Aiba president outlines boxing reform plans

International Boxing Association (Aiba) president Ching-Kuo Wu has said the world governing body is considering a number of reforms for the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo in the wake of a 2016 Games in which the sport attracted criticism.

Aiba last week reassigned executive director Karim Bouzidi to a new role just a day after dropping several judges and referees from the Rio Olympics. Franco Falcinelli, Aiba's most senior vice-president and the president of the European Boxing Confederation, assumed the Frenchman’s responsibilities for the remainder of the Games.

On Wednesday, Aiba stood down a number of officials following a series of controversial judging decisions at the Games, including Irishman Michael Conlan’s quarter-final defeat to Russian Vladimir Nikitin on Tuesday. Aiba said that it had reviewed all 239 bouts from the Games and found that “less than a handful” were not up to standard in terms of judging.

Speaking to the Associated Press news agency, Wu maintained that Rio 2016 witnessed the best-ever boxing competition staged at an Olympic Games. Ahead of the Games, Aiba made the controversial move to allow professional boxers to compete. Wu believes the initiative proved a success and added Aiba is considering changes to improve the show ahead of Tokyo 2020.

He said: “Aiba is looking at a series of changes for 2020. Three rounds, we all feel, is too short. Maybe we will extend it for five rounds. It will immediately change the tactics. I can already give you a hint that that is in the reforms. We will have much new thinking. Five rounds, three minutes, five scores all showing from the judges. Maybe we will take the (men's) vests off. That would really make 2020 a very exciting Olympic Games. I think many professionals will want to come.”

Along with the Conlan fight, another controversial bout came in the heavyweight title clash (pictured), in which Russian winner Evgeny Tishchenko was booed for his victory over Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit. Wu said: “We will evaluate the whole management system of the referee-judges after the Games. We have continuously made adjustments in the last 10 years, and we keep training and keep changing our rules. We want to make our rules perfect. There's no way you can penetrate into the system and try to manipulate or cheat.”

He added: “We want to totally review our system, how to improve in our mind. Maybe five judges will score all fights, and all scores will be open. No more computer selection. I proposed these changes to our referee-judge management. We look at five and select three by computer, only showing the three. Maybe in the future we should change it to all five judges all showing, nothing to hide. It will be transparent. We will continue to work to make it in a more perfect condition.”

The Aiba president also fired back at ongoing allegations of corruption within his organisation. He said: “A lot of reform and changes happened because I hate corruption. I will immediately punish the people involved in corruption or taking money. Maybe (corruption) happened 10 years ago with the old administration, my predecessor (Anwar Chowdhry), but that is no more. During that time, I watched carefully, and that's why I already removed four vice-presidents, now three secretary generals, six executive committee members. There is zero tolerance.”