Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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ABAP applies to join World Boxing

Defection from the discredited International Boxing Association (IBA), stripped of recognition by IOC, continues at a global scale and affiliation with the newly-formed, Swiss-based World Boxing is growing as the balance of power has taken a major turn, involving more and more countries that realize the only way to keep the sport in the Olympics is to establish a fresh corruption-free regime built on fair play.

ABAP chairman Ricky Vargas recently disclosed that the national association has applied to join World Boxing and is awaiting acceptance. The late ABAP president Ed Picson’s wife Karina, a highly-respected technical delegate, is in the World Boxing interim Board in a personal capacity and her participation assures the Philippines of a voice in the leadership. Picson was an outspoken critic of IBA’s system of governance and a founding father of World Boxing. It was his dream for World Boxing to replace IBA as an IOC-sanctioned federation.

Vargas said in next year’s Paris Olympics, IOC will run the boxing competition as it did in the Tokyo Games with World Boxing still unable to muster the numbers for widespread representation. In the 2028 LA Olympics, boxing is on the “hold” list and if IOC isn’t convinced of World Boxing’s viability, it may not agree to supervise the sport for a third straight Olympics. World Boxing, however, is gaining ground with the goal of securing a sizable membership to merit IOC affiliation.

Vargas said he’s attending World Boxing’s inaugural convention in Frankfurt on Nov. 24-25. ABAP secretary-general Marcus Manalo said officers will be elected at the convention. So far, Mongolia is the only Asian country in World Boxing. Five continents are represented in the roster of 22 member nations, a positive sign for eventual IOC recognition. The members are USA, Great Britain, Australia, Netherlands, England, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Honduras, Sweden, Denmark, Panama, French Polynesia, Jamaica, Nigeria, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Czech Republic and Mongolia.

World Boxing was launched last April. “IOC is supportive of boxing as a sport and wants it to remain part of the Olympic program and the only way to do this is for National Federations to get behind a new international federation that is committed to integrity, transparency and rigorous governance standards,” said World Boxing’s English secretary-general Simon Toulson. “World Boxing is the only organization that can deliver this and the consistent growth in our membership … is a clear sign of the growing support for World Boxing and widespread desire for change that exists across the sport.”

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.

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