The under-fire International Boxing Association (IBA) has unveiled two new events to launch in 2024 – the Global Boxing Cup and the IBA Champions League.
These announcements come with the body having had its membership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) withdrawn in June.
The IBA has said it will “welcome all athletes to participate in the competitions regardless of their national federation status.” This comes with multiple national boxing federations having left the IBA and moved on to become part of the nascent World Boxing organization.
The Global Boxing Cup team competition will begin next year, with national federations “split into respective leagues, with those leading the charge for both qualifiers and potential playoff stages.”
The IBA has said that significant prize money will be at stake.
The IBA Champions League club competition, meanwhile, will include boxing clubs from across five continents. Next year’s inaugural edition will comprise 32 teams.
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The body has said the competition has been developed “to give more opportunities to elite boxers and develop the sport at club level., where stars are born and bred.”
The Champions League will run for 10 months, with a final scheduled for November 2024.
The competition will include both men’s and women’s editions, and participants will be “obliged to have a set number of bouts to be eligible to take part in the event.”
Clubs can register interest by contacting email@example.com.
Umar Kremlev, the Russian president of the IBA, said: “By developing these opportunities through our competitions such as the Champions League and Global Boxing Cup, we give more and more prospects for our athletes with more chances to progress and provide for their families. This is a significant and acceptable approach for me as IBA president.”
The IBA was expelled from IOC membership in late June after the move was recommended by the IOC’s executive board earlier that month.
As a consequence of the IBA’s removal – which could bring an end to a saga that has engulfed boxing for the last few years – the IOC has decided that the IBA will not organize the sport's events at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
After the IBA’s original suspension (when under the guise of AIBA) in June 2019, the IOC took control of the boxing bouts at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will do the same at the 2024 games in Paris.
The IOC set out a series of requests in December 2021 in terms of conditions under which the suspension would be lifted – the IBA has “failed to fulfill” these conditions, in the IOC's eyes.
Various national boxing federations are now moving to leave the IBA and instead join World Boxing, the rebel organization set up in mid-April.
In response to its expulsion, the IBA called the IOC’s move a “tremendous error” and said it would be “catastrophic for global boxing.”