Vargas, Venezuela, has been the home of the first APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event open to all pro boxers since the change in AIBA statute ratified at the Extraordinary Congress held on 1 June in Lausanne. It was also the occasion for AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu to welcome WBA President Gilberto Jésus Mendoza to the Jose Maria Vargas Dome to enjoy the finals, which featured four pro boxers from non-AIBA organisations.
“This APB/WSB Olympic Qualification tournament undoubtedly marks a step-change for our sport, with all pro boxers able to participate and earn quota places to Rio 2016. The presence of WBA President Gilberto Jésus Mendoza outlines our willingness to collaborate with all organisations that share our values and work for the best interests of the boxers” declared AIBA President Dr Wu.
Three pro boxers out of the twenty registered earned quota places to go to the Olympic Games, showcasing the strong level of the competition at which 79 boxers registered to contest the last 26 Olympic spots on offer.
“Ensuring the long term development of our sport is the only thing that should matter, and it was essential to come to Vargas to witness this unique tournament. After thorough discussions with AIBA President Dr Wu, it has become obvious that we need to start working on mutual projects that will benefit boxing and our boxers”. said WBA President Gilberto Jésus Mendoza.
Both AIBA and WBA have agreed to envisage future partnerships covering all aspects of boxing from event organisation, boxer management and new championships, to training courses.