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Another Storied Olympic Sport is About to Fall to the Sports Imperialists: Boxing!

It looks like another sport is about to join the list of sports captured by the sports imperialists: Boxing.   Breitbart has reported that Manny Pacquiao, Philippine congressman and former championship boxer, would be interested in boxing for his native land if the boxing federation allowed pro athletes in the Olympics.

Pro boxers in the Olympic Games?    Terrible idea.  Kevin McRae at Bleacher Report says it’s dangerous.  And the IOC (no surprise) is pushing it (from an ESPN article):

AIBA [The world federation governing boxing]say they have been working on broadening their eligibility criteria for Rio for some time, but were given implicit encouragement to fast-track the process by the publication of the IOC’s Agenda 2020 document in 2014, whose Recommendation 9 declares the intention of “ensuring participation by the best athletes”.

I suggest this is not a desire to have the “best athletes” but is governed by television and ratings and money.  The little nations will have to fend for themselves I suppose.

Yet the little nations seem to be, Stockholm syndrome style, going along to their own destruction and marginalization:

[The head of AIBA, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu is quoted] “We certainly consult with all the national federations. We had a survey. In this survey’s feedback more than 90% of the national federations all confirmed their support.”

Here is the rest of the story from The Boxing News website.  And the boxing federation appears to be fast tracking it:

Speaking in an exclusive interview in next week’s Boxing News magazine, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, president of AIBA, the governing body of the Olympic sport, explained how the process could work. Currently the proposal to make professional boxers eligible for the Olympic Games is a recommendation to come out of last week’s AIBA Commissions meeting. To allow pro boxers into the Olympics, AIBA would have to ratify this recommendation by changing its rules and statutes. It is possible for that to take place ahead of the Rio Olympic Games. AIBA will call an Extraordinary Congress, expected for June 1, to vote on the change.

This is a distressing development that could mean, according to Breitbart, that several amateur boxers who have already qualified for their Olympic teams might be replaced with pro athletes.

The IBA votes in May. The Olympics start in August. Although the three months would provide Pacquiao time for a full training camp, it’s unclear whether that short period would give the participating nations enough time to sort out their teams. The Olympic boxing trials for many nations, including the United States, took place months ago. Granting accomplished professionals spots might mean taking some away from amateurs believing that they had already fought their way into the games.

Seems to me the attitude is:  To heck with the amateurs!  Or the small nations! Maybe some crying young amateur boxer on national TV who got his place on the Olympic team pulled by the sports imperialists for a rich pro athlete will show the American people how terrible this policy is. Would a young Cassius Clay get a start to represent his nation today?

No one should give the IOC or the USOC a DIME until our nation takes the right stand.   Give to a local Olympic hopeful or a sport like fencing or curling that has not been captured by sports imperialism.

I think it is time for an alternative Olympic Games.  No pros allowed.  Where is Donald Trump when you really need him…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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