— Published 9 June 2023

World Boxing rubs its hands

It was to be expected. The IOC Executive Board’s decision to propose to the next session that the International Boxing Federation (IBA) withdraw its recognition has been hailed as a form of victory by World Boxing. The discipline’s new governing body, created in April at the initiative of the United States and Great Britain, issued a press release late on Wednesday June 7. In it, it explains that the IOC’s decision constitutes “a very important moment as it gives the sport the opportunity to free itself from the corrosive direction of the IBA, which has driven boxing to a point where it no longer makes sense.” World Boxing continues: “The corrosive leadership of the IBA has brought boxing to a point where its status within the Olympic program is in question. The loss of Olympic status would be devastating for boxing and would have damaging long-term consequences. World Boxing was created to prevent this catastrophic situation from happening and to create a better future.” The IBA’s dissident body is already reaching out to the IOC, explaining in its press release that it wants to “commit to working constructively and collaboratively with the IOC and all other stakeholders to develop a pathway that will preserve boxing’s place in the Olympic program.” Before this can happen, however, World Boxing will need to set up its own governance structure, a step which is due to take place this November with the first elections to the Executive Committee. It will also have to expand its ranks. To date, only three countries – the USA, Switzerland and Great Britain – have clearly expressed their decision to leave the IBA and join its competitor.