The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has defended its plan to set up a new competition for professional boxers, which would also allow them to participate in the Olympics, following complaints of monopolisation by other boxing organisations.
AIBA, which governs Olympic boxing, issued a statement yesterday after professional boxing organisation World Boxing Council (WBC) accused the body of moving too far away from its amateur roots following the launch of a tier for professional boxers (APB) later this year.
The statement read: “AIBA understands the dreams and hopes of current professional boxers to compete in the Olympic Games. The main goal of this groundbreaking [APB] competition programme is to protect boxers throughout their entire career, from grassroots to the pinnacle of their pro career. ”
The individual champions of AIBA's World Series of Boxing participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games for the first time in the sport’s history. However, WBC president José Sulaimán, who has threatened legal action against AIBA, has complained to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) that AIBA’s APB plans will lead to the “exclusion of any boxers affiliated with any other organisation”.