Boxing: AIBA Launch New Professional Boxing Event

Updated: January 15, 2014
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has revealed the official competition calendar of the groundbreaking AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) Competition, which will kick-off in June 2014.
At the end of January, the APB Boxers’ Selection and Ranking Committee will rank the final list of APB Boxers based on their past performances and potential. Then, the APB Program will officially start in June following two phases:

• Pre-Ranking Competition (June-July): Based on the first rankings established by the APB Boxers’ Selection and Ranking Committee, Boxers will compete at least twice (over six round of three minutes) and thus re-establish the World Rankings of each of the ten weight categories;

• Matches for Champions (August-December): Based on the rankings established by the Pre-Ranking Competition, Boxers will compete at least twice (over eight rounds of three minutes) with the best match for the very first APB World Champion Titles (12 rounds).

A total of 28 targeted AIBA National Member Federations have been contacted to host those historical first APB Ranking Events. They are proposed to organize those events over a total of four days with four bouts in each day by having one full weight category tournament.

“As President of AIBA and on behalf of the entire AIBA Family, I am extremely excited to announce the official commencement of our new revolutionary competition program”, stated Dr Ching-Kuo Wu. “It represents another step forward in the development of the noble art and I am proud that we have opened those historical first events to a bid within our National Federations.
APB will reunite the pro boxing world with its grassroots, through a highly competitive, clean, structured and ethical competition, aligned with the principles of the Olympic Movement. I cannot wait to see the first APB Boxers taking to the ring and fight for the World Champion Titles”.
The big question that remains is will the AIBA now take this opportunity to include Exhibition bouts for women such as Katie Taylor, Claressa Shields, Nikki Adams, Sofya Ochigava and Queen Underwood as a prelude to having women’s bouts officially  in the 2015 schedule?
If they do then they are likely to increase the attendance at most of their 2014 ABP bouts and if they do not then female boxers will be extremely disappointed especially after the assurances following London 2012 when AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu told the media: “

“Next year we are going to have the APB, why not for women? The level is so high, the popularity so high, so why not?” Wu told Reuters in an interview.”With the success of the London Games for women, we will immediately evaluate this.”


Yet here we are nearly eighteen months later and no immediate sign of any APB for women. Indeed an AIBA spokesperson recently said,following comments by Katie Taylor regarding the failure to extend the WSB series to women :

“Regarding the World Series of Boxing (WSB), we are taking Katie’s comments about a possible WSB Women’s league into consideration. We are pleased that she wants to be a part of such an exciting new team event and that she recognises the great career opportunity the WSB represents for boxers. We are certainly considering a women’s WSB for the future but for a range of technical and organisational reasons, it is unfortunately not foreseen for the time being”.


So no WSB series ‘for the time being’ but that is no reason why the new APB cannot include women’s exhibition bouts in 2014.  Womens boxing was one of the  great success stories of London 2012 so let us hope that Dr Wu and the AIBA make good their promises regarding the future of womens boxing. 


After all there are still only three weights for women in Rio 2016 and though that decision was down to the I.O.C, the AIBA did have the opportunity of including extra women’s weights albeit at the expense of another male weight division.  Ten men’s weights vs three for women. Equality?


Womens exhibition bouts would without doubt increase the attendances at APB events and would also give the  AIBA a golden opportunity of showcasing womens boxing in countries like  Cuba  which hitherto did not allow women to take part in tournaments like the Olympic Games or World Championships.


“We have no plans at the moment to participate in any international events because we don’t think the sport is appropriate for women,” the country’s  Head of Sports Federations, Jose Barrientos said in comments reported by Cuba’s official news service, Prensa Latina prior to the 2012 London Games.


“Cuban women should be showing off their beautiful faces, not getting punched in the face,” Pedro Roque, Head  Cuban boxing coach added.

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