Home USA Boxing Features USA Boxing Statement...

USA Boxing Statement Regarding Recent Washington Post Article

By USA Boxing | Dec. 23, 2022, 11:29 a.m. (ET)

Dear USA Boxing Members:

USA Boxing has acknowledged the recent statements made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the boxing community and most recently in the Washington Post regarding the uncertainty of boxing in the Paris 2024 Olympic program and beyond. While it is clear that the future of Olympic boxing is in jeopardy, USA Boxing remains fully committed to supporting the IOC’s clear requirements for readmission into the Olympic movement:  prioritizing the needs of boxers (athletes), fair play, proper governance, ethical leadership, and financial stability to meet the requirements to keep boxing in the Olympic program.

(International Boxing Association) IBA President Kremlev was recently quoted in an IBA web post dated December 11, 2023,  “…The IOC must hear us. We have the same goals as them, to create the best conditions for the athletes. We should fight for our sport at the Olympics. I want to stress that not a single boxer, coach or National Federation will be participating in the Olympic Games without IBA. This is a request from the boxers…”   USA Boxing is concerned that IBA is prioritizing its own role in the Olympics above the interests of the boxers.   To be clear, Kremlev’s statement is the opinion of one person who does not speak for all 38,000+ USA Boxing’s boxers or other National Federations and their boxers.  Boxers, coaches and officials have been participating in Olympic Qualification and the Olympic Games without the participation by IBA, most recently throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle. Olympic-style boxing is and has been in the Olympic movement continually from 1904 to 2020, while IBA has not.

The IBA President and/or the Board of Directors do NOT have the constitutional authority to deny boxers, coaches, or officials from participating in boxing at local, national, and certainly not Olympic Qualification and Olympic Games level competitions, without specific violations of the rules and without judicial process.  USA Boxing officially rejects Kremlev’s false and misleading statement.  

Since the onset of IBA’s suspension in 2019, USA Boxing has monitored the progress of IBA in meeting the requirements for reinstatement. USA Boxing’s leadership has provided full transparency with its concerns of the lack of progress made by IBA as well as statements from IBA President Kremlev claiming that the Olympics are only one of several priorities for the international federation’s long-term plans. 

To be clear, maintaining Olympic recognition is not simply one of USA Boxing’s priorities, it is the top priority. However, USA Boxing fully understands that Olympic recognition is not a right, but a privilege. USA Boxing’s stated position has not changed, “The future of boxing as an Olympic sport is in doubt, and the IOC has made it clear that unless significant changes are made, it will not be included in the program for the Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond. This represents a critical threat to the future of the sport, both at the elite level and grassroots.  We have a responsibility and a duty to everyone connected with the sport to explore all possibilities and do everything we can to ensure boxing’s continued inclusion in the Olympic games, thereby providing opportunities and inspiration for boxers across the world and for all future generations.”

The USA has a rich history of Olympic-style boxing, and we have won more Olympic medals than any other country. As a leading National Federation within the sport, it is USA Boxing’s responsibility to work with our partners and stakeholders, specifically the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), National Federations and the boxing community, to do everything within our collective power to help the sport meet the requirements for inclusion in the Olympic movement. 

This responsibility is not simply for the Paris 2024 or LA 2028 Olympics, but for the long-term future of Olympic boxing.  USA Boxing remains fully committed to this objective and will continue to pursue all possible measures to ensure boxing’s presence within the Olympic movement.   

USA Boxing will continue to provide updates to members as more information becomes available.

In your corner

Mike McAtee
Executive Director/CEO