Boxing is a sport of the original founding the Olympics from Greece and has been one of the biggest attractions in the modern Olympic Games.
The Olympic glory has essentially been a stage for some of the greatest world champions in history. Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya and Lennox Lewis, just to name a few, were Olympic medalists.
Olympic boxing, however, has been tarnished in recent years with scandals and accusations, with horrible officiating and with a confusing plan to become involved in professional boxing – with only commercial vision. This decision has led the sport of boxing to be at one of the lowest levels in amateur competition ever.
Many scandals led to horrific officiating and questioned injustices, for example, Roy Jones Jr., Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather and Jeff Fenech and many others who Were robbed of the Olympic glory.
In recent years, the AIBA, who is the international association responsible to organize Olympic competition, has been constantly changing its rules, which they apply with tremendous inconsistencies worldwide.
My father, Jose Sulaiman, who was President of the WBC for 38 years, always had the safety of the athletes as the only concern and was very active in pointing to several negative actions by AIBA.
Today, the world is facing the AIBA’s boxing proposal to allow professional boxers to compete in the Olympics.
The WBC wrote a letter to the IOC, Which was Responded by directing the WBC to Communicate with AIBA directly as sole organizer of Olympic competitions.
The WBC are representing a review of concern from thousands around the world, who are absolutely opposed to having professional boxers compete in the Olympic Games of Rio, which is only 78 days from now.
There are many unanswered facts about this step but all leads to the danger of allowing a mature professional fighter facing a young, inexperienced fighter.
AIBA is using the names of Manny Pacquiao, Wladimir Klitschko, Andre Ward, Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. as candidates to compete in the Olympic Games.
There are so many uncertain factors surrounding eligibility and competition format, which is proof that the AIBA are rushing into a decision which could lead to tragic consequences.
The WBC has spoken to many fighters who have expressed their opinion.
“Letting professional versus amateur boxers is a real crime and it is attacking the very roots of boxing. It endangers the lives and careers of young talented boxers and the AIBA is behind this madness for money. The people must raise their voice against this measure and professional boxers shouldnt even consider this offering. Let’s create a common front to the benefit of boxing.” – Julio Cesar Chavez.
“Olympic boxing is built for amateurs and is the highest achievement you can get, alongside being world amateur champion. All of a sudden, you could have a scenario where someone like former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who won Olympic gold in Atlanta and has so much experience, could go up Against a kid of 18 who has had just 10 fights.” – Lennox Lewis.
All it’s going to take is one 17-year-old kid from Sweden fighting an American 30-year old current world champion, puts the poor kid into coma and then everyone will ask; Why did you allow that to happen? Obviously it is a contact sport so why would you allow a 17-year-old boy to fight this 30-year-old man who has already won the Olympics 10 years ago? What’s the point?” – David Haye.
“AIBA has done it and they are now the terrorists of boxing. Mercenaries that risk the life of young boys. Robbing that dream which comes with the Olympic glory by matching them against professional boxers. Our humanitarian obligation is to fight and put an end to these absurd practices that prioritize economic interests over human life. Let’s create a common front in benefit of boxing.” – Sergio” Maravilla “Martinez.
IOC has stepped out of the matter and directed AIBA to make all decisions. June 1st will be the the day on which the delegates of AIBA will vote about this matter and will certainly be a day on which all voting Delegates will have in their hands the safety and well being of the amateur fighters of the world.