Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Professional boxers will be allowed to compete at the Rio Olympic Games

Boxing's governing body is facing a major backlash after voting in favour professionals fighting in this summer's Olympic Games in Rio.
Eighty-four of the 88 member federations of AIBA approved the rule changes, which will permit any world champion boxer to try to qualify next month and win selection for their national team.
The idea has come under fire across the pro ranks for several months and those at the forefront of the sport were quick to voice their opinions when the plans received a formal seal of approval.
Oscar Valdez Fierro (left) fights John Joe Nevin at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. AIBA member federations have voted in favour of allowing professionals to compete at the Rio Olympics this summer
Oscar Valdez Fierro (left) fights John Joe Nevin at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. AIBA member federations have voted in favour of allowing professionals to compete at the Rio Olympics this summer
Luke Campbell in action against Shimizu Satoshi at London 2012. Amateurs could now be joined by experienced pros in Olympic competitions after 84 of 88 members federations approved the move
Luke Campbell in action against Shimizu Satoshi at London 2012. Amateurs could now be joined by experienced pros in Olympic competitions after 84 of 88 members federations approved the move
Carl Frampton (right) launched a scathing attack on the decision within minutes of its announcement 
Carl Frampton (right) launched a scathing attack on the decision within minutes of its announcement

Former WBA and IBF super-bantamweight champion Carl Frampton launched a scathing attack on social media within minutes of the news. 
'Pros boxers being allowed to fight in Olympics is ridiculous! They're two different sports. It's like a badminton player playing tennis,' he wrote on Twitter.
'Also when and how do they Qualify for Rio? It starts in about 10 weeks. AIBA have got worse since I was an amateur and thats hard to believe.'  
Former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson has branded the rule change 'ridiculous' and 'foolish'
Former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson has branded the rule change 'ridiculous' and 'foolish'
Ricky Hatton said the decision signalled the end for amateur boxing.
He tweeted: 'Pro boxers in the olympics. What are AIBA thinking. Goodbye amateur boxing now as far as I'm concerned. Can't say I'm a fan of this.'
AIBA say 26 entry places can be earned at an Olympic qualifying tournament in Venezuela next month.
AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu has consistently pushed to extend his organisation's influence over professional boxing. In 2013, Olympic eligibility was given to paid fighters signed to AIBA-run pro tournaments.  
Former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson had come out as a vocal critic of the rule change prior to Wednesday's vote.
On a recent trip to Beijing to promote professional boxing in China, Tyson branded the notion 'ridiculous' and 'foolish'.
His focus was more on professionals being beaten by amateurs than the safety element involved, recounting the speed and skill of boxers from countries such as Cuba and Russia from his days an amateur in the 1980s.  
AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu has been pushing through a series of measures to professionalise the amateur sport over recent years, including a change of points-scoring system and the removal of headguards
AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu has been pushing through a series of measures to professionalise the amateur sport over recent years, including a change of points-scoring system and the removal of headguards
David Haye branded the introduction of pros 'insane'
David Haye branded the introduction of pros 'insane'
British fighter David Haye is another outspoken critic of plans to pool pros and amateurs together in the same ring.
'You get these young kids who are training their whole life to go to the Olympics,' Haye told the SportsPro Live conference at Wembley in March.
'To go there and not fight someone else like them but fight someone who has won an Olympics before, been a world champion and is just coming back to fight some kids, I think is insane.
'I think you're going to get some young kids hurt and you're definitely going to stunt the growth of these young kids. 
'It's ridiculous, it's foolish and some of the pro fighters are going to get beat by the amateurs,' Tyson said.  
'It's just going to happen. Some of them are going to get beat I think. I really believe that.
'For three rounds, four rounds, some of the professional boxers aren't going to be able to catch these guys,' he said. 'These guys are going to be fast for three rounds, four rounds. These guys are not going to be accustomed to that.'
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