Olympic boxing is on course to crash out of the Games | What’s the next step to save it? | Boxing News

There are 100 days to go before the Olympic Games begin in Paris. But a doomsday clock is also ticking down on Olympic boxing.

The sport has until early 2025 for the IOC to accept a new international federation. If that can’t be achieved it won’t feature in Los Angeles 2028 and this will be the last time boxing, one of the foundational sports of the Games, is contested at an Olympics.

IBA was the previous international federation for the sport. But last year the IOC stripped recognition from it, citing its unresolved legacy of governance, financial and ethical issues.

Delicious Orie
This summer could see the last Olympic boxing tournament, unless major strides can be made

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the IOC’s decision to strip recognition from IBA and last week the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) excluded IBA and called for a new organisation to replace it.

“After we waited for the appeal at CAS and the decision of the IOC was confirmed we had no choice to follow our constitution,” ASOIF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said.

“Now we are waiting for some alternative organisation. Boxing is a very important sport.”

There will be a boxing tournament in Paris 2024 but it will be administered by a special IOC taskforce, as was the case at Tokyo for the last Olympics.

But the IOC have made it abundantly clear that they will not do that for a third games. Boxing must find its own new federation if it is to remain an Olympic sport.

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Olympian Delicious Orie was given the last word following an interview with Sky Sports, and used the opportunity to jokingly call out Anthony Joshua.

World Boxing, which was founded a year ago expressly for that purpose, has declared itself ready to fill the breach.

“We are ready to start the conversations with the IOC to discuss the roadmap to become an official partner for them. We are ready for that,” said Boris van der Vorst, the president of World Boxing.

“Of course we could not engage with the IOC in conversation before CAS. It’s now the right time to start, when the IOC is willing to do that, the formal conversation.

“World Boxing is the only way forward for Olympic style boxing.”

Lauren Price, a Tokyo Olympic gold medallist, is backing World Boxing to save the sport

Their priorities, Van der Vorst emphasised, are to “keep boxing at the heart of the Olympic movement, put the interests of boxers first, deliver sporting integrity and fair competitions and create a competition structure designed in the best interests of boxers and strong governance standards and transparency.”

But boxing remains in danger.

“We are still. It requires immediate action also from national federations, to show responsible leadership and apply to World Boxing,” Van der Vorst said.

To become a viable replacement body, World Boxing needs national boxing federations to continue to join its membership, with a global spread, and to further demonstrate its capacity to organise competitions.

The organisation currently has 28 member federations spread across five continents, but secretary general Simon Toulson points out that around 30 other countries have initiated formal dialogue with World Boxing with a view to joining.

“It takes some time for the actual process to happen. So currently we are running between 25 and 30 countries that we’re in discussion with and negotiation with. I can say from my side the main barriers are paperwork and secondly basically they need to de-associate themselves from IBA and change their statutes,” Toulson said.

“There’s actually another group of countries behind that that are actually lining up saying we’re interested to talk but at this stage we’ve not got any formal paperwork with them.”

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Rising heavyweight star Delcious Orie tips the winner of Fury v Usyk, whether AJ can win another world title and who will be the Olympic super heavyweight world champion.

He added: “The IOC has said that we need a number of national federations, we believe that the ones we’ve got, the ones that are likely to come in the next few weeks are of good quality and that should be enough for us to start a discussion with the IOC.

“The decision by ASOIF to remove IBA completely from the Olympic movement from the summer sports is an indication that the IOC is now ready to accept a new federation. Our objective was to get as many members on board before approaching the IOC. I think we can say that we’re in that situation now where we can go to the IOC with a good foundation of good governance, events and a plan of action.

“Boxing’s not on the programme for LA28 so we really need to step up now.”

World Boxing Cup

One of World Boxing’s new competitions is underway this week in Colorado. Great Britain have a strong team taking part.

Super-heavyweight Delicious Orie, middleweight Chantelle Reid and bantamweight Charley Davison, who have all already qualified for the Olympics this summer, are in action at the World Boxing Cup: USA Boxing.

Delicious Orie
Orie is competing in the at the World Boxing Cup: USA Boxing in Colorado

While they are looking to gain vital big-tournament experience ahead of the Paris Games, a squad of other GB boxers are out to prove themselves as the best Briton in their weight class and be selected for the final Olympic qualification event that takes place at the end of May in Thailand.

Competition will be particularly fierce at lightweight where both Shona Whitwell and Gemma Richardson are boxing, at light-heavyweight with Ramtin Musah and Taylor Bevan vying for the top spot and light-middleweight that features both Harris Akbar and Lewis Richardson.

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