Tuesday 21 November 2017

Boxing: Turning pro a big risk for Taylor if she wishes to chase gold in Brazil

Bernard O'Neill

TURNING professional with one eye on a second gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio is a risky strategy for Katie Taylor, unless AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) is also introduced for women.

AIBA, the Amateur World Boxing Association, will move fully into pro boxing with the launch of APB for men late next year. The amateur body are looking at ways to implement a similar situation for women's boxing, but it will not "happen anytime soon."

Under present AIBA rules, pro boxers are banned from the Olympics, but some current pro boxers can regain their Olympic status if they sign up to APB.

According to the new APB rules, boxers, who have a history of competing in AIBA events, can return if they have fought less than 15 times in the pro ranks and have turned pro in the last two years.

Likewise, London 2012 Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin, who turned pro with Amir Khan's stable recently, has the option to box in APB, and, if he qualifies, line out for Ireland at Rio 2016.

But London 2012 gold medallist Taylor, if she turns pro, could find that the road to Rio is closed because there is no APB for women and she would have no way of qualifying for the 31st Olympiad.

Nevin's situation, would also, of course, be contingent on his contract with Khan.

APB rules also stipulate that "in exceptional cases," they will consider accepting some boxers, who can add much value to APB."

In a separate, but related AIBA announcement this week, the concept of 'amateur boxing' will no longer exists for men.

It will now be called 'AIBA Olympic Boxing' (AOB), and all National Federations, including the Irish American Boxing Association, have been directed to change their titles. AIBA President, DR Ching-Kuo Wu, in a letter to each National Federation, stated.

"In 2007, at the AIBA Extraordinary Congress held in Chicago, AIBA had already declared not to use the word of 'amateur' in the organisation any longer. Now, with the launch of APB, the concept of 'amateur boxing' will no longer exist."

Irish Independent

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