The fight intensifies to keep boxing in the Olympic Games

By Matt Bozeat

WORLD Boxing have called for more countries to join them as they fight to keep boxing in the Olympic Games.

World Boxing held their first meeting with the International Olympic Committee this week.

Representatives met in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday at the Olympic House headquarters of the IOC.

As it stands, boxing is not part of the programme for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The IOC has organised qualifying for this summer’s Games in Paris after banning IBA, but have stressed this cannot continue and a new International Federation is needed to run the sport.

World Boxing was launched last April and since then they have staged three World Boxing Cup events in Germany, England and the United States and membership has steadily grown.

At a press conference last month, World Boxing revealed they had 28 members and Secretary General Simon Toulson said: “We are talking with 25-30 countries and there are another group of countries behind them.”

President Boris van der Vorst also told the press that World Boxing were in a position to meet the IOC to discuss the sport’s future and their first meeting was held this week.

The IOC have said that a new International Federation needs to be in place by “early 2025.”

During the meeting, the IOC stressed the new International Federation needs the support of a global body of National Federations and had to show evidence of proper governance and leadership for the sport if they are to consider putting boxing back on the programme for the 2028 Olympics.

Van der Vorst said after the meeting: “It is clearly imperative that those boxing nations interested to compete in the Olympic Games in the future need to show urgently their intent and commitment to the Olympic Games by joining World Boxing and retaining boxing at the Olympic Games.

“Otherwise, the loss of boxing’s Olympic status would be our worst nightmare.”

At the press conference, it was announced Ukraine, a country with a strong Olympic boxing tradition, had yet to apply to join World Boxing, while Mongolia and the Philippines are the only two Asian countries who were currently members and Nigeria the only African country.

Toulson stressed that countries from Asia and Africa were having their applications processed.

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