Category Archives: Amateur

October 12, 2017
October 12, 2017

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THE president of AIBA, the governing body for Olympic boxing, Dr. Ching Kuo Wu has been provisionally suspended from his position.

The Executive Committee of AIBA brought forward a motion of no confidence in the president due to financial mismanagement of the organisation. That motion will be voted on at an Extraordinary Congress, the date of which is to be confirmed. The Executive Committee also set up an Interim Management Committee but a court ruling in Switzerland left Dr. Wu in control ahead of the Extraordinary Congress. However this week AIBA’s Disciplinary Commission served the president with an immediate, provisional suspension from his duties after receiving a brief of complaint from 11 Executive Committee members.

In a statement the Disciplinary Committee said: “The DC received a Brief of Complaint on October 1 from eleven members of the AIBA Executive Committee alleging that AIBA President Wu has violated and continues to violate various provisions of AIBA’s Statutes and Codes. The Complaint requests provisional and immediate suspension of his rights as President of AIBA as he continuously exercises such rights to dismiss and appoint key individuals in AIBA in order to block any statutory right of the EC and of others.

“The Chairman of the Commission and the Commission panel assigned to this matter believe that the situation is urgent and require immediate provisional measures be ordered.

“Mr Wu is able to participate in any pending matter before the Commission in which he is a named as party. This interim suspension will be considered at the conclusion of the Commission’s proceedings on the Complaint case.


“During the period of suspension, the office of the President of AIBA will be filled in accordance with AIBA Statutes and Bylaws which is now in undergoing process.”

The power struggle erupted over concerns over  loans from Hong Kong investment firm FCIT and from an Azerbaijan based company Benkons.

AIBA has also been under scrutiny after last Olympic boxing tournament and a series of controversial decisions which saw a host of officials suspended.

October 9, 2017
October 9, 2017
Galal Yafai

World Series of Boxing

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OLYMPIC boxing is a perilous game. As well as the vagaries of the draw in tournaments, of judging sometimes, there is additional uncertainty at present. AIBA, the world governing body, have indicated they will reduce the number of men’s weight divisions for Tokyo 2020 from 10 to eight, while increasing the number of women’s divisions from three to five. While creating further opportunities for female boxers is most welcome, it’s a drastic move to cut two established categories, especially more than a year after the Olympics when boxers have committed themselves to the next cycle. There has been no further clarity on what divisions might lose their Olympic status.

Galal Yafai is probably one of many uneasy light-flyweights. “If you look at my weight, 49kgs, nearly every person that went to the Olympics and won a medal is still there now. They don’t really go pro, do they, at my weight,” he tells Boxing News.

“Look at the other weights, a lot of them have gone, Olympic champions have gone pro, or the silver medallists have moved on. It’s a bit unfair if they get rid of my weight now when 49 kilos are the most loyal to AIBA. They stay, don’t they? It’s a bit unfair if they got rid of 49kgs. They could change it to 50 kilos or 51. I’ve just got to go with whatever happens really,” he speculated.

The light-flyweight division has retained the gold, silver and one bronze medallist from Rio 2016. “It’s just a case of waiting and seeing,” Yafai mused. “It would be a bit unfair on 49s because they’re the most loyal to AIBA and they’re the ones that stay amateur for longest.

“We’ll just have to see what happens and I’ll just have to adjust to whatever the weight is and go from there really.”

In international amateur boxing you have to be adaptable. Yafai performed excellently in the final of the European championships against Russia’s Vasilii Egorov but did not get the decision. “I thought the judging was a bit weird. Three judges had it 29-28 to him and then two judges had it 27-30 to me and 25-30 to me! It was just a bit weird, I don’t get it all. It’s amateur boxing. I was gutted but I thought I won,” Galal said. “When I found it really mattered was when I went to the Worlds. That potentially could have got me a seeding, becoming European champion. At the time I was gutted but I could move on from it and try and put it right at the Worlds but when I got to the Worlds I didn’t get seeded. Eight boxers got seeded and I wasn’t one of them. Which I wasn’t surprised by but I knew if I’d become European champion I would have got a seed. It could have been the difference between getting a medal.”

Galal Yafai
Greg Woodward/GB Boxing

In his second contest at the World championships in Hamburg Gamal was drawn against Colombia’s Olympic silver medallist Yurberjen Martinez. “The Cuban [Joahnys Argilagos] was World champion before and now he’s two time World champion but for me fighting the Colombian was a lot harder, he was so strong,” Galal said. “There’s a boxer out there who’s stronger than me and I’ve got to use other skills to beat him.

“I can get away with it with kids who are going to try and box me and try and nick it off me. When I come up against someone who’s stronger than me, it’s like what do I do now? I’ve had 41 fights now, I’ve been to the Olympics, Europeans and now the Worlds and I’ve never come up against someone that’s stronger than me and that is going to push me back. I was like what’s going on here now? I’ve never had that before. Which is kind of a surprise that I’ve never had that before,” he said. “But it shows how relatively inexperienced I am because I’ve never come up against someone like that. It’s all learning from now on.”

