GB Boxing releases statement on pros fighting at the Olympics

Phil Jay 01/06/2016

GB Boxing have issued a statement to WBN on the decision to allow professional boxers to compete in AIBA sanctioned competitions.

The AIBA voted unanimously to allow professional fighters the chance to qualify for the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympic tournament in August.

A spokesperson for GB Boxing said: “We have a very talented squad from which we have already qualified 10 boxers (8 men and 2 women) for the Olympic Games in Rio.

“Our efforts are focused on preparing our boxers for the next qualification event in mid-June when we hope to qualify the remaining two places.”

Those two places in question are only open to amateur fighters later this month as pros are unable to compete at the next qualification event which will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan between 14-26 of June.

GB Boxing have informed WBN that they will send two boxers to Baku, one at light-welterweight (64kg) and one at welterweight (69kg) and the selected boxers will need to finish in the top 5 to qualify for Rio.

Should no GB boxer qualify from the Baku event, a spokesperson for GB confirmed that they will consider their options for Venezuela between 3-8 of July when pros can also attempt to make the games.

“We will look at the decision to change the rules governing the eligibility of professional boxers competing in AIBA sanctioned competitions as part of our selection process.

“Selection for the final Olympic qualifier in early July will be based on the views of GB Boxing’s Performance Team who will pick the boxer(s) whom they believe is/are most likely to be successful at the event and meet the qualification criteria for Rio.”

To qualify for Rio, any pro boxers will need to finish in the top three at the Venezuela event in the two said categories at light-welterweight and welterweight.

WBN understands that the recent decision by the AIBA will have very little impact on the GB Boxing Team that makes the trip to Rio.