EXCLUSIVE: AIBA President Umar Kremlev open to WBC reconciliation

In part three of WBN’s exclusive interview with Umar Kremlev, the new AIBA President, talks about recent bad press and criticism from Mauricio Sulaiman.

Last year, Sulaiman wanted a u-turn on professionals being allowed to compete in the Olympics.

It’s also no secret that the World Boxing Council President was not impressed with the previous AIBA regime.

Sulaiman said: “The IOC leaves AIBA out of organizing and controlling international world competition and the Olympics, just one year before the Olympic Games, which is complicated.

“We are not going to speculate. We are very busy with professional boxing. Therefore, to cover global activity in the amateur field, we have input many resources.

“Many people are participating and happy with what is done, which is to rescue the basic levels of amateurism.”

On the pro rule imposed for the 2016 Games, he added: “That is disgusting and should not happen ever again!

“We do not know what the competition rules will be and what will happen. But our position is for pro boxing to remain out of the Olympic competition.

“We hope that the athletes can participate and be competing within the framework of a fair format.”

Asked whether he’d like to speak to Sulaiman in the future, Kremlev exclusively told World Boxing News: “The boxing community – both Olympic and professional – is one family working to develop our sport.

“Therefore, of course, I am open to dialogue and interaction.”

Umar Kremlev Boxing Olympics

AIBA REPUTATION

On how he plans to rebuild the AIBA reputation, Kremlev added: “I will not hide that this is not an easy task. To accomplish it, fundamental reforms are required.

“And to carry out the reforms, the unity of the entire boxing community of the planet is needed.

“The past elections have shown that now, as never before, we have united in front of common enemies – corruption, lack of funding and competencies, and lack of transparency in AIBA governance.

“Closing AIBA’s debt will be my team’s top priority. We will attract large international companies as partners.


FINANCES

“In six months, we will not be in debt and will receive funds to help International Federations in the development of boxing on all continents.

“Finance is essential. But control over its obtaining and use is no less important. The information about all our incomes and expenses will be open and public.

“It is essential for us that AIBA proves its integrity and transparency to the entire sports community.

“Not only will the use of finances be transparent, but the entire system of AIBA governance.

“We have already put the first brick in our foundation: on the second day of the Congress, a new Constitution was adopted by AIBA Members.

“It will improve democratic governance, transparency, and ethical oversight at AIBA, as recommended by the IOC.”

Furthermore, if the AIBA and WBC can get on the same page, that will only be good for the sport.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.