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England Boxing hosts the 2016 AIBA Commissions at Old Trafford, the iconic home of Manchester United Football Club, where an innovative approach promises to increase participation and improve communications among boxing bodies.

The 8 commissions gathered in Manchester this week to discuss three crucial issues facing the sport: headguard removal, competition structure and pro-eligibility. The discussions were held in the spirit of the innovative HeadsUp! campaign, the ongoing initiative launched in 2015 to propagate a greater responsibility for the health of AIBA boxers and the nurturing of their careers from inception through to retirement and beyond.

“AIBA’s 70th year is the perfect time to rejuvinate the annual meeting of our commissions. The topics under debate and discussion affect every level of our sport so it is vital that all of our commissions are heard on these crucial issues. The HeadsUp campaign has made important inroads and we look forward to acting on the valuable opinions we have heard over the past days here in Manchester”, said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu after addressing the 110 attendees.

AIBA HEADSUP21-2
(*Photo: Dr Ching-Kuo Wu AIBA President; Karim Bouzidi, AIBA Executive Director; Krassimir Ininski, Bulgarian Boxing Federation President; Pat Fiacco, Boxing Canada President; Bono Bosnjak, Croatian Boxing Federation; Paul Porter, England Boxing CEO; Osvaldo Bisbal American Boxing Confederation President)

2016 sees innovative new approach brought in for AIBA commissions

The annual meeting took on a revitalised tone this year, with greater emphasis placed on improving dialogue and the percolation of information through all levels of the sport. The simple idea behind heightened engagement and participation of the commissions is to yield more information on the impact of the three topics under discussion for coaches, boxers and R&Js, take their feedback onboard and use it to come up with concrete solutions.

“These last 2 days are true evidence of the vitality of our sport and the commitment of the AIBA family behind the new initiatives proposed. Each 8 commissions worked for the 1st time under the HeadsUp framework allowing each member to openly discuss and contribute to the continuous growth of our sport”, explained Karim Bouzidi, AIBA executive director

As well as the commissions giving their thoughts on headguard removal, competition structure and pro-eligibility, there were be cross-commission discussions on the topics for the first time. The improved flow of information and discussion is designed to give a greater openness and understanding of the changes taking place in boxing, and to influence the ways in which those changes could take effect.

“The level of communication at this year’s commission meetings has been very positive for us. By empowering the full chain of commissions you inevitably get better input, and from there we will see better results, and changes that have a wider understanding and approval than ever before”, Chair of the Women’s Boxing Commission Joyce Bowen said after the event.

Paul Porter, CEO, England Boxing said: “It has been a great honour to host the 2016 Joint Commissions Meeting and play a part in the on-going development of the sport. We look forward to building ever closer links with AIBA and making a significant contribution to the future progress of the sport at all levels.”