— Published 18 August 2023

The IBA warns its federations

A few months ahead of the first elective congress of its new rival, World Boxing, the International Boxing Federation (IBA) is stepping up its initiatives and announcements in an attempt to prevent its member federations from fleeing. In a lengthy press release published on Thursday August 17, the body chaired by Russia’s Umar Kremlev details the risks that threaten countries choosing to join World Boxing. Top of the list is the lack of competitions. “It is quite understandable that national federations are looking for a solution to enable their athletes to take part in the Olympic Games, as many of them depend on Olympic funds, writes the IBA. However, the Olympic Games only involve a total of 248 elite athletes. To achieve this, a boxer has to move gradually from the bottom to the top, gaining experience and fighting the best to excel. What’s more, there are 4 years between Games, and boxers must train and compete to develop their skills, grow professionally while earning a living to reach the next Olympic cycle. The IBA offers all these opportunities today, which is not the case with the alternative organization.” Fair enough. The IBA also explains that IOC recognition, which it lost last June, will not necessarily be granted to World Boxing. “There is no guarantee that the alternative organization will receive IOC recognition, as this process is quite long and complicated,” it suggests. Not untrue, either. The body repeats: it does not accept dual membership. In other words, joining World Boxing automatically means leaving the IBA for good.