Launch of a new International Federation for the Sport of Olympic-style boxing, Adaptive Boxing and Esport Boxing - World Boxing
by Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director
Dear USA Boxing Members:
On April 13, 2023 a new International Federation (IF), World Boxing, worldboxing.org, was launched by like-minded International Boxing Leaders after it became apparent that the current suspended IF, International Boxing Association’s (IBA), was not fulfilling its obligations. The IOC previously suspending IBA’s recognition in 2019, and the ongoing failures of IBA leadership prove that the only pathway for boxing’s inclusion in the Olympic movement (required of USA Boxing under the Ted Stevens act) is through the establishment of a new IF founded on the principles of strong governance, financial transparency, and fairness in the field of play.
World Boxing’s interim Executive Board features leaders representing nine countries from four different continents including Tyson Lee, USA Boxing Chair/President of the Board of Directors and Athlete Representative Richard Torrez Jr., 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Silver Medalist and USA Boxing Alum.
World Boxing is underpinned by rigorous governance practices and aims to create a sustainable and inclusive global sporting structure where boxers from around the world can compete and excel knowing that the integrity of the sport is guaranteed, and competitions are fair without worry of manipulation or attempted manipulation of bout results.
The interim Executive Board has been established but the organization will continue to add new leaders who share the same values of the vast majority of our boxing community; boxers are put first, keep boxing at the heart of the Olympic movement, deliver sporting integrity and fair competitions, create a competition structure designed in the best interests of the boxers, and operate according to strong governance standards and transparent financial management.
IBA has responded in a predictable manner (not dissimilar to the behavior necessitating the aforementioned establishment of World Boxing) by threatening retaliation against World Boxing’s leaders and any boxer, coach, official, or administrator who may consider exercising the right to make informed decisions about participation. IBA has the constitutional authority to deny participation in protected competitions like their upcoming Men’s World Championships (which USA Boxing and many like-minded countries decided not to participate in) and continental championships. They do not, however, have authority to ban participation of NFs in international club exchange competitions.
Current IBA rules allow boxers, coaches and officials to participate in national and international competitions, which are not protected competitions. As you know, USA Boxing members regularly participate in international competitions at the grassroots level. USA Boxing membership services will continue to encourage and support our members to participate in international competition events in other nations like, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, and others and will continue to invite clubs from other countries to participate in USA events.
IBA’s recent reaction and threats will not impact Olympic Qualification or the Paris Olympic Games. To be perfectly clear, the 2024 Olympic Qualification System and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games are entirely administered by the IOC Paris Boxing Unit (PBU). IBA lost its privilege to be part of the Olympic games for the second straight cycle. USA Boxing’s Olympic Qualification team will have its first opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics Games in Santiago, Chile during the 2023 Pan American Games (Pan Am Games) October 20-November 5, 2023.
USA Boxing will continue to provide updates to our members as more information becomes available.
In your corner,