WBC, IBA At Odds Over Title Belts, Willing To Work Together For Olympic Games

The two organizations have had disagreements several times in the past.

The World Boxing Council is once again under the spotlight due to criticism from amateur boxing sanctioning body IBA.

The two organizations have had digs at each other several times previously. However, the tensions between the two bodies increased when IBA declared it would host boxing events with fully licensed professionals.

WBC has criticized IBA’s decision to sanction cards in Russia and Belarus, who are involved in a military conflict in Ukraine.

“The World Boxing Council has learned that the International Boxing Association (IBA) recently: (1) organized, advertised, and publicized an event called IBA’s Champion Night; and (2) awarded a boxing belt in connection therewith confusingly similar to the WBC Championship Belt.

“In short, IBA is using the Intellectual Property Assets of the WBC in an infringing manner and without authorization of the WBC as the assets’ rightful owner,” a WBC spokesman stated.

“The WBC wants to make it absolutely clear that it has put IBA on notice of the WBC’s complete rejection and opposition to IBA’s unauthorized use of a belt that is confusingly similar to the iconic WBC World Championship Belt.

“The WBC has also informed IBA and it will take any legal measures available to stop IBA’s infringing activities and to seek appropriate redress therefrom. The WBC is in no way associated with IBA.

“In its recent Annual Convention, the WBC ratified its positions: (1) not to allow any WBC activity in Russian or Belarus’ territories; (2) not to recognize any boxers from those countries as holding any WBC privilege (championship, mandatory positions, etc.); and (3) to take all boxers from those two countries out of the WBC World Ratings, as well as, those who competing in there IBA`s tournaments. The WBC rejects and denounces IBA’s activities therein.

“The WBC has declared publicly its support of the International Olympic Committee’s justified concerns about the lack of leadership and scandals in which AIBA (IBA’s predecessor) and now IBA have been involved in recent years.

“Consistent with the position the entire world boxing community has taken, the WBC fully supports the continuation of boxing competition in the Olympic Games.”

On Friday, in a separate development, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman slightly changed his tone and said that the sanctioning body is willing to work with the IBA to keep it in the Olympic Games.

“This is a time for the world of boxing to unite, because the basis of boxing is amateur boxing,” Sulaiman said. “It is the basis for everything.”

“… We are open to support anything [that keeps boxing in the Olympics]. The WBC is involved in professional boxing, but we establish a committee for amateur boxing many years ago after the horrible actions that AIBA took to try and bring professionals into the Olympic Games only for money and numbers.

“Boxing is a great sport. It had the fourth ranking of all sports in the last Olympics for ratings. We have to get active to protect boxing.”

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