GB statement on new international federation, World Boxing
April 13, 2023 | by Matt Halfpenny
GB Boxing has today issued the following media release with regard to the creation of a new international boxing federation.
In response, a short statement from England Boxing Chair, Richard Booke, has been issued at the bottom of the article.
GB Boxing media release
GB Boxing has welcomed the creation of a new international federation, World Boxing, which aims to ensure that boxing remains at the heart of the Olympic movement.
It has been created in response to the persistent issues surrounding Olympic-style boxing’s existing international governing body, whose failure to address the IOC’s longstanding concerns over sporting integrity, governance, transparency and financial management has placed boxing’s future as an Olympic sport in doubt.
World Boxing will seek recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and plans to work constructively and collaboratively to develop a pathway that will preserve boxing’s ongoing place on the Olympic competition programme.
GB Boxing’s Chief Executive, Matthew Holt, will serve on the Interim Executive Board of World Boxing, which also includes Team GB’s 2020 Olympic middleweight champion, Lauren Price, who will be one of the new organisation’s Athlete Representatives.
She said: “From being eight-years-old it was my ambition to go to the Olympic Games and once I took up boxing, everything I did was focused on working towards that goal. To finally achieve it and then win a medal has been the highlight of my career and even though I am now a professional, I do not think anything will ever match what I did at the Olympics.
“Going to the Olympics is life changing and I cannot imagine a Games without boxing. It provides a massive platform for the sport and for the boxers. Without it, the boxers will suffer and the sport will be damaged so something has to be done to make sure boxing continues to be part of the Olympic Games.”
Holt added: “It is vital that boxing continues to remain at the heart of the Olympic movement and to achieve this we need to re-establish a relationship of trust between those that the govern the sport and all of its stakeholders. World Boxing aims to deliver this by creating a financially transparent organisation with strong governance structures that delivers sporting integrity and fair competition and acts in the interest of boxers and the sport.”
World Boxing will be underpinned by rigorous governance practices designed to create a sustainable and inclusive global sporting structure where boxers from around the world can compete knowing that the integrity of the sport is guaranteed and competition is fair.
As part of its launch announcement, World Boxing, made five pledges detailing its priorities for the sport, its commitment to boxers and its aims as an organisation. The five pledges are:
- World Boxing will keep boxing at the heart of the Olympic movement
- World Boxing will ensure the interests of boxers are put first
- World Boxing will deliver sporting integrity and fair competitions
- World Boxing will create a competition structure designed in the best interests of the boxers
- World Boxing will operate according to the strongest governance standards and transparent financial management
World Boxing will hold its inaugural Congress in November 2023. In the period between the launch of World Boxing and the inaugural Congress it will be led by an interim Executive Board made-up of representatives from boxing organisations in Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sweden and the USA. It will be overseen on a day-to-day basis by Interim Secretary General, Simon Toulson, who has extensive experience in international sport having previously led the International Canoe Federation (ICF) and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).
The second Athlete Representative on World Boxing’s Interim Executive Board, alongside Lauren Price, is the USA’s super-heavyweight silver medallist, Richard Torrez Jr.
Richard Torrez Jr added: “Winning a medal for my country at Tokyo 2020 was the best moment of my career. To take that opportunity away from the next generation of boxers would be devastating for them as athletes and disastrous for the sport. It is absolutely vital that boxing remains part of the Olympic Games and I am going to do everything I can to make sure that happens.”
The members of World Boxing’s Interim Executive Board are:
- Matthew Holt, Chief Executive, GB Boxing
- Tyson Lee, President, USA Boxing
- Karin Mattsson, Board Member, Swedish Boxing Federation
- Michael Mueller, Secretary General, German Boxing Association
- Karina Picson, Boxing Competition Official, the Philippiines
- Lauren Price, Athlete Representative
- Richard Torrez Jr, Athlete Representative
- Boris van der Vorst, President, Dutch Boxing Federation
- Keith Walker, Chair, Boxing New Zealand
- Simon Toulson, Interim Secretary General (without voting rights)
World Boxing’s Statutes have been developed following wide-ranging research of best practice in global sporting governance and cover every aspect of World Boxing’s operations including: safeguarding; the health and safety of boxers; refereeing and judging; competition manipulation; election protocols; codes of behaviour and equality and inclusion.
World Boxing’s statutes and all its rules and policies are publicly available on its website at www.worldboxing.org.
In response to GB Boxing’s media release on the creation of World Boxing, Richard Brooke, Chair of England Boxing, said: “I fully support this initiative as we wish to ensure that boxing remains part of the programme for the Olympic Games.
“This is an important step in response to the governance issues surrounding Olympic-style boxing and IBA, the existing international governing body.”