It has now been made official after months of speculation and debate, that professional boxers will be able to compete at this year’s Olympic Games in Brazil.
The news has broke this morning that the AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association) have made the controversial move – with 84 votes out of 88 member federations voting in favour of the change.
Essentially, it appears that there will be a closing of the gap across the formerly very different sports of amateur and professional boxing, at least at the Olympics.
Professional boxers fight over a longer duration and are trained much differently, where knockouts are more frequent and the pay scale is higher at the sport’s top level.
According to the AIBA’s announcement, it looks like any professional boxer in the world can now enter a qualifying tournament for the Olympics next month in Venezuela, where 26 places will be up for grabs.
In theory, this could mean actual world champions in professional boxing could be pitted against relatively inexperienced amateur boxers at this year’s games, which could be quite dangerous in the eyes of some.
Then again, there is also the argument that exists that says the pros could be at a slight disadvantage in another way, as the training for amateur and professional boxing is completely different and the pros will have to re-learn how to train for the shorter distance duration and so forth.
It is also worth pointing out that this news comes amid recent reports that boxing was actually looking at getting the boot from this year’s Olympics.
Renowned boxer Barry McGuigan was one leading pundit who criticised the idea of the move recently, but is has now become a reality:
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