British Board: AIBA move against Olympic spirit, should reconsider

The British Boxing Board of Control have made it plain they are against the recent announcement by the AIBA which allows professional fighters to enter the Olympics in Rio.

AIBA officials voted overwhelmingly on June 1 to push through the controversial rule that will see paid boxers attempt to qualify in a tournament scheduled for July.

BBBofC Secretary Robert Smith remains hopeful that there is still time to reverse the decision.

“Following the announcement that AIBA are to permit professional boxers to compete in future Olympic Games, the British Boxing Board of Control confirm their objection to such a proposal,” said Smith.

“It is the belief of the British Boxing Board of Control that such a move is against the spirit of the Olympics, disrespectful to the many GB Amateur boxers who, throughout the Olympic cycle compete around the world in qualifying tournaments and ultimately dangerous.

“It is the hope of the British Boxing Board of Control and many within the professional Sport in Great Britain and throughout the world that AIBA reconsider such a move that is not beneficial to the Sport as a whole.”

Fears that former undisputed world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko could go up against a 17 year-old amateur or undefeated pound for pound star Andre Ward could attempt to win gold have not been heeded by the AIBA, who have made 26 places up for grabs to professionals in Venezuela next month.