October 6, 2017
October 6, 2017
Audley Harrison

Action Images/Reuters/Murad Sezer

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IF Audley Harrison didn’t win that gold medal in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, I 100% guarantee that British boxing wouldn’t be where it is today.

That gold medal was the reason boxing got funding from the National Lottery. Straight after the 2000 games, Britain put together their eight-year training “world class boxing program”.

This provided boxing with the funding required to hire national trainers and bring all national champions together to be able to train, travel and fight. They put a lot of money and attention into the 14-16-year-old champions and placed them on the plan – I was one of them.

At that age, by the end of the eight-year plan, the fighters would be aged 22-24. That’s a peak age for amateur boxers to compete in the Olympics and they were aiming for the 2008 Beijing Games.

With this money, they could send us around the world to give us the experience of fighting champions from different countries, which we needed if we were hoping to bring any medals back from Beijing.

In 2001, I was picked for the European Cadet championships and was part of a full team. I managed to win a gold medal and I was told at the time that this also helped boxing justify that their world-class training program was working.

We were traveling around the world getting some great results. A few years later, a 16-year-old national champion went to the junior world championships and won gold. That, of course, was Amir Khan.

He was put on the program, received the experience of fighting around the world, and in 2004, went to the Athens Games and won a silver medal. Without Audley’s money, would this have happened? As talented as Amir was, without that international experience that was paid for by this funding, I don’t think it would have.

It’s was kind of a snowball effect; the more they invested in us, the better results GB achieved.

In 2008, I won an Olympic bronze, as did David Price, and James Degale won gold. At the time I think this was the most success GB ever had in an Olympic games. Then 2012 saw Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell, and Nicola Adams all winning gold medals in London, with Fred Evans getting silver and Anthony Ogogo a bronze.

audley harrison

At the Rio Olympics, we had nearly a full team qualify, with lives being changed all the time for all of us Olympians. Professional British boxing is now saturated with world class fighters that have benefited from this amateur boxing funding. This is all the way up to the current day and if you look at how well GB boxing has done since Audley won that gold medal compared to before 2000, I think everyone who is involved with British boxing will realize they have something to thank Audley Harrison for – I know I have!

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September 1, 2017
September 1, 2017
Peter McGrail

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EUROPEAN champion Peter McGrail had to settle for a bronze medal at the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Hamburg after losing his bantamweight semi-final to Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan.

Liverpool’s, McGrail, used his trademark fast-feet and movement to consistently elude the Kazhak, however the judges’ did not see score the rounds in favour of the Englishman and awarded a unanimous victory to Yeraliyev.

McGrail said, “I am disappointed not to win but to go home with a medal from my first world championships is a good performance.

“It has been a great few months for me becoming European champion (in June) and then winning a medal at the worlds.

“It always hurts to lose, but I am sure when I look back in a few days, I will be happy with what I have achieved this year and know that I can look forward to the future feeling very positive and confident.”

McGrail’s bronze was the only medal won by an inexperienced GB Boxing contingent in Hamburg where nine of the 10 man team were competing at their first ever World championships.

Three other boxers made the quarter-finals but welterweight, Pat McCormack, and middleweight, Ben Whittaker, could count themselves unlucky to be on the wrong-end of split decisions whereas rookie heavyweight, Cheavon Clarke, lost out to the vastly experienced, two-time Olympian from Cuba, Erislandy Savon.

GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken said, “This is still a very inexperienced group and we always knew the World Championships would be tough, so it has been a good learning experience for the boxers and they will all be the better for it.

“To come here with a new team, win a medal and have four boxers in the quarter-finals is a good performance at this stage in the cycle and it is clear that this group is developing well as we build towards Tokyo.

“Peter McGrail is a terrific talent who has boxed superbly throughout this tournament and thoroughly deserves his medal.  He has had a great year, winning the European Championship and getting a bronze in the World Championships, and ought to be extremely proud of what he has achieved in the last five months.”

A highlights show of the 2017 World Boxing Championships featuring Peter McGrail and all of the boxers from the GB Boxing squad will be shown on BBC2 on Sunday 3rd December at 1.00pm.

Don’t miss the current issue of Boxing News magazine for all the action from the preliminary stages

August 25, 2017
August 25, 2017
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Video GB Boxing

August 25, 2017
August 25, 2017
World amateur championships


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LIVERPOOL bantamweight Peter McGrail insists that he is full of confidence, as he enters the AIBA World championships, which begin today in Hamburg, Germany, fresh off his stunning victory at this year’s European Championships.

The 21-year-old southpaw became the first English winner since Luke Campbell in 2008 and only the fourth in history, after he outpointed Mykola Butsenko in the Ukrainian’s homeland back in June and he believes that win is only the beginning for him in the unpaid code.

McGrail, who trains at the Everton Red Triangle gym, is now looking to push on and add World gold to his growing resumé and establish himself as the number one bantamweight in amateur boxing.

