is likely to have a seismic effect on amateur boxing in Great Britain, where the prospect of medals at the Olympics means significant funding. Boxing received £12,084,436 from UK Sport for Tokyo 2020.

But it’s not just about money. The Olympic boxing spectacle is an attendance driver that has soared since London 2012, when Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell and Nicola Adams won gold medals.

Before that, 17-year-old Amirkhan captured the hearts of the nation in 2004 in Athens with his silver medal.

Somalia’s Ramla Ali, herself an Olympian and now a professional boxer and published author, credits watching Khan that year as part of her decision to take up the sport.

He says: “The first time I sat and watched boxing was Amir Khan in the final in Athens.” “It was beautiful, like watching poetry, and I knew I had to do it.”

So it’s no surprise that both GB Boxing and England Boxing have both expressed concern about the outcome of the vote.

England Boxing chief executive Jerome Pels, who voted in favor of the leadership’s appeal, said: “We are very disappointed by what happened at the IBA extraordinary congress. We share the IOC’s concerns and are concerned about what this means for boxing. It means the future of Olympic boxing.

“We supported Boris van der Vorst and fully expected to have the right to vote for him in the democratic elections.

“We believe he would be the right candidate to lead the IMF, reform its governance and restore its reputation as a global governance institution.

“Continuing with the status quo could have far-reaching consequences for the sport and the athletes who want to compete in fair and well-governed competitions.”

A spokesman for GB Boxing said the organization was “fully aware of the state of boxing at the 2028 Olympic Games and the threat it poses to the sport and the damage it can do to the career aspirations of young boxers”.

“People Stop Boxing”

Anthony Joshua is pictured between Audley Harrison and Lennox Lewis at the 2012 Olympics
Anthony Joshua is one of many world champions who rose to stardom through the Olympics

That’s the view of Sean Murphy, head coach of the famous Finchley Amateur Boxing Club in London, who first coached Joshua when he started boxing at the age of 18.

“It’s all very worrying for the future of amateur boxing,” Murphy told BBC Sport.

“If they can’t get to the top, people will stop doing it – numbers will drop and that will be a problem for clubs who are already struggling to pay the bills.

“It’s also about exposure. Maybe people watched someone like ‘Josh’ on TV at London 2012 and want to try it. If that’s gone, the reason someone’s gone is going to be the sport.”

Frank Smith, chief executive of Matchroom Boxing, which promotes Joshua and many others in the professional game, predicts the impact on the wider community.

“I think boxing has a huge role in the community, so it’s troubling,” Smith said. “Olympics without boxing will have a strong impact on the sport of this country.

“Anyway, amateur boxing is short on money and from what I can tell, that only means it’s going to go down even further.

“The eyeballs we’ve seen in the sport in 2012 with AJ boxers has been huge. With Olympic boxing, it’s going to make a huge difference when it comes to publicizing the sport, which is already a prize.”

While the IBA and the Kremlin are adamant that a resolution will emerge, as expected, exceptions are likely.

BBC Sport contacted the IBA for comment but did not receive a response.

Source link