The breakaway World Boxing governing body has elected Boris van der Vorst from the Netherlands as its first president and has also unveiled its first commercial partner.
Following its inaugural congress in Frankfurt, Germany, late last week, World Boxing’s membership voted for van der Vorst, who secured 63% of the vote against USA Boxing’s Elise Seignolle. He will now serve an initial two-year term.
Before the congress, meanwhile, the body – established in mid-April – announced an exclusive four-year commercial tie-up with Sting, the boxing kit and equipment manufacturer.
Van der Vorst, who attempted unsuccessfully to run for the presidency of the rival International Boxing Association (IBA) body, has now said: “I am humbled and honored to have been elected President of World Boxing and I would like to thank everyone that has supported me.
“Making sure boxing remains at the heart of the Olympic Movement is our number one priority and I look forward to working together with the newly elected board and all of our member National Federations to help us deliver this.”
Van der Vorst had attempted to stand against the IBA’s incumbent president Umar Kremlev in elections last year but was deemed ineligible to run in scenes of controversy. Kremlev, from Russia, was subsequently elected unopposed.
Simon Toulson, the general secretary of World Boxing – established in April amongst unhappiness with the IBA’s conduct across many sectors – added: “The inaugural congress is a very significant milestone in the development of World Boxing and to have so many members attend in person, is a sign of people’s commitment to the organization and everything we are trying to achieve for the sport.
“Hosting open, fair, and transparent elections is a central element of World Boxing’s commitment to operating to the highest standards of governance and today’s events today have shown that the organization is delivering on this commitment …”
Boxing is currently not on the sports program for the Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028, with a long-running dispute between the IBA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having led to the IBA having its membership as an Olympic body revoked earlier this year.
In total, 26 of the 27 World Boxing member federations sent a representative to the congress, with delegates having either one or two votes each.
A 14-person executive board has now also been formed, while three vice presidents have also been elected.
The tie-up between World Boxing and Sting, meanwhile, represents the body’s first commercial partnership.
Sting is now set to become World Boxing’s official competition equipment supplier and will provide the gloves, protective clothing, hand wraps, and training equipment used during tournaments such as the World Boxing Cup series and the under-19 and elite World Boxing Championships.
The agreement also entails Sting providing “expertise and advice on the development of competition equipment,” and contributing to the work of the sport and competition committee run by World Boxing.
It also comes despite Sting having had a global commercial partnership in place with the IBA, struck in November last year. That deal had been set to run until January 2028.
The brand also has separate agreements with various national boxing federations – including those from Australia, England, Germany, Scotland, and the US.
Amir Anis, Sting International’s managing director, has now said: "It is great for Sting to be World Boxing’s first commercial partner and we are very excited to agree to this four-year sponsorship deal that will ensure boxers competing at World Boxing events will have access to the safest and best equipment.”
That deal has been unveiled with World Boxing having in the last few days also announced a competition calendar for 2024.
Two new competitions, the World Boxing Cup and the World Boxing Challenge, have been created. The first two stages of the World Boxing Cup will take place across England and the US, in January and April, respectively.
In addition, an event-hosting bidding process has been launched, for the under-19 World Boxing Championships in November 2024, and the first Elite World Boxing Championships in November 2025.
Federations interested in hosting either of those events should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The body has said it is also “in discussions with potential hosts for World Boxing Cup and World Boxing Challenge events in 2024.”
Toulson has commented on the 2024 events calendar, saying: “The creation of new competition formats shows that we are delivering a structure that works for boxers and will benefit the sport.
“As World Boxing grows as an organization, we will add to the calendar with the creation of more competitions at all levels.”
In late October, World Boxing unveiled the national federations for the sport in the Philippines, Scotland, Wales, Suriname, and the US Virgin Islands, as new members.
The body, ever since it launched, has said it plans to begin the process of seeking formal recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and then to work with the IOC to ensure boxing’s place on the sports program for future Olympic games.