National boxers swap vacations for training as major tournaments roll in

At the Philippine Boxing Union Association training center in Baguio City, about 30 boxers are currently busy preparing for a busy schedule next year, including the Southeast Asian Games and one or two qualifying tournaments for the Olympics.

Abap president Ed Picson told the Inquirer on Saturday: “They basically don’t have a Christmas break because of the schedule of tournaments early next year.

However, in the context of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threatening to suspend boxing competitions at the 2024 Paris Olympics, it would be understandable if the morale of the boxers was extremely low when away from home. family during the holiday. and face an uncertain future.

But that’s not the case.

“We protected them from problems,” says Picson.

“Whatever is going on, we’ve made it clear to the fighters that the controversy surrounding our sport is our problem, not theirs,” he added.

The IOC’s threat to remove boxing from the Olympic calendar in the French capital is a response to what the Olympic powerhouse calls the failure of the International Boxing Association (IBA). in meeting reform requirements.

The IOC said last Thursday that the IBA’s initiatives to keep the status quo, including re-electing Russia’s Umar Kremlev as president and retaining Russian energy company Gazprom as its main sponsor, showed It is clear that the federation does not accept calls for change. how it is run. A 25-nation bloc that has won the quiet support of this faction has begun to show its presence and has pressed the IBA leadership to reform. The group is called the Common Cause Coalition (CCA), headed by Boris van der Vorst of the Dutch boxing federation, and Picson says Abap is the only Asian federation to be part of the group.

But Picson lamented that the IBA had viewed the CCA as a rebel and that its calls for reform had been “ignored”.

Picson said: “The IBA leadership has taken a negative stance on boxing’s efforts to maintain the Olympic schedule. “The IBA wants the IOC to stay out of the federation’s Olympic business. But how is that possible? The Olympics are the property of the IOC.”

Despite the uncertainty, Picson said the national boxers continue to sharpen themselves for key competitions early next year.

“They are working very hard during the holiday season.”

Joining them is Australian coach Don Abnett, who has just arrived from Australia for a two-week break. About six to seven coaches are currently overseeing the preparation of the national boxing team.

Picson added that the boxing stalemate was an “unfortunate incident” for the country, which has already had some momentum following victories at the world youth championships and Asian championships.

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