Thoughts on the AIBA Olympic Ruling

What makes fighting so appealing? To find out who the better man is, due to his destruction or surrender. What makes boxing so unique? The opportunity to find out who the smarter person in the ring is due to his ability to adjust to a certain fighting style, and thus technically winning a fight.

When you have a fighter who is regarded as a professional–because of his many years of fighting experience–you don’t set him up against a novice fighter who hasn’t come close to the amount of experience. Otherwise it isn’t a fair contest.

The real thrill of boxing is when two men of the same caliber are matched against each other, utilizing their honed skills and similar fighting experience to find out who the far more superior boxer is. When you don’t know what the outcome between two equally skilled or talented fighters will be in a fight, it calls for a definite thrill of wonder that entices us to eagerly watch.

So when the AIBA made a new ruling, allowing professional boxers to participate in the Olympics this year, the boxing public couldn’t help but wonder why such a ludicrous ruling was passed.

The new rule allowing pro fighters to compete this year will change the sport of boxing completely. Former welterweight champion Ricky Hatton said that the decision signaled the end for amateur boxing (via Daily Mail).

It is hard to imagine that many boxing fans would be happy with the new AIBA ruling. What once used to be an intriguing, competitive amateur tournament, will now potentially become a one-sided mismatch that decreases interest and increases potential danger for the amateur opponent.

This will eventually force the amateur tournaments to become a pro fighting tournament instead, getting rid of amateur Olympic boxing for good.

Manny “PacmanPacquiao went on record after the Timothy Bradley rubber match saying he would like to participate in the amateur Olympics to represent his country of the Philippines and win Olympic gold.

Amir Khan also stated he would welcome the decision to be representing Pakistan for this years Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

While it would be a lesser blow to Pacquiao’s career reputation due to his recent retirement, it is still a blow nonetheless for a professional world champion to be competing against an amateur. Meanwhile, Khan interest in competing in the amateur tournament would really hurt his career tremendously if he chose to go ahead and compete.

Photo by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to a strong stand against the AIBA ruling.

“The WBC reiterates its total opposition to allowing professionals to fight amateurs in Rio 2016. This is a scenario where severe mismatches could end in tragedies. All our champions and top 15 ranked boxers are forbidden to participate. If they do so they will be banned for two years (via Daily Mail).”

Since Khan is ranked at No. 1 by the WBC and has the opportunity for a title shot against WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia, he would automatically lose the chance to do so–which may be a reason that Khan reconsidered the idea of competing all together.

AIBA’s recent announcement for professional boxers to be allowed to compete in the Olympics this year only seems to allude to one thing—an absurd advantage for any given professional boxer to stand out and win gold in a tournament instead of facing their mandatory opposition in the pro rankings, maintaining their names relevant.

If that is not the case, I can’t really think of any other more logical reasons. The main purpose of a fighter rising up, is only to keep moving forward, not backward. For a pro fighter to go back into an amateur ranking, is by all means a step backward.

It’s almost as if the AIBA wants to maintain a pro fighters name relevant by making him look good against far less skilled amateurs in allowing them to compete in the amateur Olympics.

Most boxing fans nowadays seem to think this is a gladiator sport and therefore thrive on witnessing and almost expecting a knockout. That mentality alone is what earns them the name of a casual fan. The sport of boxing is based on a point scoring system, not a knockout system. Therefore most of the fighters we watch on television had to learn the scoring system first in order for them to make it out of amateur tournaments and improving their skills one fight at a time when they turn professional.

The apparent greed of promoters today leads to mismatches that will end in knockout victories just to increase televised viewership for a given fighter–completely disregarding the lives of their clients they put at stake.

Fights are more exciting when they are fought at an equal advantage for both men. There is no glory in a victory handed to a fighter that knows he had a huge advantage over his opponent. As for the amateur Olympians, to accept a fight against a pro name based on false confidence or untested challenges, they first have to realize that even if they are well rounded fighters; a person doesn’t go into an office job with no work experience expecting to be a manager.

One has to be prepared with years of experience first before climbing the managerial ladder. A great example is in the face-off between Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Their face-off shows the reason of Martinez’s confidence over Chavez Jr. as he tells him that he’s where he’s at because of all of the years of experience he has over him and the experience learned from his triumphs and defeats is what gives him the greater edge.

All while Chavez Jr. is left without a comeback and a mentally defeated mind, because deep down he knows it is true.

Let us keep fights fair, and push for a strict sanctioning body to take over the sport in order to really regulate it. For the fans and most importantly for the men who put their lives at risk for our entertainment. It is sad that a beautiful sport of personal perseverance and ultimate glory may be corrupted by such controversial constant tyrant rule changing like the one the AIBA has made.

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