Boxing’s Biggest Fight Remains Reorganizing Olympic Games for 2028

May 13, 2024
1 month

Boxing’s future at the Olympics has major uncertainty because of the usual nonsense that goes along with international sports. Politics and corruption have driven a wedge between the International Olympic Committee and the boxing committee. Last year, the IOC banished the International Boxing Association from the Olympics.

The IOC voted to derecognize the International Boxing Association because of how the organization was run when it had presidents from Uzbekistan and Russia that IOC didn’t approve of. The IBA also received major funding from the Russian state energy firm Gazprom, and there were issues with the integrity of the sport, ranking from fight fixing to judging problems.

The IOC has stressed that the sport was never in serious enough trouble to be eliminated from the games permanently. Boxing has produced major stars in the professional boxing picture. Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, and Floyd Mayweather are among many who have utilized the Olympics as a launching pad to stardom.

Online boxing news shows that athletes from 25 different countries have medaled in the sport. With tremendous global appeal, the IOC wants to find a way to make things work where integrity is maintained and fighters are able to feel comfortable.

Boxing Goes Back a Long Way

Boxing was first included in the Olympics in 1904. The sport has become a regular staple of the event since then. The only Olympics where boxing wasn’t contested was the 1912 Games. 

In 1912, the sport wasn’t able to be staged in Sweden because it was illegal in the country at the time. The sport further expanded in 2012 when they added women’s divisions.

Olympic Boxing’s Reputation Takes a Hit

One thing that any boxing fan has to remember when watching is that it is an amateur fight. The rules are different. The points system has changed many times throughout the years. 

There have been several controversies that have made people believe the sport is on the up-and-up. One of the most famous examples of this came during the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea. Park Si-Hun was so embarrassed that he got a decision win over Roy Jones Jr. in the gold medal match.

Park won 3-2 but wished he could give the medal back. Jones, who would go on to be a future world champion, dominated the fight. However, judges gave the decision to the home country fighter.

There were significant investigations into fixing at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

McLaren Finds Wrongdoing

Boxing news latest headlines show that Richard McLaren was tasked to look into corruption surrounding the Olympic games. McLaren identified up to 11 fights that were suspicious.

During the 2016 Olympics, there was a spotlight on judging after a contentious fight between Ireland’s Michael Conlan and Russian Vladimir Nikitin. After the judges awarded the fight to Nikitin, Conlan showed them his middle fingers and accused Russia and AIBA of corruption. McLaren’s report didn’t offer a verdict on whether the result of that fight was fixed.

The IBA, which is also known as the AIBA, was found to have hand picked judges and referees to manipulate bouts in the Olympic qualifying matches and Rio games according to McLaren’s report.

One of the more detailed accusations from McLaren’s report includes a bribe of $250,000 for a Mongolian boxer to beat a French fighter. A witness observed the conversation.

A man from Kazakhstan who worked as a ref and judge asked for cash to swing the scorecards in the Mongolian’s favor. But the fighter didn’t pay the bribe. That fighter then lost in an unusual situation where all five judges scored the fight the same way.

McLaren’s report also said there was suspicious activity during the 2012 games in London. Former AIBA president C.K. Wu was found to have tried to push through fighters from certain countries. There was a big push to get Turkish fighters because they had hosted an expensive qualifying competition.

The future of Olympic boxing

Combat sports have a long history in the Olympics. They also have a long history of people threatening their existence. There was a real push in the early 2000s to move on from wrestling.

However, wrestling stayed in the competition after a long, sustained advocacy fight. As of right now, boxing isn’t on the schedule for the 2028 Olympic games in Los Angeles. But there is an organization hoping to fill the void left by the IBA.

Replacing the IBA

Fortunately for boxing fans, there is an organization that is building a coalition to replace the IBA. World Boxing was formed last April.

Since forming, World Boxing has held three World Boxing Cup events. Those fights have been staged in Germany, England and the United States.

So far, there have been nearly 30 countries that have joined the organization. There are another 30 countries who are in talks to join as well. The IOC is putting pressure on the sport to have a federation in place by early 2025.

For this year’s Olympic games, the IOC will serve as the federation for the event, just like it did during the 2021 Games in Tokyo.

What is most important to the IOC is that the new federation shows evidence of proper governance and leadership.

Why Olympic Boxing Matters 

There are still many stars in boxing who start off as Olympians. Looking at Anthony Joshua boxing news will show the former heavyweight champion and current top contender first surged to prominence at the event. Many top amateurs delay turning professional to fight at the Olympics.

The boxing federation needs to get its act together. National pride shouldn’t impact the sport from being staged on the world level. These fights often linger long after they are held. People want to see them.

It would be a difficult time for everyone if they suddenly disappeared.

Find all the latest boxing news and MMA breaking updates on boxingnews.com.

By Dean McHugh.

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