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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Appeal raised to Asian level

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
31 Jan 2019


Ed Picson.

Last weekend, Southeast Asian boxing leaders got together in Bangkok to discuss a proposed appeal for the IOC and AIBA to reconsider the abolition of the lightflyweight and bantamweight divisions in men’s boxing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With the IOC’s directive to reduce the men’s weight categories from 10 to eight, AIBA decided to merge the five lightest divisions into three, sacrificing the lightflyweight (46-49 kg) and bantamweight (56 kg) classes to end up with flyweight (48-52 kg), featherweight (57 kg) and lightweight (63 kg).

For the record, the last three Olympic lightflyweight boxing gold medalists were from Asia (two from China, one from Uzbekistan) and since 1988, the Philippines has bagged two bronzes and a silver, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a bronze and Thailand, a silver in the division.

In the bantamweight class, Asian countries have also gained their fair share of Olympic medals with Mongolia taking a gold, Thailand a silver and two bronzes, Uzbekistan two bronzes and Japan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea a bronze dating back to 1988. If the AIBA proposal is carried out for the Tokyo Olympics, Asia will lose the potential of earning medals in the two divisions.

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson attended the Bangkok meeting and said it was decided to course the appeal to the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) Congress in Bangkok this April. The Congress will be held in conjunction with the ASBC Elite Championships for Men and Women on April 17-27.

“We’re only 11 countries in Southeast Asia and we need a bigger voice to be heard by the IOC and AIBA,” said Picson. “So we hope to present our case before the ASBC Congress and ASBC president Anas Alotaiba.” AIBA Executive Committee member, Thailand Boxing Association president and ASBC vice president Pichai Chunhavajira of Thailand and AIBA Executive Committee member Shelly Selowati Soejono of Indonesia will attempt to muster support from other Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and India. Alotaiba is from the United Arab Emirates.

Picson said it’s likely the IOC will take over the supervision of boxing in the 2020 Olympics unless AIBA president Gafur Rahimov of Uzbekistan steps down from his position. The IOC is uncomfortable with Rahimov, an alleged criminal, as AIBA president, considering the sport has been tainted by accusations of corruption for years. The IOC will hold an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne on June 19-20 and AIBA’s fate may be on the agenda.

Meanwhile, Picson left Manila last night with boxer Eumir Marcial and coach Ronald Chavez to participate in the Europe-Asia dual meet at the Hilton in Prague on Saturday. The invitation was sent to ABAP by Czech Boxing Association president Svatopluk Zacek and Big Board Prague’s Pavel Hynek. Marcial will battle a fighter from Slovakia in the 75 kilogram division. The equivalent of P17,900 will be given to Marcial for the bout. The Czech Boxing Association said the main purpose of the event is to promote AIBA Open Boxing not only in the country but also in Eastern Europe.

There will be fights in two women’s categories (51 kg, 69 kg) and eight men’s divisions (56 kg, 60 kg, 64 kg, 69 kg, 75 kg, 81 kg, 91 kg, +91 kg). A Thai fighter will compete in the 56 kg division. Each boxer will see action only once in the exhibition which is being broadcast on national Czech TV. The hosts are shouldering the expenses of the visitors, including air fare, board and lodging. The Philippine delegation will be back on Monday.


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