With the International Boxing Association (AIBA) planning to take some revolutionary steps, boxing fans can witness some drastic changes – like participation of professionals in the Olympics and elite events being fought without any headgear – in the next few years.
The AIBA, encouraged by the success of the World Series of Boxing (WSB), has decided to create another programme – the AIBA Professional Boxing (APB).
Following the recent AIBA Executive Committee in Astana, Kazakhstan, AIBA President Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu has said in a statement that he would like to make the international federation the ultimate body for any boxer's entire career.
He listed generating more revenue and changing the image of the sport as other reasons behind creation of the APB.
The two core components of the APB will be the individual ranking competition and the worldwide competition.
In the individual contest, the boxers, representing their respective countries, will try to achieve individual glory. It will start immediately at the time of the launch of the APB, which is slated in early 2013.
The worldwide competition, which will be more of a contest among nations, will be developed later.
The APB boxers will be categorised under three categories: world ranking, continental ranking and national ranking.
With the plan to launch the APB, the AIBA has suggested a significant technical change in the competition rules. “We aim to take head guards off in all elite men competitions in AIBA amateur, WSB and APB programmes.
“However, we decided to maintain head guards for women, youth and junior categories,” said Dr. Wu.
The current scoring system adopted in the WSB will be implemented in all AIBA amateur and professional competitions.
Besides, the international body has finalised to “invite all AIBA registered boxers who want to turn to professional boxing to APB with an age limit of 19 to 40 years.”
“In addition…for the first season only, APB will accept current professional boxers to join APB with limited terms and conditions.
“Most importantly, we will allow these APB boxers to compete in the Olympic Games and it is expected to happen from the 2016 Rio Games.”
The AIBA has also decided to form its own marketing arm — the Boxing Marketing Arm (BMA) which will promote and organise APB events.