India parts way with IOC-suspended International Boxing Association, joins World Boxing

NEW DELHI: The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Friday parted ways with the suspended IBA and joined the breakaway World Boxing in a bid to counter the threat to the sport’s Olympic future.

The move comes months after the International Olympic Committee reiterated its threat to leave boxing out of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics if national federations continued to align themselves with the International Boxing Association (IBA).

“It is absolutely vital to the stainability of boxing that it retains its Olympics status, so we are delighted to join World Boxing,” BFI president Ajay Singh said in a press release.

Singh said he looks forward to working closely with the WB Executive Board to “shape the future development of the sport and deliver a brighter future for boxers across the world.” World Boxing, whose president is former IBA presidential candidate Boris van der Vorst, was launched in April 2023 and aims to ensure that boxing remains at the heart of the Olympic movement.

The membership application was approved by the BFI’s General Assembly and will be ratified by World Boxing’s Executive Board.

“India is a very important country in international boxing and we look forward to welcoming the BFI into the growing World Boxing family. This is a very exciting development which will significantly increase our presence in Asia and I look forward to working closely with the BFI in delivering our common goals,” Van der Vorst said.

On May 7, WB held its first formal meeting with the IOC which signalled the start of a formal collaboration between the two organisations aimed at establishing a pathway for boxing to remain in the Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had de-recognised the IBA in 2019 over long-standing financial, sports integrity, and governance issues.

Boxing at the 2024 Paris Olympics is set to be overseen by the IOC.

It will be the second successive time, after the Tokyo Olympics, that the IBA will have no involvement in bouts at the mega-event.


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