Sulaiman: AIBA abusing power

Mauricio Sulaiman

WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, has condemned the International Boxing Association (AIBA) after their president, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, announced plans which would allow professional boxers to participate in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the scathing attack, Sulaiman said “The World Boxing Council is deeply concerned about the shameful lowest stage that AIBA has reached in the entire history of Olympic boxing.

“There is a great deal of ignorance and lack of information about what has happened in amateur boxing in recent years, which has positioned amateur and Olympic boxing and its world structure at its worst level.”

AIBA President, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, is eager to see professional boxers at the Olympics and is keen to hurry through the proposal. “We want something to change – not after four years, but now,” said Wu, speaking at the AIBA commissions meeting in Manchester.

“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.”

Sulaiman, however, takes a more critical view of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) and feels AIBA are acting like despots. “The so-called World Series of Boxing has been an embarrassment, showcasing very low-level fights and dangerous mismatches,” said Sulaiman. “So, now AIBA is attempting to include fully developed professionals to compete in the Olympic games.”

“AIBA has threatened expulsion or suspension of several countries from international tournaments, up to and including The Olympics, if that country does not accept to be ruled only by the exclusive authoritarian imposition of AIBA rules and regulations. In doing so, AIBA has sought to intimidate and abuse its power, in order to establish a monopoly on professional boxing as well, even by eliminating the word ‘amateur’ from its own name, meaning that for AIBA, amateur boxing no longer exists.

“Boxing cannot be considered without keeping separate amateur and professional boxing, for the most basic principle of safety, by avoiding such dangerous mismatches between experienced professional fighters and amateur boxers. This is something AIBA is not able to understand because it seems their leadership does not have a clue of what boxing really means and represents.

“AIBA’s priority appears to be the commercial and business aspects of the sport. Boxers are obligated to sign commercial contracts with AIBA and its affiliates, which positions AIBA in an undeniable and clear conflict of interest.”

Sulaiman ended his barrage by questioning why AIBA have sanctioned amateur bouts without headgear before announcing that the WBC plans to expand their own amateur programme in order to combat what they see as an abuse of power by AIBA.

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