Who will win the boxing tournaments in Rio 2016
Rio 2016 is just a few months away, and, understandably, the tension is building up in the different cadres of the competition.
In boxing, a major change recently announced has made it even more difficult for followers of the sport to know who will win gold in the showpiece event.
The president of the International Boxing Federation, Wu Ching-kuo recently indicated that there will no longer be restrictions preventing professional boxers from taking part in the Olympics. Before now, only professional boxers with less than 15 paid bouts to their name were allowed to take part in the Olympics. This change means you are better off going to a directory of online luck games to try your hand than trying to predict the winners of the top boxing prizes in the different categories.
Speaking about the decision, the IBF president told reporters at an Aiba commissions meeting in Manchester back in February 2016 that the change was made to ensure the best boxers are able to take part in the Olympic games. He also mentioned that the change was made to coincide with Aiba’s 70th birthday.
He said it was high time Aiba delivered professional athletes to the games in accordance with the IOC’s mantra of having the best athletes on display at all levels of the event. Aiba has professionals in the World Series and APB so the presence of their professionals was only a matter of time.
No timeline was given for when the changes will take effect but it is expected that it will kick in just in time to allow interested professionals to take part in the games.
The president also said it was time for members of the international federations to effect changes that will ensure they are able to provide both upcoming and professional athletes for the games. According to him, the federations should be able to key in to the broader perspective at all times for the benefit of the sport.
According to Mr Wu, the proposal was met with widespread support and a very positive response from members, with many people expressing excitement at the prospect.
How true is this though?
What does this mean for the sport?
Firstly, professionals like Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko and Manny Pacquiao can now theoretically take part in the Olympic Games. Even Floyd Mayweather can come out of retirement to add a gold medal to his already decorated accolades cabinet. He still believes, as do many, that he was wronged in 1996 when he ended up with bronze.
However, even though the new reality is an exciting prospect, few national federations have indicated any interest in ditching some of the young potentials they have nurtured for years, in readiness for this event, in favour of more established superstars.
There have also been concerns about how professionals will adapt to round rules at the Olympic level and some industry watchers believe this could be an elaborate publicity stunt by Wu Ching-kuo and the IBF.
So who will win the boxing tournaments in Rio 2016? We are eagerly waiting to finding out, and your guess is as good as ours.