By James Blears
World Boxing Council lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), who`s won championships in four weight divisions, is highlighting to the International Olympic Committee the essential and fundamental importance of keeping amateur boxing in the Olympics, because it forms the bedrock foundation of everything that follows in the professional sphere.
Due to many problems of AIBA, which took over amateur boxing, the IOC is considering scrapping boxing as an Olympic Sport, in spite of its great tradition and enduring immense popularity.
Some Olympic boxing stars, who went on to reach the dizzying heights of professional stardom include: Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael and Leon Spinks, Oscar de La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Anthony Joshua.
At his Green and Gold Belt Presentation Ceremony in Mexico City, Mikey was crystal clear in his view that removing amateur boxing from the Olympics would be a very grave and unfortunate mistake as well as a real and awful strategic blunder.
He said: "I think the Olympics are a great opportunity and a great base for young fighters. Any young fighter aspires to be a great amateur champion first, followed by the realization of the Olympic dream. And then after that, transition into the professional ranks.
"Dropping boxing from the Olympics would be a real mistake. The amateur programs are great start ups for boxers and some of the very greatest started off in the amateurs. I myself had amateur national tournaments and international experience. That allowed me to gain the experience and the confidence before I joined the professional ranks."
A Global petition is being organized and sent to the IOC to show them that sports fans worldwide want boxing to stay in the Olympics for the sake of its future and graduated evolution.
Garcia is scheduled to return in the fall or early 2019, against an opponent to be determined. He wants to face IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence.