The move to allow pro boxers fight at Olympics 2016 was questioned right from the get go since it’s introduction and now with all three male pro fighters out of the tournament early on, further questions are now being raised on whether it is something we will see again.
All three professional boxers to qualify for this year’s tournament, Italy’s Carmine Tommasone, Cameroon’s Hassan N’Dam and Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng were all eliminated fairly quickly in the Rio Olympics.
Coming into the tournament, many had thought that they would have an unfair advantage being professional prize fighters competing against what was perceived by some as ‘amateurs’ who would not stand a chance.
How wrong they were though.
Granted, the three above mentioned fighters are not pound for pound rated professional pugilists competing at the very highest level of boxing, but one was an ex-world champion and the other an ex-word title challenger.
They were no mugs.
Their elimination proved that indeed the ‘amateurs’ were far from what the term might bring up for some when compared to the term ‘professionals’.
The proof as they say was “in the pudding.”
Fighting without head guards in this year’s games was another move seen by many to slowly but surely professionalise what amateur boxing once was in the past.
The fears are that if amateur boxing was done away with in terms of how it used to be run and if one day more professionals would be found competing in amateur boxing tournaments, that the sport could become even more fragmented than it already is – and even adversely affect the grass roots level of the game.
Young men and women starting out in boxing aspire to win Olympic gold and if they do turn pro, then chase the world champion dream that so few ever get to achieve (all current professional boxing world champions can be found here).
They are two different sports completely, essentially pitting sprinters against marathon runners due to the vast difference in time format that both codes operate under for their respective athletes.
Whether or not this trend in amateur boxing continues remains to be seen, but it could be hard to reverse now that the wheels are more or less in motion.
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