AIBA embraces reform and fair play for boxing ahead of Paris 2024

The AIBA announces a boxing Integrity Unit to ensure fair fights and judging transparency

While the 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships finish in Belgrade, Serbia, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced a range of reforms meant to address allegations of corruption within the sport.

Boxing’s place in future Olympic Games is far from certain following an inquiry which revealed bout manipulation during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and a public questioning by the IOC about their commitment to fair competition.

The main proposal by AIBA is the creation of an independent Boxing Integrity Unit.

“For too long, AIBA was on the back foot for issues of governance and sporting integrity. I am very proud of the way this has changed, with our new culture of reform ensuring real progress towards best practice in governance and the delivery of fair fights,” said AIBA President Umar Kremlev. “AIBA has acknowledged the problems of the past. We have brought in independent experts to help guide us and now we must boldly embrace the future.”

Officials at the AIBA World Boxing Championships, including referees and judges have undergone background checks and other evaluations and processes used to select, appoint, train and test them.

An independent investigation, headed by Richard McLaren, found nine bouts at the Rio 2016 Games “suspicious” including the gold medal heavyweight final.

Former heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. was present at the AIBA virtual roundtable on Friday in Bratislava, Slovakia and applauded the new measures being taken by AIBA. Jones won a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, but many felt he was the wrongly judged in the gold medal match. All three judges that voted against Jones were eventually suspended.

Roy Jones Jr in the ring for AIBA International Boxing Day in Belgrade, Serbia. (AIBA)
Roy Jones Jr in the ring for AIBA International Boxing Day in Belgrade, Serbia. (AIBA)

“We’re not used to seeing fair and honest judging at the amateur level,” Jones said. “It’s a beautiful thing to have open judging and scoring. Everyone understands what’s happening and our sport can only get better from here.”

The proposals for change for the composition and size of the AIBA Board of Directors will be submitted to the AIBA Congress on December 12.