He said, “Winning the gold at the Europeans was simply brilliant, it’s hard to put it into words how much it meant to me. I made my whole family, my city proud and now I want to go and do it all again at the World championships in Germany.

“I didn’t get much time to celebrate, as I was straight back up to Sheffield to train, but it’s such a good feeling. I thought it may get taken away from me in the final when they took a point off of me and then with it being in the Ukraine too, I knew I was up against it.

“The amateurs is known for some bad decisions, but when they raised my arm, I can’t describe that feeling, as it made it 10 times better because in a way, after the point was deducted, there was a little bit of me that had already accepted that I might not get the decision.

World championships

“I’ve got that accolade now, but I always want more and I want to win every tournament that I go in for and the Worlds is next for me. The Europeans is great preparation for it and I’ve already become champion of one part of the world, so now I want to become champion of the whole world.”

McGrail admitted he wasn’t quite ready for the media attention he received when he got home from the Ukraine, especially in Liverpool, but took it in his stride, as he added another chapter to the history of the famous boxing city.

He isn’t resting on his laurels though, as he wants his first gold at major senior international to be the kickstart for his career, as he continues on the path to the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

McGrail adds that the experience he picked up in the World Series of Boxing as part of the British Lionhearts squad has only improved him as a fighter and helped all the British fighters as a whole due to the level of competition that they are facing on a weekly basis.

“The buzz around me when I got home was unbelievable and I wasn’t quite ready for all of it. But I enjoyed every second of it, doing all the interviews and being in all the papers, as well as going up the Radio City Tower which I’d never done before.

“Being the first to do it from the city makes me incredibly proud and I want to make more history in Liverpool by winning world gold. Tokyo is obviously the ultimate goal, but I want to win the Commonwealths and keep performing in the WSB, where the competition and taking on world class fighters regularly only drives me on.

“The WSB has done so much good for British fighters in the amateurs, as it gets you ready for the pro’s in a way. When they used to go to tournaments there was always that initial shock, but now we are in that, the surprise element has gone.

“It’s five rounds with day before weigh-ins, shown on BoxNation, which is only good for our exposure, so you look at the guys who went to Rio and have turned over, they were more prepared than ever for that transition. The WSB has done me a world of good and prepared me for the top level, as I showed in Ukraine and I’m ready to pick up another gold in Hamburg.”

Don’t miss this week’s Boxing News for the full World championships preview

August 13, 2017
August 13, 2017


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BOXING’S world governing body AIBA has been plunged deeper into civil war after the beleaguered organisation filed a criminal complaint against members of its own executive committee in Switzerland.

The move comes after a Swiss court rejected a bid by members of the International Management Committee – ostensibly, those executive committee members who passed a no-confidence motion last month – to oust president Ching-Kuo Wu.

The ongoing acrimony inevitably raises serious questions over AIBA’s ability to stage a successful World Championships. This year’s edition is scheduled to start in Hamburg on August 25.

The president of AIBA Dr Ching-Kuo Wu talks with Lord Coe in 2012 (PA)
The president of AIBA Dr Ching-Kuo Wu talks with Lord Coe in 2012 (PA)

In a letter to national federations seen by Press Association Sport, AIBA executive director William Louis-Marie writes: “(The) facts strongly indicate that the so-called IMC is working against AIBA, its mission to develop boxing in all its form, and they form a sufficient basis to file a criminal complaint.

“The only wise – and legitimate – decision that the so-called IMC could take would be to mitigate the harm already done to AIBA by withdrawing the request for provisional measures filed… in Lausanne.”

The no-confidence motion, which was dismissed as unconstitutional by Wu’s camp, triggered an imminent extraordinary congress, at which Wu’s position is set to come under renewed threat. It also led to the AIBA offices in Lausanne being closed for one week while the warring factions sought to establish which was in charge.

Although the IMC lost the latest round in the court battle, its members say it vindicated its right to continue to operate as a recognised committee, both legally and according to AIBA’s own statutes, under the auspices of the executive committee.

The IMC, chaired by AIBA vice-president Franco Falcinelli, who is named in the court documents, has accused Wu’s regime of presiding over a financial crisis which has taken it to the brink of bankruptcy, something Wu vigorously denies.

In response, AIBA officials have questioned the alleged involvement in the IMC’s campaign of two former executive directors, Ho Kim and Karim Bouzidi.

Kim was removed from his position after almost 10 years in charge in 2015, with AIBA subsequently citing financial misappropriation for the decision. Kim denied the allegations in a letter to national federations last year in which he described Wu as “the lowest form of human being”.

Kim was replaced by Bouzidi, who was “re-assigned” midway through the boxing tournament at last year’s Rio Olympics, following a series of high-profile judging controversies.

Both Kim and Bouzidi were copied in on an email from Falcinelli to AIBA staff on July 30, warning that under “no circumstances” should they take into account previous correspondence from Wu.

A further hearing in the AIBA power battle is scheduled for the Swiss courts starting on August 17, but a ruling is not expected until September.