Unprecedented IOC-directed pressure from NOCs signals unfettered interference into IBA’s National Federations autonomy

June 25th, 2024 / IBA

The IBA has learned of recent weeks that multiple National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are interfering directly in the business of the respective National Boxing Federations to intimidate them with funding cuts due to their membership with the International Boxing Association. The situation is totally unacceptable, nor within the spirit of our sport, and must be addressed and exposed immediately.

The IBA reiterates both its autonomy and independence from any other organization and requires the same respect for its member National Federations. The attempts to breach this autonomy is a clear sign of direct interference by the IOC, no question. We are fully appraised of those on point with this work and will in turn be taking the appropriate action.

NOC’s funds are crucial for some National Federations; however, they are absolutely not the cornerstone of National Federations’ success. The IBA provides extensive opportunities for those pathway programs, along with the development and success of the athletes via the Financial Support Program (FSP). So far, over 90 countries this financial year have benefitted directly from the FSP, which in turn has made a huge impact on its National Federations’ sporting results and successes. Noting that the FSP continues to be managed in detail with those daily requests, specifically targeting those countries under pressure from the NOCs who are directly interfering and damaging the sport of boxing.

‘It is truly disrespectful when NOCs try to influence our National Federations and blackmail them with the potential stripping of their financial support,’ IBA Secretary General and CEO Chris Roberts OBE stated. ‘IBA’s National Federations are pivotal to us and will be supported at all costs. We have the full resources to support boxing competition and development worldwide, along with assisting our elite athletes independently. IBA’s National Federations should not be intimidated by this weak way of interference, which clearly has a direct link to World Boxing. A message to all of our National Federations who should be confident in their own independent existence, and, in turn, who will be supported by IBA.’

Point to note, IBA will continue to invest considerable prize money over the next four-year cycle until 2028 and has announced the fully packed global event calendar. IBA’s flagship pro-style event, Champions’ Night packed 2024 schedule will not disappoint with regular events touching all corners of the world with a yearly prize fund of $7 million. Further exciting announcements for 2025 will be revealed shortly.

As a gentle reminder to all, IBA’s portfolio is unique:

  • Sponsorship deal matched by no other International Federation
  • Development program matched by no other International Federation
  • High level events program matched by no other International Federation
  • A key investment program matched by no other International Federation
  • Licensed and endorsed equipment managed and tested by IBA, and used by other organizations
  • Technical and Competition rules, owned, endorsed, and managed by IBA, and used by other organizations
  • Course content, owned, endorsed, and managed by IBA, and used by other organizations
  • Referees, Judges, and International Technical Officials managed, trained, educated, and supported by IBA, and used by other organizations

The opportunities IBA gives are simply not replicable by World Boxing, given their unfounded claims to do so. The IBA Youth World Boxing Championships scheduled for 2024 will gather over 100 nations, whilst the most recent event announcement from this organization that will be held in the USA Boxing performance centre, will bring a maximum of 20 countries at best.

To conclude, a look forward to some quality events over the summer months, culminating in the continued support with the Year of the Americas, with ongoing boxing in this continent, to include a series of Champions’ Nights, and concluding with this prestigious event to take place in Cuba, followed by the celebrations of International Boxing Day in Havana on 27 August.