— Published 16 November 2023

Umar Kremlev met the Pope

The International Boxing Federation (IBA) is heading for the Middle East. The body will meet on December 9 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for a triple event: its annual congress, the Global Boxing Forum, and a new edition of the Night of Champions. Coincidentally, the IBA will be in full force in Dubai two weeks after the first elective congress of its rival, World Boxing. This is due to take place in Frankfurt, Germany, on November 25 and 26, and will enable the new international federation to elect a president and an executive committee. In Dubai on Saturday December 9, the IBA has announced the presence of representatives from 171 national federations, proof that the announced exodus to World Boxing is not yet massive. The congress will be marked by the election of a representative from the Americas to the Board of Directors, a decision taken by the body to strengthen the presence of women within its governance. On a completely different note, and on a different continent, the IBA announced that its president, Russian Umar Kremlev, had met Pope Francis (photo above). The meeting took place at the Vatican on Wednesday November 15. According to the official version, the two men discussed the power of sport, boxing in particular, “to foster understanding and harmony between diverse communities“. They even suggested a comparison between the boxing ring and life, where “we are all bound together by a common humanity, aspiring to peace.”