The decision of the United States Boxing Federation (USA Boxing) not to send athletes to the 2023 World Championships, scheduled for next month in India for the women and in May in Uzbekistan for the men, has not gone unnoticed in the world of amateur boxing. It was expected. But it was less expected that the first “official” reaction came from one of the legends of the discipline in the United States. Roy Jones Jr. (pictured above), the former multiple world champion in the professional ranks, an early ally of IBA president Umar Kremlev, has taken up his pen to write a letter to the American amateur boxing community. The letter was seen by FrancsJeux. “I was bitterly disappointed to learn of the boycott of the IBA World Boxing Championships,” writes Roy Jones Jr. “Today, on behalf of myself, I would like to reassure athletes, coaches and all boxing fans in the United States that this decision was made only by officials, not by the boxers themselves.” That said, Roy Jones Jr. says he is prepared to “personally” organise help and support for US boxers and coaches who would like to participate in the 2023 Worlds. “The officials themselves, who would like to make sport a policy, can continue to sit in their huge offices and talk about the importance of sport and their work and make statements,” the former boxer continued. But we must not allow them to deprive our athletes of the right to represent their country because of the weakness of their leaders (…) Dear boxers and coaches of the US national team, do not hesitate to contact me to organise your participation in the IBA men’s and women’s world championships.
— Published 10 February 2023