Boxing is one of the original Olympic events, along with wrestling, track sports, weight lifting, and swimming. Recently Olympic Boxing’s long-time governing body, the AIBA (International Boxing Association), has come under increased scrutiny due to its, to put it kindly, questionable integrity. A slew of bad judges’ scorecards, biased referees, and opaque financing has put a harsh light on what has been a problem for quite a while. In response to these concerns, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) recently announced that it would be striking Boxing from the Olympic sports program for the 2028 Olympic Games unless the AIBA addresses these concerns in a way satisfactory to the IOC.
How Did We Get Here?
It’s important to understand that this decision didn’t just come out of nowhere. The AIBA has had a long and infamous history of corruption and issues with its governance. Here are a couple of highlights:
The Rio Games in 2016 had an in-depth bout manipulation scheme being run by AIBA officials for profit
A revolving door of upper management created a culture vulnerable to corruption and clique formation
What Needs To Change?
The IOC has laid out a path for Boxing to be reincluded in the Olympic Games for 2028. Here are the stipulations as laid out in the IOC’s press release. The AIBA must:
Demonstrate its financial transparency and sustainability
Address the problem of revolving door management
Put forth a clear and tactile plan to combat corruption
Find a way to ensure the integrity of its referees and judges
Will We See Boxing Back On The 2028 Olympic Games' Schedule?
Having been in the AIBA and USA Boxing systems as an amateur boxer for years, I can say from experience that these organizations do not like change. Boxing is a sport rooted deeply in tradition and the old school values of honor and pride. But that first one might be our saving grace. Boxing is a fighting man’s sport, a warrior’s sport, and nothing gets under our skin as much as cheating does. So I think AIBA has a long road ahead, but if they stick to their roots, they will make the necessary changes. I’m confident we’ll see boxing in LA in 2028.
Share Your Thoughts
What are your thoughts on the future of Boxing in the Olympic Games? Do you think that we will see Boxing back on the schedule in 2028 in Los Angeles? We’d love to hear your opinions and encourage you to share your comments in the FightCamp Facebook Community.