Newsletter EUBC by President Franco Falcinelli – June 2020

11 July 2020 Featured

 AIBA and Professional Partnership

Dear Boxing Friends,

We are going through a particular period in all senses, emotional and refounding. In this period, however, it is essential to leverage personal resources in order to maintain behavior that allows you to face the current situation in a constructive way and to prepare the relaunch activity with commitment and determination.

Attention to personal, family and social health can represent an opportunity at this time not only positively overcome the complexity of emotions and moods, but also manage better the process of overcoming the most disastrous crisis in history of our sport, boxing, in the Olympic movement.

I, therefore, turn to all friends to invite them to evaluate the contents of three letters with serene attention which have aroused perplexity, amazement, but also the consent and attention of managers, coaches and boxers all over the world.

Mohamed Moustahsane, AIBA Interim President

The letter of AIBA Interim President, Mohamed Moustahsane, who very recently informed the AIBA Executive Committee members about his current reopened dialogues with WBA, which was initiated and negotiated by former resigned AIBA President C.K.WU until 2017, has created many perplexities.

Contacts between AIBA and WBA management began in 2015 and the first official meeting between AIBA and WBA dates back to 8 July 2016 when the past President C.K. WU and Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, WBA President, met in Vargas, Venezuela.

After the AIBA Extraordinary Congress of 1st June 2016 held in Lausanne, which had amended art. 13 (J) of the Statute which stated “Professional boxers were also able to participate in the Rio Olympic Games and future WSB and AOB competitions”. This amendment was ratified by 95% of the delegates (84 of 88 delegates ).

The intentions and conditions were optimistic and encouraging at that time. C.K.WU thought  that he could relaunch spectacular boxing and “Rio 2016” was to become a great showcase for great champions.

Mendoza and the WBA would have become the privileged reference points for all future champions who, after the Olympic Games, had wanted to pass through professionalism via this partnership.

However, unfortunately, it uncontested that  the participation of pro boxers in “Rio 2016” resulted in  a failure and the presence of Pacquiao, Klitschko, Mayweather and other great champions, as the C.K. WU hoped, did not occur. Only 3 modest-level professional boxers attempted unsuccessfully in Rio Games.

The dialogue between the WBA and AIBA continued with the Taipei meeting on 20 February 2017 where a competitive format was also developed: the BOXING WORLD CUP, an annual event jointly held by AIBA and WBA with a new location every year.

The Proposed Competition Format:

  • Teams: boxers each selected from the following:
  • WBA: World Regional Champions
  • AIBA: WSB Champions
  • Format: 5 Categories, 6 Rounds, AIBA and WBA Officials
  • Marketing: Managed by BMA / Alisports (AIBA)
  • TV HBO / Showtime (WBA)
  • A MOU was also made
  • And while AIBA promoted the “HeadsUp” the WBA drew up an innovative and fascinating perspective for the reunification for world  world professional boxing, launching in six point the WBA Policies:
  1. Union of boxing organizations
  2. Find a single champion
  3. Do inter-organism tournaments
  4. Improve anti-doping policies
  5. Fully train boxers, coaches, judges and referees
  6. Speak about boxing in universities to rescue the source in the media

It is evident that the collaboration project between the two world bodies was serious and feasible even if Mendoza, with his great experience and ability, stressed as:

Of course, there were no shortage of extreme medical opinions, media opinions, and the temptation of great champions and also a revolt of colleagues in other international organizations. The WBA maintened the position to mediate, listen and seek joint effort for the sake of the boxing world. I faithfully believe that in a niche sport so anarchic as boxing, a union is essential”.

Despite good intentions in early March 2017, the former AIBA Executive Director, William Louis Marie, informed C.K.WU that “the WBA was unable to ensure the best boxers presence to this event and that the prize money was a critical factor. Moreover, has not met any TV network yet”.

The AIBA/WBA project ended there.

Well, then doubts may arise on this partnership: if it did not work out when AIBA was still in a good shape, how could it work now given the current AIBA’s financial situation?

Who will guarantee all event budgets? Who will manage the competitions? Who will manage all financial conditions related to the events? How this joint partnership will help current AIBA? Moreover, it remains unclear why the secrecy of this partnership, and why the AIBA EC are not involved in the talks and negotiations with WBA.

Borrowing this opportunity, I would like to demand AIBA and the Interim President the following: is this the right time to reopen dialogue with the professional boxing world?

Rather, I believe it is our precious time to rebuild a new and reliable governance structure by electing the new President, find ways to clear all debts, reshape all ethics in organization and competitions and guarantee of the correctness of the technical results as requested by the IOC.

The AIBA Congress of December must be the priority. A new President will be elected, a new Constitution will be adopted and maybe a new era for AIBA will finally begin.

IOC, ASOIF and IFs are organising their meetings remotely, including elective congresses (for example World Sailing), and AIBA shall be ready to do the same, in the event the pandemic will continue.

AIBA Interim President Dr. Moustahsane received  the voices of two authoritative AIBA EC Members, Mr. Eyup Gozgec  and Mr. Mikayilov Suleyman, who have expressed the same as my emotions.  Their letters and concerns must not be ignored and it is also the time which all National Federations should be informed  on what we are doing.

First of all, we must repair our house that is collapsing and then we can, with dignity and with the sharing of our National Federations and the IOC, check if the ethical, sporting and regulatory conditions still exist to revive a collaboration relationship with one or more  professional organizations.

What happened is done.  Stop giving time to things which no longer exist!

International competitions and the  Next EUBC EC Meeting.

With regard to the competition activity of the EUBC, I am happy to point out that some countries are starting to organize international events again. In fact, from the end of August, countries such as Serbia, Poland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic and others will host the first post international lockdown tournaments.

This is a great sign of the desire that boxing and sport in general restart, and we hope that it is only the beginning of the rebirth. Obviously, health prevention measures will be of fundamental importance and must be strictly applied.

Regarding the 2020 European Championships, unfortunately we have to consider the different situations of COVID-19 in different European countries. Currently it is indeed not easy and I would say it is impossible to be able to make a correct planning of all European events. However, we remain confident about future improvements in post-pandemic life and the possibility of being able to organize at least part of the Championships that were scheduled for 2020.

This important topic will be dealt with in detail at the beginning of August by the EUBC Executive Committee and EUBC Competition Commission via online meetings. We understand very well that it is not easy for athletes to continue training with great commitment without having a specific purpose and goal, but we all know that this is a particular year that can give us any decision.

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