Boxing To Remain In 2020 Olympics, IOC Suspends AIBA Involvement

Good news for boxing and its place in the 2020 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee announced that the sport of boxing will be a part of the 2020 rotation for the Summer Games in Tokyo, but will do so without the involvement of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

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With the suspension of the AIBA's recognition by the IOC, the sport of boxing shall be handled entirely by the IOC Executive Board and confirmed the weight classes for next year.

Men's weight classes:

  • Flyweight (48 kg to 52 kg)
  • Featherweight (52 kg to 57 kg)
  • Lightweight (57 kg to 63 kg)
  • Welterweight (63 kg to 69 kg)
  • Middleweight (69 kg to 75 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight (75 kg to 81 kg)
  • Heavyweight (81 kg to 91 kg)
  • Super Heavyweight (91 kg to +91 kg)

Women's weight classes: 

  • Flyweight (48 kg to 51 kg)
  • Featherweight (54 kg to 57 kg)
  • Lightweight (57 kg to 60 kg)
  • Welterweight (64 kg to 69 kg)
  • Middleweight (69 kg to 75 kg)

With the AIBA no longer having Olympic recognition, the organization announced that it will have elections for a new president in November. The AIBA elected Gafur Rakhimov as its president last year, a move that the IOC warned would push the organization to potentially have its Olympic recognition be removed. Rakhimov has been accused by the U.S. Treasury as being linked to the global heroin trade.

The IOC announced its intentions of eliminating any AIBA involvement for next year's games back in May, but it was made official in the most recent session from June 24 to 26 in Lausanne, Switzerland. A special task force created by the IOC Executive Board will be chaired by Morinari Watanabe, the President of the International Gymnastic Federation. The purpose of the task force is to ensure the following:

A. Ensure the delivery of the following boxing competitions, with a goal of increasing sustainable gender equality in all areas of the sport:
i. Qualification events for boxing in view of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, due to take place between January 2020 and May 2020;
ii. Boxing tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

B. Develop a Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for boxing, including the following details to be confirmed not later than the end of June 2019:
i. Definition of Men’s and Women’s weight categories;
ii. Review of quota places allocation across the boxing events, with a goal of increasing gender equality;
iii. Set the criteria for the quota places distribution at the qualification events.

The AIBA has been under scrutiny for years due to its struggling financial situation, constant issues with leadership at the top and controversial judging in major fights, including the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

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