AIBA celebrates 70-year anniversary with Gala Dinner in the company of Boxing Legends
AIBA celebrated its 70th anniversary on Tuesday evening with a Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony in the Swiss city of Montreux sponsored by TaiShan. This year’s awards saw the launch of the AIBA Legends programme, honouring the personalities and talents that have blessed the sport over AIBA’s seven decades as world boxing’s governing body. Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko, India’s MC Mary Kom, Cuba’s Felix Savon and France’s Brahim Asloum were recognised for their achievements, and the great Muhammed Ali’s life and legacy were affectionately remembered with the first AIBA Greats award.
“More than ever in its 70 years as the sport’s governing body, AIBA today exists to provide our National Federations and boxers with the opportunities and platforms to help them fulfil their potential, build the strongest pool of talent and compete at the highest levels possible. As we celebrate this milestone, it is important that we remember those figures and personalities who continue to inspire thousands of boxers and around the world with their integrity, dedication and achievements, but equally important is that we keep building the platform on which we can forge the strongest possible future for our sport, beginning now with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle,” said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
“I am honoured to be one of the first recipients of the AIBA Legends award. My journey with AIBA began when I was 14 years old and boxing has given me so many positive experiences since then. Congratulations to AIBA on your 70th anniversary and for your continued dedication to the growth and development of boxing around the world”, said Wladimir Klitschko.
At the end of a packed Olympic year, the best performances and events of 2016 were recognised, with Uzbekistan’s Light Flyweight Champion Hasanboy Dusmatov and the British Women’s Light Flyweight Olympic Champion Nicola Adams both winning Boxer of the Year. The Best Coach award went to Billy Walsh following a highly successful first full year in charge of the US team, Cuba Domadores were crowned Best WSB Team and India’s Vakas Krishan won Best APB Boxer.
Cuba’s David Morrell’s starring role at the 2016 Youth World Championships, where he won Light Heavyweight gold, earned him the Best Youth Boxer award and hosts Saint Petersburg won Best Youth Event, with Astana winning Best Elite Event for their superb hosting of the Women’s World Championships in May. Helmut Ranze won Best Supervisor for his role at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The dinner was sponsored by TaiShan Sports Equipment, and the company took the opportunity to present its portable boxing ring during the dinner, an affordable, innovative design set to help grassroots boxing programmes, gyms and competitions around the world.
WSB Draft sees British Lionhearts and Morocco Atlas Lions among those Franchises to recruit fresh talent ahead of Season VII
On Wednesday 21 December, the Draft Pick for Season VII of boxing’s unique team competition World Series of Boxing took place in Lausanne, Switzerland, giving the franchises a chance to recruit some extra world-class talent in their pursuit of glory. Beginning in February, the new season will see 12 teams competing across three zonal groups for the prestigious trophy that was won for the second time last year by Cuba Domadores, and several of the sides seized the opportunity to reinforce their teams.
Among the high-profile names drafted were Spanish Light Flyweight (49kg) Samuel Carmona, who comes in to the new-look France Boxing Team along with compatriot Damian Bolequia at Middleweight (75kg). Ireland’s European Games bronze medallist Sean McComb (60kg) and the Swedish Heavyweight (91kg) Gabriel Richards were two of eleven new names recruited by British Lionhearts as they look to build on last year’s superb campaign.
Morocco Atlas Lions Drafted in six foreign boxers including Ukrainian Middleweight (75kg) Dmytro Mytrofanov, who boasts an impressive 10-3 WSB record to date. The fourth team to be active during Wednesday’s Draft Pick, Venezuela Caciques, brought in two overseas talents, the Brazilian Super Heavyweight (+91kg) Cosme Dos Santos Nascimento and Ireland’s Darren O’Neill (91kg).
The two new franchises for Season VII are France, with their all-new Fighting Roosters logo, and Italy, while Colombia will replace the Mexico Guerreros. The first matches will take place on 3 February.