Dear National Member Federations and global boxing family, ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to make an historical announcement about the future of AIBA and our sport with the hopes of enlightening the lives and dreams of many boxers. In 2007 at the AIBA Extraordinary Congress held in Chicago, we set together a new mission for AIBA in order to govern the sport of boxing in all its forms. Since then, including the launch of the World Series of Boxing, we have strived our time and efforts to realize our reform plans and long-term goals. The launch of the World Series of Boxing gave some great motivation and belief that our sport could be transformed as one of the highest reputable and recognized sports around the world. Although it was by no means easy to launch a new team-based global boxing competition in today's competitive market, we can look back on the first season with pride. Today, the AIBA Executive Committee has unanimously approved the creation of another revolutionary program which is the AIBA Professional Boxing program called APB. The main reasons to develop AIBA’s own professional boxing program are as follows:
- First of all, I would like to change AIBA as the ultimate responsible body for the boxer‘s entire boxing career including amateur and professional and would like to give more opportunities to all our boxers to compete and live in a better boxing world with a stable financial status and as respected role models for young generations.
- I would like to make of AIBA the true governing body to support all National Federations and grassroots including clubs by generating more revenues from the APB program.
- I am also deeply determined to change the image and reputation of our sport with transparency, popularity and social contribution by taking the responsibility of managing the destinies of the sport of boxing in all forms
- I am determined to launch professional boxing under the umbrella of AIBA so that we will be the true and respected leader of our sport, and not any other organization.
The two core programs in AIBA Professional Boxing such as an Individual Ranking Competition and a Worldwide Competition were approved. In the Individual Ranking Competition, all APB boxers will compete at different levels representing their country but with some emphasis on individual glory. This program will start immediately at the time of the APB launch. The Worldwide Competition will be a global event for which each National Member Federation can send APB boxers to represent its country. This program will be developed a few years after the launch of AIBA Professional Boxing. The APB boxers will be categorized in three different divisions:
1. World Ranking
2. Continental Ranking
3. National Ranking divisions
The Worldwide Division will feature the top 20 boxers in each weight category, fighting over 10 rounds for ranking competitions and 12 rounds for title matches. The Continental Ranking Competition will feature boxers ranked 21-50 in each weight category, fighting over 8 rounds for ranking competitions and 12 rounds for title matches. National Ranking Competitions will feature boxers ranked 51 and below in each weight category, fighting over 6 rounds for Ranking Competitions and 10 rounds for title matches.
With the launch of APB, we will also change the Technical Competition Rules for all of our programs. This means, that we aim to take headguards off in all elite men competitions in AIBA Amateur, WSB and AIBA Professional Boxing programs.
However, we decided to maintain headguards for Women, Youth and Junior categories.
For the scoring system for all competitions, from the time of the 1st season of APB which will be during the Spring of 2013, we will use the current WSB scoring system for all AIBA Amateur and Professional Boxing competitions. We will invite the current AIBA (AOB) registered boxers who wish to turn to professional boxing to APB with an age limit from 19 years old until 40 years old. In addition, in order to truly develop the APB ranking competitions with the best boxers around the world, for the 1st season only, APB will accept current professional boxers to join APB with limited terms and conditions. In addition, most importantly, we will allow these APB boxers to compete in the Olympic Games with limited terms and conditions and we plan to make this dream come true from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. All boxers in AIBA programs, AOB, WSB and APB, will only be selected through the full cooperation with our National Member Federations. This means that the boxers will remain as registered boxers of National Federations, although they turned to AIBA Professional Boxing. It is planned to identify and select the best AOB boxers for APB within a one year time period until the Olympic Games. As we are launching a massive program in our organization, our financial conditions must be stabilized in order to operate all necessary means for the success of these 3 core programs. Therefore, we will establish AIBA’s own marketing arm called the Boxing Marketing Arm (BMA). BMA will be the main promoter for boxers and will organize all future APB competitions.
In addition, BMA will be the ultimate marketing tool to generate all necessary revenues for AOB, WSB and APB by controlling all commercial rights of these 3 organizations. In this regard, we have already secured enough seed fund to begin our operation for APB and BMA. We will start AIBA Professional Boxing with a program with National Member Federations having strong wills and a determination to change our sport to a better commanding position in the international sports community and Olympic movement. Therefore, we will grow step-by-step by satisfying continuous and stable achievements in each year without hasting to achieve our goals within a short period of time. This year, with the AIBA Executive Committee’s approval, we will complete both business plans for APB and BMA and start to organize the APB structure in AIBA. Then, in 2012, we will register both APB and BMA to sign top boxers from both AOM and current professional boxing program. Finally, at the beginning of 2013, the AIBA Professional Boxing competitions will start. I need your support. I need your participation. Trust me and your Executive Committee members. We need your endorsement that we are doing the right thing for our young generation to compete in boxing with some long and bright hopes and dreams. I believe APB will boost the continuous success of WSB. I also believe APB will greatly support and assist much more all the boxing programs in your countries. I would like to thank you for listening to this announcement and cordially request your full participation with some patience and support on AIBA and boxing.