By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The plan of the International Amateur Boxing Association to allow professional boxers to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games under specific rules drawn up by AIBA has come under fire from various boxing organizations as well as promotional outfits.
The North American Boxing Federation (NABF), through the office of President Joseph Dwyer, said it is "expressing its full support of the protests against AIBA and the IOC, as put forward by the WBC and other boxing organizations."
A statement by the NABF which has an infrastructure of professional boxing national commissions in the United States, Mexico and Canada said it “believes that amateur boxing needs support from all the countries of the world and should not be put aside, like AIBA is allegedly doing at the Olympic Games. Boxing in general would not exist without amateur boxing.”
The NABF said it “ strongly objects to having professional boxing at the Olympic Games, because all the under-developed countries would be at a distinct disadvantage, as well as being exposed to safety issues inherent in the sport of boxing. In boxing, athletes punch each other and might get hurt if a non-experienced boxer is fighting against a professional.”
The NABF said it “will stand by the WBC and all other institutions and people who object to AIBA using the Olympic Games for professional boxers.
IN conclusion NABF president Joseph Dwyer said “We respectfully but strongly request AIBA not to proceed to his ruling, and the IOC not to accept it for the fatalities that might occur.”
Meantime the powerful European Boxing Union in its last convention attended by more than 30 affiliated countries engaged in a thorough discussion on the issue of pro boxers seeing action in the Olympics as planned by AIBA president Dr. Wu.
The EBU in a statement said “there was a unanimous vote to support the stand of the World Boxing Council and to send a protest to AIBA and the International Olympic Committee against such a move.”
The EBU said that “boxing is a violent sports where pro bóxers could hurt the many amateurs from so many under-developed countries.”
The EBU also protested what it referred to as the “monopoly actions implemented by AIBA to force professionalism into the Olympic Games.”
The president of Euro Boxing Promotion, Rudel Obreja, assailed Dr. Wu and Ho Kim even as he called on famous bóxers, promoters and trainers “to protect our sport from the personal ambitions” of the two top AIBA officials.