Professional boxers can compete at Rio Olympics 2016
Professional boxers can compete at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the sport’s governing body ruled in a landmark decision today.
Meeting at an extraordinary congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, 88 members of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) voted in favour of the move, while none voted against and four abstained.
The final results of the vote were told to AFP by a senior official within AIBA who requested anonymity as they were not authorised to speak publicly on the subject before the official announcement.
The revolutionary decision is however unlikely to see boxing’s biggest names enter the Olympic ring in Rio.
No time left for Vijender to claim Olympic berth
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) might have allowed professional boxers to compete in the Olympics but India’s biggest pro star Vijender Singh will not be seen in the Rio de Janeiro Games as he hasn’t been left with any time or chance to make the cut.
In a landmark decision, AIBA today threw the Olympic doors open for professional boxers after an extraordinary congress in Lausanne, Switzerland voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move.
The decision has, however, been met with a mixed response with some like Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis calling it “foolish” and “preposterous” while others like Amir Khan welcoming the step.
In India, AIBA’s decision brought the focus on Olympic medallist Vijender, who turned professional last year. The 30-year-old, a former amateur world No.1 in middleweight, is enjoying an unbeaten run in his pro career and is scheduled to fight for the WBO Asia title belt on July 16 in the national capital.
“I welcome AIBA’s decision of allowing professional boxers to compete in the Rio Olympics. I am yet to receive the formalities for this entire process. Since there is no federation in the country, I don’t know who will guide me for this entire thing. Right now I am concentrating on my 16 July title fight to be held in New Delhi,” Vijender told PTI when asked whether he would give Olympic qualification a shot.