Fast rising Nigerian boxer Lasisi Aliu yesterday defeated Nicaragua’s Ricardo Blandon on a unanimous decision to claim the WBC International Super-Flyweight crown at the Emirate Golf Club in Dubai, UAE.
The Nigerian boxer whose stat stands at 13-0, 8KO was profuse in appreciation to his supporters and sponsors.
” I thank God for this victory. And I also want to thank my supporters and sponsors for their unflinching belief and support,” he said.
AIBA Executive Committee has elected by a vote of 23-0 with 2 abstentions Dr Mohamed Moustasane to serve as the AIBA Interim President.
Dr Moustashane replaces Mr Gafur Rahimov who has chosen to step aside pending resolution of some political issues. Dr Moustahsane will assume the position of AIBA Interim President effective immediately.
Boxers from around the world who have been training for years towards their Olympic dreams continue to be left in the dark about where, when and how they can qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games in a little more than a year.
This is the main concern of the International Boxing Association after taking note of the statements made today by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the ad-hoc inquiry committee report to the Executive Board.
While AIBA has provided not one, but four comprehensive reports over the course of the last year to the IOC EB for review, it is very surprising that the IOC are unable to provide a conclusive decision regarding boxing’s Olympic future at this time. Given that an additional report was submitted on February 20th2019 and assurances were given that an official hearing and inquiry would be made before the IOC EB meeting in March 2019, AIBA is gravely concerned by the indifference shown towards the process and preparation of athletes for the Games.
Since late 2017, there were claims of concern regarding AIBA and in response AIBA has undergone a complete transformation, working positively with a number of Olympic partners to rebuild all areas of the organisation. Improvements have been made on all fronts and the organization has clearly demonstrated its dedication to moving forward and improving its practices for the sake of the sport of Boxing and its athletes.
Tom Virgets, AIBA Executive Director said: “We have done everything in our power to work with the IOC, providing them with numerous reports and documentation. There is no more information left to give; it is now time to wrap up this inquiry and move forward. This further delay has a direct impact on our athletes, it is a complete disaster for boxers around the world who are being left in limbo without any support or access funding. We don’t understand why we can’t put the well-being of boxers ahead of anything else, it is time to move on – our boxers are waiting, our officials are waiting and our fans are waiting.”
AIBA President Mr. Gafur Rahimov has today stepped aside as president of the world boxing body. In a statement received this afternoon from the official AIBA mailbox, Rahimov explained his reasons for taking the decision following what he described as “fabricated and politically motivated lies”.
The Outgoing AIBA President also said: “I have always said that I would never put myself above Boxing, and as President, I have a duty to do everything in my power to serve our sport and our athletes.”
“A lot of that was mainly focused on politics and not sport. While I had truly hoped and believed that sport and politics could be separated, and that the good work and positive changes being infused into AIBA would be recognised, the politically based discussions have put into question the progress being made throughout the AIBA organisation”.
Rahimov highlighted the progress made in the past year, but said he would be stepping and he has already started the process of seeing that an “interim President” is chosen to replace him.
He concluded by saying that: “I am convinced that all the good initiatives that have been implemented this last year will serve as a foundation that will continue to strengthen our sport in the future”.
The AIBA Executive Committee convened for a two-days meeting to discuss the current state of affairs and the continued progress towards its new reforms in the Turkish city of Istanbul on February 8 and 9. Among the various topics discussed were the relations with the IOC, appointments of commission chairs, the review and approval of Technical and Competition rule amendments and new business opportunities.
AIBA Executive Committee presents united front
The first day of the AIBA Executive Committee meeting clearly highlighted the unity between all members, as each expressed their unwavering support for the new President and the Executive Director in their efforts to move the organisation forward. “On behalf of the Executive Committee, I want to personally thank the President, Executive Director and the AIBA staff – what a difference they have made. I believe, as all the members here do, our top priority is to take care of our National Federations because without each other there is no us, there is no AIBA. […] I can say that I am happy to be a part of this new organisation and to my EC colleagues, if we work as a team, I think we can be very successful”, said Giorgio Brugnoli, Executive Committee member from England.
