Concise history of the International Boxing Association - AIBA
year 3 000 B.C.
The first proof of pugilism was found in Egypt and dates back to year 3000 BC. The fighters were naked and part of the King’s festivities. For years and years, boxing continuously evolved and was first accepted as an Olympic sport in 688 BC at the 23rd Olympiad in Olympia. Onomastos of Smyrna became the first Olympic champion. More than 2,600 years later, boxing remains on the Olympic Games programme. The first boxing competition at the Olympic Games of modern times was the 1904 edition in St-Louis (USA) with bouts in seven weight divisions.
From FIBA to AIBA
Several years later, representatives of the national associations of England, France, Belgium, Brazil and the Netherlands met in a preparatory conference for the foundation of an international boxing federation: The Fédération Internationale de Boxe Amateur (FIBA). The official foundation of FIBA was celebrated on August 24th 1920 during the Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. International competition grew rapidly allowing amateurs to compete in prestigious tournaments.
In November 1946, a new start was given to boxing’s governing body in order to regain some of the loss of credibility caused by the behaviour of some leading officials during World War II. FIBA was dissolved and the English Amateur Boxing Association, in partnership with the French Boxing Federation, decided to create AIBA; the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur.
Now, 60 years later, AIBA continues to govern Olympic Games boxing while AIBA’s new president Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu takes boxing into a new era.
The word "amateur" is no longer used, while the shape of boxing throughout the world is changing its image through a new logo and revolutionary competition guidelines.
Most importantly, during this time of change, the International Boxing Association continues to work diligently to ensure a fair, safe and drug free sport for the benefit of all fans of our beautiful sport.
Important dates in AIBA history
October 22nd 2007
A new AIBA is born following the approval by the 196 member associations at the AIBA Extraordinary Congress in Chicago (USA) of the AIBA Reform Committee’s recommendations. Changes include the introduction of a new logo, new statutes and new competition rules.
February 8th 2007
The AIBA Reform Committee, tasked with taking AIBA into a new era, is launched at the AIBA Executive Committee meeting in Taiwan (TPE) with IOC Executive Board member Mr. Gerhard Heiberg named as chairman.
November 5th 2006
Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu (TPE) is elected as the 6th AIBA president at the 16th AIBA Congress in Santo Domingo, (DOM)
January 1st 1996
New Rule stipulating that every boxer must possess an official AIBA Competition Record Book
November 21st-25th 1994
13th AIBA Congress in Beijing (CHN) with 187 member associations. Decision made to use only 10 oz. gloves in order to increase boxers’ safety. The upper age limit was extended from 32 to 34 years of age on the basis of measures introduced to improve the protection of the boxers’ health. Women's Boxing is recognised.
November 19, 1993
At its meeting in Tunis (TUN), the AIBA Vice Presidents’ Bureau adopts a resolution on women’s boxing
September 17th-October 1st 1989
5th World Championships in Moscow (RUS) with 236 boxers from 43 countries participating. For the first time, an electronic scoring machine was used to make judges’ officiating more objective
December 3rd 1988
Decision of AIBA Vice-Presidents' Bureau to adopt principles for the maintenance of boxing as an Olympic Sport.
July 29th-August 11th 1984
Super heavy weight (+91kg) weight class is included for the first time at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles (USA). The wearing of headguards is made compulsory for the first time.
December 10th-16th 1979
First AIBA World Junior Championships in Yokohama (JPN). In October, first AIBA World Cup in New York, Madison Square Garden (USA)
November 24th-25th 1978
9th AIBA Congress in Madrid (USA) with 127 member countries. Col. Don F. Hull (USA) elected AIBA President.
September 20th-25th 1974
8th AIBA Congress in Dar-es-Salaam (TAN). N.F. Nikiforov-Denisov (USSR) elected AIBA President. An AIBA fund is set up for developing boxing around the world, thus Olympic Solidarity becomes part of the work of AIBA.
August 17th-30th 1974
First AIBA World Championships in Havana (CUB) with 242 athletes from 45 countries
August 27th-September 10th 1972
Boxing gloves with white hitting surface are used for the first time at the Olympic Games in Munich
October 18th-22nd 1970
7th AIBA Congress in Paris (FRA) with 111 member countries
October 13th-26th 1968
The Olympic Games boxing competition featured the light fly weight division as the eleventh category for the first time at the 19th Olympiad in Mexico City
5th AIBA Congress in Interlaken (SUI). Rudyard H. Russell (ENG) elected AIBA President after Emile Grémaux passed away in 1959
June 15th-16th 1950
2nd AIBA Congress in Copenhagen (DEN) with 54 member countries. New rules adopted stipulating that a contest should be stopped after a boxer has been knocked down three times in a round, including a protective suspension. The Congress decides to introduce the light welter and light heavyweights division to bring the total weight classes to 10 and to have no contest for the bronze medal for the first time at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki (FIN). The losers of the semi-finals are automatically placed third without being awarded bronze medals.
August 5th-6th 1948
Extraordinary Congress in London. Foundation of the Medical Commission
November 29th-30th 1946
1st AIBA Congress in London (GBR), with the participation of 21 countries. First AIBA President elected: Emile Grémaux (FRA)
May 13th 1931
Decision made at 9th FIBA Congress in Brussels (BEL) to have referee officiate from inside the ring (instead of sitting outside on a high chair) and to have neutral judges at ringside. Boxers are allowed to wear a cup protector and a gum shield at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles (USA), for the first time.
July 11th 1926
5th FIBA Congress in Paris and first election of a FIBA Executive Committee. Decision made to limit entries to Olympic games to one boxer per country per category. A bout is fixed at three rounds of three minutes instead of two rounds of three minutes and one round of four minutes as it had been before.
French becomes second language of the federation
August 24th 1920
Official foundation of the International Amateur Boxing Federation (FIBA) during the Olympic Games in Antwerp. President: John H. Douglas (GBR). Participating countries: BEL, CAN, DEN, FRA, GBR, NED, NOR, RSA, SUI, SWE , USA
February 16th 1920
Preparatory conference for the foundation of a international boxing federation with representatives of the national associations of England, France, Belgium, Brazil and the Netherlands as well as observers from USA, Ireland and Scotland. English is declared the federation’s language, but the official name of the federation is in French: Fédération Internationale de Boxe Amateur (FIBA)
Medical examination before the boxing competition is introduced
September 21st-22nd 1904
First boxing competition at Olympic Games of modern times in St-Louis (USA). Bouts took place in seven weight categories.