The controversial move to allow professional boxers compete at this year's Rio Olympics has now become a reality as two fighters have successfully taken advantage today of the qualifying tournament in Venezuela. Recently we spoke on how an amateur boxer beat a pro fighter at the qualifying event in Venezuela but today, two professionals turned the tables to go through…
First Pro Boxer Beaten At 2016 Olympics
With a pro boxer beaten at the 2016 Olympics early on, fears that professionals would slaughter ‘amateur’ fighters are quickly been dispelled.
Cameroon’s Hassan N’Dam being one of a number of pro boxers to qualify for this year’s Olympics for the first time, lost a unanimous decision on the first day of boxing yesterday to Brazil’s Michel Borges.
N’Dam is one of three pros who qualified for this Olympics outside of the AIBA team and individual competitions, that permit fighters to retain their amateur status while boxing for prize money.
He is also former world title challenger as a professional, competing with top rated fighters over the years in the pro game including the likes of middleweights Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin and David Lemieux.
N’Dam had qualified for the Olympics only a number of weeks ago and while some may point to the fact that essentially he was taking the Olympics on short notice, it raises a number of important questions surrounding the controversial move allowing pros to compete at this year’s games and going forward.
I for one have disagreed with it, like most in the boxing community – from day one.
It’s apples and oranges, professional boxing and amateur boxing, two completely different games where essentially in an Olympic format you are pitting long distance runners (established professionals) against sprinters (boxing in the amateur format).
The duration is much, much shorter in the amateurs to that of what N’Dam would have been used to in the pro game over the last 12 years.
Despite building up a solid record of 34-2 (20KO) as a professional, it just goes to show that professional fighters can’t simply jump back into the amateur code, without at least first re-acclimating to the vastly different training routine to take into account the considerably shorter time frame of competition.
For the full list of results from day one you will find them here.