AFTER the draw and the opening ceremony, the men’s World championships got underway this week at the Expo Center in Ekaterinburg, Russia, with 365 boxers from 78 countries taking part.
AIBA, the beleaguered governing body for amateur boxing, will hope that the competition can draw attention to the sport itself, rather than the profound problems of governance that have seen the organisation suspended from handling the Olympic Games itself.
AIBA’s Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane sounded an optimistic note in his opening remarks. “The situation of AIBA hasn’t been the easiest one but being all united we can overcome it. The World championship is a great opportunity to show the whole world how strong and passionate about boxing we are,” he said. “Investments that all of us made into boxing should go back to national federations to continue to develop our sport. The politics should not be at the centre of our universe, but the athletes and coaches… This tournament is the dream for a lot of athletes, and you all deserved to be here among best of the best and fight not only for gold but for our beloved sport and its future.