AIBA Elects Gafur Rakhimov As New President As Boxing Faces Potential Olympic Exit

As boxing faces the very real possibility of not being a part of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the sport’s largest governing body at the amateur level (AIBA) has elected its new president.

Gafur Rakhimov was voted as the new president after winning an election against Serik Konakbayev. Rakhimov was voted in by many of the world’s governing bodies, winning 86-48.

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The results of the election comes off as controversial as the International Olympic Committee had publicly denounced Rakhimov as an option to become the new head of AIBA. Rakhimov, an Uzbek businessman, has been accused by the U.S. Treasury as being linked to the global heroin trade.

Rakhimov, who has been the Vice President of AIBA, has since then denied the allegations, but nonetheless, it puts boxing in a tough position in regards to its future in the Olympics. The IOC will look at the AIBA and further discuss amateur boxing’s future when it has an executive board meeting on November 30 in Tokyo.

AIBA has been under scrutiny for the past couple of years after controversial judging took place in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The AIBA was then revealed to be under financial stress, which led to the exit of C.K. Wu as president of the organization. Back in February, the IOC started making threats to the AIBA of taking out boxing for the 2020 Games unless serious improvements are made.

If boxing is able to remain and it can be contested in Tokyo, then there will be some changes to its weight classes as women’s boxing were given two more divisions and a fair number of men’s weight classes had been changed as a result of that.

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