Saturday 20 January 2018

Taylor set for taste of pro game

Bernard O'Neill

IRISH boxers trying to decide between remaining amateur or turning professional may soon be able to enjoy the best of both worlds if Amateur International Boxing Association president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu has his way.

Dr Wu has instructed all National Federations that the concept of "amateur boxing" no longer exists.

It will now be called AIBA Olympic Boxing (AOB). Likewise, all National Federations, including the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, have been instructed to remove the word 'amateur' from their titles.

In a separate development, Olympic champion Katie Taylor could be offered a world ambassadorial role for women's boxing by the AIBA in Yerevan, Armenia before Christmas.

Taylor, the current Olympic, World, European and EU lightweight champion, will be in Yerevan to accept her third AIBA World Female Boxer of the Year Award in December.

The Bray woman said last week she had snubbed lucrative offers to turn professional and will remain an amateur and aim for a second gold at the 2016 Olympic Games.

However, Dr Wu has indicated that the 26-year-old could get a taste of the pro game in first ever women's fight in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

Introduced by AIBA for men in 2010, WSB boxers fight without protective head gear to the 10-point scoring system favoured in pro boxing as opposed to the computer scoring system in amateur boxing.

WSB boxers also get paid a salary and win bonuses. Their WSB status does not interfere with the Olympic eligibility. Pro boxers are banned from the Olympic Games.

"The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is delighted to hear that Katie Taylor will stay within our family for at least the next four years. Not only is she an outstanding athlete but she is also a role model for many women," said Dr Wu. "I cannot wait to meet her again and give her the trophy of Best Elite Women Boxer of the Year.

"We will sit down and discuss together the future of women's boxing. We are considering adding one women's bout to the World Series of Boxing matches. This would ensure that the very best of women boxers would not lose their Olympic eligibility before we launch AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) in the near future."

Sunday Indo Sport

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