The World Boxing Council (WBC) has upped the ante in its battle with the International Boxing Association (Aiba) over the world governing body’s plans to revamp the sport’s Olympic status by stating it will expel any of its leading boxers who decide to participate.
The WBC’s latest comments come after Aiba president Ching-Kuo Wu this month maintained that top professional boxers will compete at the 2016 Olympic Games, as long as a constitutional change in the governing body’s statutes is approved in June.
Wu in February said that Aiba is seeking to push through plans that would allow elite professional boxers to compete at Rio 2016. Since 2013, Olympics eligibility has been extended to professional boxers who have fought fewer than 15 paid bouts and were willing to sign a short-term contract with Aiba Pro Boxing (APB).
Opening up boxing at the Olympics to more pro fighters has been met with a mixed response. Indeed, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has already hit out at the plan, stating he was “deeply concerned” by the proposal.
Sulaiman (pictured) said that Aiba “does not have a clue of what boxing means and represents.” The head of professional boxing’s most prominent sanctioning body also predicted “dangerous mismatches between experienced professional fighters and amateur boxers” if the pros take up Aiba’s invitation.
In its latest statement on the matter, the WBC said that it would immediately expel any world champion or top-15 ranked boxer that participates in the Olympic Games. It said the decision has been made after consulting the global boxing community and taking medical advice.
The WBC added: “It is not possible to imagine, much less accept a fight between professional boxers, who already have a physical development and more advanced technical skills, facing young fighters that are just starting this process.
“Boxing is not a game. There is no scoring with goals or baskets. Rather, it is a contact sport which must be taken seriously. Reasoning must prevail, the function of all bodies must be to always care for and regulate the safety and healthcare of boxers.”