Exclusive interview with IJF President and IOC Boxing Task Force member Mr. Marius Vizer

26 October 2020 News

Mr. Marius Vizer is the President of the successful International Judo Federation (IJF) which could be a role model for all of the international sport federations. He introduced a series of rule changes in judo, increased the activity of IJF and the development of judo reached wider audience worldwide.

Mr. Marius Vizer worked also as President of Sportaccord in the past and currently he is also member of the IOC Boxing Task Force which is arranging the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and the boxing event of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Mr. Marius Vizer replied to our questions kindly in terms of the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events, Europe’s boxing strengths, the planned European Boxing Academy and AIBA’s issues.

What was your opinion about the level of the Qualification Events, the performance of the boxers and the work of the organizers?

First of all, I would like to extend my regards to the entire international community and to their leaders in this difficult moment that our society is passing, and in a quite difficult period also for the International Boxing Family. The Tokyo Olympic Qualification started according to the planning of the IOC Boxing Task Force, but unfortunately, as you might have noticed, it has been interrupted by the outburst the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the biggest strengths of boxing in your opinion especially in Europe?

The European Boxing has a long tradition and has brought an important contribution to the process of the evolution, promotion and produced results in the arena of the international boxing. The European Boxing had, has and will have a major importance in the development strategy of the international boxing.

Mr. Vizer, you are an authoritative member of the IOC Boxing Task Force. What can you tell us about the suspended European Olympic Qualification Tournament in London? Is there going any change for the next final version in terms of logistics and organization?

As we could all notice, the Qualification Tournament in London coincided with the outburst of the pandemic, leading to its interruption while taking into consideration the protection measures and the health of all participants. I hope that next spring, after the amelioration of the situation and with the emergence of a vaccine, the event can be continued and finalized.

Did you decide the venue of the European Olympic Qualification Tournament? Will it be continuing in London or in other European city? 

Continuing the event in London and after having the qualification event in Paris will be thoroughly analysed depending on the evolution of the situation, starting most probably after February 2021 and depending on the determination of the qualification process.

It is largely expected that Referees & Judges will be properly selected for the end of the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. Do you believe it would be correct to get support from AIBA in this delicate matter? 

I consider that in the selection process of the Referees & Judges for the Qualification Tournaments a collaboration between AIBA and the selection commission could be welcome.

What is your personal opinion on the suspension of AIBA from the Olympic Movement? Boxing has more than 10 million practitioners and stakeholders worldwide and the decision affected their daily work. 

The suspension of AIBA from the Olympic Movement has been a difficult, delicate and complicated decision due to many factors that I don’t want to mention, but I consider that Boxing and AIBA are important in the context and complexity of sport in general and the Olympic Movement in particular. I hope that this situation will ameliorate after the Tokyo Olympic Games.

AIBA will be elected a new President in December 2020 according to the current plans. However, IOC will take into consideration on AIBA’s position only in September 2021 after the Olympic Games. What is IOC’s current point of views to evaluate AIBA’s position after the next elective Congress or only after the Olympic Games?

The process of selection of the new AIBA President is very important and complex at the same time given the current situation of AIBA. However, I hope that the election of a new President and the corresponding reforms implemented with the new AIBA Executive Committee board will lead to a conciliation in the relation with the IOC.

What do you think about the planning European Boxing Academy that EUBC President Mr. Franco Falcinelli wants to launch soon? The project was inspired by the Judo Academy that you have successfully created to promote and develop Judo worldwide.

Having as model the International Judo Academy, the impact and its results in the process of development and continued modernization of judo at an international level, I think that the initiative of founding a European Boxing Academy is a meaningful project for the evolution of the European and international boxing. I wish everyone lots of success in finalizing all endeavors and lots of health to the entire European and International Boxing Family.

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