In discussions regarding the relations between AIBA and the IOC, including the update provided by AIBA Executive Director Tom Virgets, points were highlighted regarding the significant progress already implemented to date as well as the importance of working collectively and speaking as one voice in order to defend the interests of the athletes, the national federations and the sport of boxing as a whole.
AIBA Vice-President, Franco Falcinelli, commented “I would like to congratulate President Rahimov and Mr. Virgets on all the great work being implemented at AIBA. We are making good progress and together we are moving in the right direction”. He further commented making a point to raise his concern regarding the IOC’s decision to freeze the process of the qualifications for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games stating, “Is it really in the best interest of our athletes or the so-called protection for our boxers and our sport to wait until the end of June for them to know their participation to the Olympic Games? […] why put boxing’s presence in the Olympic Games in strong doubts for so long?” Heeding these concerns, and with the interest of the athletes in mind, the Executive Committee has decided to take steps forward in planning the placement of the Olympic Qualifications. This process will be conditional on the progress being made with the IOC, but will be able to give a pathway forward for athletes in their plans towards the 2020 Olympic Games.
Professional boxing ended year 2018 on a high in Nigeria when Monarch Promotions boss, Prince Stanley Williams was named Promoter of the Year by the World boxing Union (WBU).
President of the World Boxing Union (WBU) Thorsten Knille while decorating the the Monarch Promotions boss with the beautiful belt said “WBU has chosen you as our Promoter of the year for promoting six World Title bouts in 2018, no other Promoter achieved this feat, Congratulations.”
The award came as a huge surprise to Prince Williams, “This is a big surprise and I thank everyone at WBU for seeing me worthy of this Honour.” He said.
“Making champions before my Countrymen gives me pleasure and at Monarch, it is our constant pursuit to bring fight fans the most exciting fights”, Prince Williams added.
President of Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBB of C) Dr. Rafiu Ladipo thanked the WBU for bestowing such honour on a Nigerian Promoter.
Monarch Promotions have promoted two bout cards, Boxfest in April 2018 and King of the Ring in December 2018 producing West African Champion, African Champions and six new World Champions including WBU World Middle weight Champion, King Davidson and WBU World Super Welterweight champion, Sule Olagbade.
Prince Williams is clearly on a passion-filled mission to making Nigeria a true hub of the sport, rather than just a place that feeds boxing promotions in other parts of the world.
The International Boxing Association has taken note of the announcement of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) this evening and are pleased that the IOC Executive Board has acknowledged AIBA’s progress.
In line with its New Foundation Plan, AIBA has made great strides forward in a short period of time, which has resulted in many positive outcomes being achieved including the implementation of good governance systems (resulting in the advancement of AIBA in the Governance Assessment by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations to a position in the top half of all summer IFs), anti-doping compliancy (resulting in AIBA being WADA compliant and collaborating with the ITA for all in & out of competition testing), financial turn-around (resulting in a positive cash-flow and stable finances) and implementation of a new refereeing & judging systems (resulting in a new transparent R&J systems implemented in the last two major events – Youth Olympic Games and AIBA Women’s World Championships).
AIBA also welcomes the opportunity to work with the ad-hoc Inquiry Committee, chaired by Mr Nenad Lalovic, in order to clarify any further concerns that the IOC may have. Given Mr Lalovic’s experience within international sport and his personal experience with governance reforms of an international sport organisation, it is certain that his expertise will be invaluable.
Gafur Rahimov, AIBA President, stated: “I would like to thank the IOC Executive Board for their comprehensive work and assure them that AIBA is committed to improving in any area where they have concerns. Throughout this entire process AIBA has remained committed to the Olympic Movement and the Olympic values.
In terms of my own situation, I can assure the IOC that the situation with US authorities based on false allegations by the previous regime of my country is being addressed and that my legal team is working hard to correct this.
Furthermore, in terms of the concern with regards to AIBA’s financial situation, I must admit that I too was worried about our finances at the beginning of this year. However, I can assure our Olympic friends that after making significant cuts to our spending, securing new sponsors, securing trusted host cities for our major events and negotiating with our past partners, I am very proud to say that AIBA has achieved financial stability. I look forward to sharing all that information with my colleague Mr. Lalovic and his committee and to address these areas and any further questions that they might have so that we can get back to full scale preparations for Tokyo 2020.”