International Boxing Association (amateur)
The International Boxing Association or AIBA, originally the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur, is a sport organization that sanctions amateur (Olympic-style) boxing matches and awards world and subordinate championships. Recently, AIBA has been trying to build its own semi-professional version of boxing, where boxers would retain their Olympic eligibility, through the team tournament league known as World Series of Boxing and AIBA Pro Boxing.
The organization has been involved in multiple corruption scandals including on several editions of the Summer Olympic Games. It was recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the international governing body for the sport of boxing until 2019, when the IOC suspended its recognition of the federation.
Since 11 March 2013, new rules apply to AIBA governed boxing. It now lists three different competitions:
- AIBA Open Boxing (AOB), formerly known as amateur or Olympic boxing, remains the main competition within AIBA
- AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) is a professional boxing league
- World Series of Boxing (WSOB) is a semi-professional team tournament
During the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, representatives from the national associations of England, France, Belgium, Brazil and the Netherlands met in a preliminary consortium for the foundation of an international boxing federation: The Federation Internationale de Boxe Amateur (FIBA). The official foundation has been celebrated on 24 August. Right after, international competitions appeared in the boxing arena, allowing amateurs to compete in well-known tournaments.
In November 1946, a consensus was met to give way for the boxing governing body to regain the loss of credibility due to the behaviour of some leading officials in World War II. The FIBA was dissolved and the English Amateur Boxing Association in partnership with the French Boxing Federation decided to create AIBA; the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur. The President of the French Boxing Federation, Emile Grémaux, was elected to the position of President.
Sixty years later, AIBA continued to govern boxing in the Olympic Games without using the word "amateur". Until now, amateur boxing has been present on all continents with continental championships as well as World Cups and World Championships organised by AIBA.
Since 2005 AIBA hold the Boxing World Cup.
The AIBA has since 2006 been headed by Wu Ching-kuo.
In 2010, AIBA launched semi-professional tournament called World Series of Boxing (WSB). Boxers fight for their teams and receive salaries. Matches are held in five different weight classes, boxers compete in five three-minute rounds, don't wear headgear and are bare-chested. The judging system is similar to professional boxing. However, boxers are still considered amateur, so they may compete in amateur competitions, such as Olympic Games.
In August 2011, Olympic news outlet Around the Rings reported that the AIBA unanimously approved the creation of its own professional boxing brand in addition to WSB. "With AIBA Professional Boxing, the boxer from the very beginning knows what is going to happen to them and what is going to be their long-term career," said president Wu.
AIBA professional boxing action began in late 2014.
In December 2017, the IOC expressed concerns about the governance of AIBA, and reaffirmed these concerns at an IOC Executive Board decision in February 2018.
In June 2019, the IOC voted to suspend its recognition of AIBA as the governing body for the sport, stripping AIBA of any involvement in the Olympic Games. The IOC will oversee the qualification events for boxing for the 2020 Olympic Games through a task force chaired by Morinari Watanabe (JPN), President of the International Gymnastics Federation.
In AOB Elite Men Competitions(19-40 years old), headguards are not allowed at all National, Continental and International Levels. For all other category competitions, headguards are still mandatory. However, AIBA reserves itself the right to conduct some non-Elite Men Competitions without headguards for the preparation of the definitive removal of headguards for all categories starting from January 1, 2018.
For all boxers not wearing headguards and in order to prevent any potential cut, coaches are permitted to apply the cut prevention material Cavilon on all areas of the boxer’s face before all competitions held without headguards.
- Boxing World Cup
- World Series Boxing
- World Amateur Boxing Championships
- Olympic Games
- Youth Olympic Games
- AIBA World Boxing Championships
- AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships
- AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships
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