World Boxing in talks to run ’28 Olympic event

Boxing

RENENS, Switzerland — Breakaway governing body World Boxing says it is holding talks with 25 to 30 prospective new member nations as it seeks to be the International Olympic Committee’s preferred partner to run boxing tournaments at the Los Angeles Games in 2028.

World Boxing is seeking to supplant the International Boxing Association, which was expelled from the Olympic movement last year after a long-running dispute with the IOC over IBA finances, ties to Russia and concerns about poor or unfair judging of bouts.

“We’re in excess of 25, 30 countries asking us quickly if they can apply. And I think there’s another 25, 30 countries behind them that are starting to assess the implications and how they can join,” World Boxing secretary-general Simon Toulson said Thursday.

Toulson added that there was a “massive increase” in interest since the decision to end IBA’s Olympic affiliation was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on April 2.

Formed last year, World Boxing currently lists 27 full members including the United States, England, Germany and the Philippines. But only one of those – Nigeria – is from Africa and two are from Asia. That lack of geographical diversity could be a drawback to any agreement with the IOC, which wants a new boxing partner in place early next year.

Toulson added World Boxing membership from Africa and Asia would likely be “almost at double figures” for each continent when prospective members are included.

The IOC is organizing the Paris Olympic boxing events this year on its own but has warned it can’t keep doing so. Boxing might be off the Olympic program for 2028 without a new partner governing body, the IOC has said.

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