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WBAN questions: Is the AIBA truly interested in promoting women's boxing
by Sue Fox & Michael O'Neill
January 27, 2016

(JAN 27)  The International Boxing Association (AIBA) turns 70 this year so a milestone year in the history of the Association. President Dr.Ching Kuo Wu rightly said:

"AIBA celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016 and will reach the symbolic milestone of 200 National Federation members, underlining boxing’s position among the world’s farthest-reaching, most popular sports and a central pillar of the Olympic Games themselves in this Olympic year.

Olympic qualification opportunities are sure to bring out the very best in our boxers in the first half of this year”, said AIBA President CK Wu. “This is the world’s biggest sporting stage and the competition for places at Rio 2016 will make for an unmissable series of major tournaments, as well as the Women’s World Championships.”
“We always want to move forward, evolve and look to broaden the appeal of our great sport”, said the AIBA president, “but we will never lose sight of our guiding principles, at the centre of which is the health and wellbeing of our boxers.”

All very laudable words of encouragement but despite that much confusion still reigns so today we are calling upon the AIBA to answer these questions and as before we are happy to give the Association the opportunity of responding to these questions - we promise to publish that response in full. So over to you AIBA, here are the questions that our readers and some of the AIBA's own Confederation members would like you to respond to:

1) AIBA has in the past said they would add two women’s weights to Season 6 of WSB, and yet the season has launched without women. What was the rationale for continuing to withhold women from WSB and APB for so long? and was it the full Executive of the AIBA who decided NOT to include it again this year? How many male members, how many female members are on the team that too that decision?

2) If women are added to WSB, will current women professional boxers have opportunity to become WSB boxers in the future, such as men did when WSB was first launched?

3) President Wu announced that the IOC would consider removing head guards for elite men after studying the 2015 World Championships. Still no announcement has been made. Is there confirmation that they 2016 Olympic Games will be with, or without, head guards for men? What is the current position regarding head guards for women is concerned? When will you be publishing the results of the various tests already carried out? If such tests reports including full details of all injuries sustained are not published how will boxers, coaches and their families be assured that their loved ones will not suffer serious medical problems in years to come?

4) How many weights will there be for women at the 2018 Summer Olympic Youth Games in Buenos Aires and how many for men ? We understand from usually reliable sources that the AIBA proposed four weights for women. Is this correct and if so apart from the three existing weights for Elite women in the Olympics, which will be the additional weight? Which age group will be eligible to take part?

5):The AIBA's Communications team , confirmed that there would be no seeding system in place for the forthcoming AOB European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey April 8th/17th. Can you confirm that that applies to ALL AIBA Confederation qualifiers (male and female) and if so why is this? Surely the AIBA family of boxers, coaches and fans paying considerable sums of money in terms of flights, accommodation and living expenses would expect there to be able to see the very best of AIBA/EUBC boxers in action in the semi-final and final stages? This will NOT happen is several of the top boxers are drawn against each other on one side of the draw as has happened in major AIBA competitions in 2014.

6)Finally reverting back to Q3, it has been 'rumoured' that the AIBA intends to provide a special 'financial fund' that would allow boxers who have been very seriously injured to claim upon that fund in future years. Can you confirm or deny that rumour and if such a plan is proposed when will full details be made available?

Although AIBA's own website (as of late) shows the Qualification procedure for Rio as being that of Feb 2014, a look at the official Olympic Games site itself shows a version that is dated April 2014. What are the actual DIFFERENCES between the two - logically one would expect the latest version to appear on all sites. Are any further amendments/updates likely?

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