AIBA Becomes IBA As Extraordinary Congress Embraces Widespread Reform

December 13th, 2021 / IBA

The International Boxing Association Extraordinary Congress today ushered in a new era for the sport as the federation changed its acronym from AIBA to IBA while adopting a comprehensive set of governance reforms developed by independent experts. A total of 107 of IBA’s national federations were in attendance to approve these wide-spread changes.  

“As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, I am very proud of the way IBA is quickly and comprehensively becoming fit for the future. Only a year has passed since I had the privilege of becoming President of IBA. Working together, we have already completed reforms that would not have been thought possible before,” said President Umar Kremlev. “We could not have achieved this alone. In preparing the measures approved by the members of IBA today, we have had the support of leading independent experts in sports integrity and in governance. And all of this has been made possible only with the help of resources provided by our General Partner, Gazprom.”

An update was given to the Congress on parts one and three of the investigation carried out by Professor Richard McLaren and his team into boxing. Professor Ulrich Haas then presented the report of the Governance Reform Group, previously approved by IBA’s Board of Directors. The report was approved by IBA’s National Federations, which also unanimously approved a series of constitutional amendments. 

Included among the amendments were the creation of a new Boxing Independent Integrity Unit, which is expected to become operational in the course of 2022. The Board of Directors will be reduced from 28 members to 18, following elections which will be held by June 30. Candidates for election will be subject to extensive eligibility checks which will be conducted independently. Very extensive changes to the Board’s composition are expected, based on the imposition of term limits and enhanced eligibility criteria.

In order to enhance IBA’s commercial viability a new visual identity was revealed, with the new acronym at its heart and a new logo has been unveiled. IBA changed its full name to “International Boxing Association” in 2007, but had maintained its previous acronym of AIBA, which referred to the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur. The new acronym marks a new chapter in the sport’s history focused on upholding the highest standards of integrity and ensuring every boxer has the chance for a fair fight. 

“Just three days ago, the IOC gave its most recent advice to IBA, which included the adoption of governance reforms and diversifying our sources of revenue. It is a sign of how far IBA has come that we were already prepared to deliver convincing progress towards this at full speed,” continued President Kremlev. “We are doing much more than making very big improvements in individual parts of IBA. We are changing our whole culture in a lasting way. The new IBA is ready to serve the boxers of today and tomorrow, together with all those who support them.”

The IBA has also begun work towards defining weight categories and developing an Olympic Qualification System, subject to IOC approval, for Paris 2024.