AIBA President Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu’s idea to allow pro boxers to compete at the 2016 Olympic games still attracting plenty of attention

By James Slater - 04/01/2016 - Comments

Last month, AIBA President Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu stated how he would like to see professional boxers boxing at Olympic level. The president said the sport’s governing body plans to change its rules and allow pro boxers the chance to qualify for and fight in Rio 2016. Theoretically, this would allow a top name pro, a world champion, like a Manny Pacquiao to box against an amateur in the forthcoming games.

Ever since he spoke about his plans, Ching-Kuo Wu has attracted plenty of attention – and not all of it favourable. Some fighters, such as Pacquiao, have spoken about entertaining the idea of representing their country whilst boxing in Rio – Wladimir Klitschko being another huge name who has not ruled out the possibility. While others, such as David Haye and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, have called the idea nothing short of a crazy one.

In speaking on a recent conference call ahead of the Pacquiao-Tim Bradley III fight, Pac-Man spoke on the subject and so did Arum.

“I am thinking about it,” Pacquiao said on the subject of boxing in Rio. “I’m not saying I’m going to fight and I’m not saying I’m not. I’m not closing the door.”

But while Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said he would support his fighter whatever decision he makes, Arum lambasted the idea of pro boxers going in with young amateurs.

“The idea that you’ll allow professionals into the Olympics at this short notice is absolutely insane,” Arum said. “I mean, the idea that Manny Pacquiao would face off against some 17 or 18-year-old kid who has no professional experience is not only stupid, but also dangerous. These people ought to have their heads examined.”

It is tough to argue with Arum, even if Ching-Kuo Wu argues how all other sports but boxing are represented in the Olympics. Boxing, as we know, is different – a sport where even a top class pro can get hurt; just look at the recent sad events regarding Nick Blackwell.

As much as some fans would find it exciting seeing superstars box at the games, the safety issue has to come first when thinking about the idea. But even if pro boxers are not permitted to fight in Rio, the upcoming games’ boxing bouts will be different to those of previous Olympics, as in Rio there will be no head guards for the boxers and the scoring of bouts will be done under the pro, 10-point must system.

Under these conditions, fighters the calibre of Pacquiao and Klitschko would surely dominate any fights they were to have in Rio.

Last Updated on 04/03/2016