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If boxing is not in the Olympics, it only screws the fighters

Boxing might be on its last legs to be eligbe for the 2020 Olympics. In a report from USA Today on February 19th , time is rapidly running out.

One of the major issues with the sport of boxing not being official in the 2020 Olympics from the administrative side of things is funding. Budgets are being set for not just 2019 as well as for the following year of 2020 and with boxing looking to be shelved, many countries are not allocating funds to the sport and/or athletes. In short, things like a travel budget and a stipend to live off might be drastically reduced if not none existent as we approach the 2020 Olympics, especailly for smaller countries.

In November the IOC stated that boxing was not a shoo-in to be a part of the 2020 Olympics as corruption reigned supreme. As boxing fans we can point to the past such as Roy Jones Jr. getting completely robbed of a gold medal in Korea against Korean Park Si-Hun even after brutally beating Si-Hun. More recently Michael Conlan vs Vladimir Nikitin comes to mind, when Conlan dominated the bout and Nikitin was unable to compete in the next round from damages in the fight despite winning and advancing, prompting Conlan to flip off the whole Olympic committee.

A highlight of the Roy Jones Jr. robbery at the Olympics from YouTube.

Beyond this, Gafur Rakhimov, the elected AIBA president has been alleged as a heroin trafficker linked to organized crime and placed under sanctions, all of which Rakhimov denies. In the disorganized sport of boxing saw things going from bad to worse, but much like everything in boxing, the people getting screwed are the essentially just the fighters.

If boxing is not in the Olympics in 2020, it only screws the fighters, and that simply is the harshest aspect of it. Fighters such as Troy Isley, Richard Torrez Jr., Delante “Tiger” Johnson, Marc Castro, Ginny Fuchs and many more, have worked hard to put themselves in position to fight at the Olympic games and because of irresponsibility by people they don’t know, they can have it taken away from them. You have to feel for them, as they now have to sit and wait, hoping that they can compete at the world stage, with nothing in their control.

The thing that brings most people to boxing is the selfish nature of the sport. You get what you put in, and you go as far as your work ethic takes you. The olympics is the purest form of the sport in theory, you have a bracket and you face a level of competition based on your number you are given if you win, you advance, if you don’t it is over. Of course, politics always plays a part in everything, but with that being said, at least we get to see some of the dream match-up for the developmental side of boxing on the world level. 

As of right now, it looks like the smaller countries, will more than likely have no fighters representing them, since their budgets are not big enough to risk money with the chance of boxing not even being eligible. Places like the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, etc, will have the luxury of having larger budgets and have that luxary, but what this means is, if the Olympic do include boxing, the talent pool will be much smaller.

The major issue is AIBA, and how will they be involved in the sport moving forward. They have mishandled the sport of boxing as under their watch we have seen boxing relegated to streaming services app-based technology with most of the 2016 Olympic events not even broadcast live, probably in fear of bad judging. A far cry from the 2008 Olympics in China in which boxing felt like it was one of the major broadcasted events.

As we inch closer and closer to find out the future of boxing in the Olympics, let’s think about the young fighters who wanted to be Olympians, who are getting screwed by these organizations misdoings and potentially unable to fulfill a childhood dream by no fault of their own.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle