Professional boxers could be allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics this summer according to the president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Speaking at the AIBA commissions meeting in Manchester, AIBA president, Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, suggested a change is needed and said it was “absolutely possible,” that professional boxers could take part in the Rio Olympics this summer.
“We want the best boxers to come to the Olympic Games. It is AIBA’s 70th birthday and we want something to change – not after four years, but now.
“It is an IOC policy to have the best athletes in the Games and of the international federations, AIBA is probably the only one without professional athletes in the Olympics.
“We already have our own professionals, APB and WSB boxers, in the Games – [but] we will go further.”
AIBA has taken major strides since Wu took the helm in 2006 and this latest move to modernise the sport will seek to blur the lines between the amateur and professional boxing codes.
“I think any international federation must start to think about what the future of the sport will be and if we know what we would like to happen then we must propel our vision.
“After 70 years, it is up to AIBA to set up a good foundation which will last for many decades.
“When I took over the presidency in 2006 I made it very clear the term of amateur is not really relevant because when you look now at all the Olympic sports, who is really amateur?
“I think the process is very clear and we plan to consider it very thoroughly. We have already received a very strong, positive response from our members, and everybody is excited and would like to see it.”