The first event to be in association with the startup federation World Boxing has been announced as the inaugural USA Boxing Women’s Championships.
The invitational event will run from July 22 to 29 and will be held in the US city of Toledo, Ohio, through a partnership between World Boxing and the USA Boxing national governing body.
It is aimed at providing “opportunities for women of all ages and abilities to compete,” and is open to novice (beginner) and open (experienced) boxers of all ages from pee wee (ages 8 to 10) to 35 and over.
More than 200 boxers from eight national federations across four continents are said to be registered to compete.
Tyson Lee, the president of USA Boxing and a member of World Boxing’s interim executive board, said: “USA Boxing is extremely proud to be able to host this event in association with World Boxing. The Championships aim to celebrate women and create valuable competition opportunities for female boxers of all standards and ages.
“Working with USA Boxing to deliver this event is a sign of World Boxing’s support for boxers at every level, from the grassroots to the elite, and its commitment to creating competitive opportunities that will enable all boxers to flourish.”
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World Boxing was launched in mid-April in a bid to save the sport’s Olympic future by taking on international governance of boxing from the beleaguered International Boxing Association (IBA).
The body has yet to secure formal recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but USA Boxing and SwissBoxing have already quit the IBA and joined it, and more federations are in the process of doing so or are planning to.
In June, World Boxing said it was “currently processing a series of membership applications from national federations” and that it had “experienced a significant increase” in these inquiries since the IOC decided to recommend that its Session withdraw the IBA’s membership.
That decision was made by an Extraordinary IOC Session on June 22 and was based on a recommendation of the IOC’s executive council from June 7, but the IBA called it a “tremendous error” and said it would be “catastrophic for global boxing.”
The IBA has been banned by the IOC since 2019 because of issues across a range of areas, most notably its internal governance and its financial affairs. It had until recently been heavily reliant on sponsorship funding from Gazprom, the energy giant backed by the Russian state.
As a result of wrangling between the IOC and the IBA, which has been going on for a number of years, boxing had its Tokyo 2020 Olympic events run by the IOC, with the same situation in line for Paris 2024.
The IBA also contravened IOC guidance in allowing Russian and Belarusian boxers to compete under their own countries’ flags following the countries’ respective involvements with the war in Ukraine.
One of the members of the World Boxing interim executive board, the Netherlands' Boris van der Vorst, attempted to run against Russian incumbent Umar Kremlev for the IBA presidency in May last year, only to then be declared ineligible for a minor campaigning infraction.
Kremlev was then re-elected by acclamation, a move that the IOC described at the time as very concerning.
The withdrawal of the IBA's membership of the IOC is the culmination of these various factors in the IOC's eyes, despite the IBA's contention that it has addressed the areas of concern.
World Boxing is planning to hold its inaugural congress in November and to publish details of its competition strategy, tournament calendar, and bidding process for staging events later this year.