AIBA – 70 years serving boxing
AIBA History 1946-2016
Founded in 1946, December sees AIBA celebrating 70 years as the governing body of international boxing.
For seven decades, AIBA has sought to constantly evolve boxing, introducing ground-breaking reforms that have shaped it into one of the most popular sports in the world today.
New competitions including WSB (2010) and APB Boxing (2015) have been launched, while the repealing of the decision in 1984 to make headguards compulsory for Olympic boxers and the rapid assimilation of Women’s Boxing since 1994 have kept AIBA at the vanguard of world boxing.
In 2016, AIBA reached the landmark of 200 National Federation members, the ever-growing number is symbolic of the work being done to listen to the needs of the NFs and their boxers and always act in their interests.
The evolution of AIBA competition
The first AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships took place in Havana, Cuba in 1974, before the Juniors competition made its debut appearance in Japan five years later.
AIBA has consistently evolved and raised the standard and profile of its international events, with the 2015 Men’s World Championships in Doha marking new levels of production values and audience reach.
Today, AIBA hosts bi-annual Men’s and Women’s World Championships at Elite, Youth and Junior levels, and its boxers compete at major global multi-sport events including the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games, the European, Pan-American and Pan-Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, as well as the four Continental Boxing Championships held by AIBA Confederations.
In 1994, Women’s Boxing was formally included in the AIBA family, with the Women’s World Championships tournament making its debut in November 2001. Less than a decade later, AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu was instrumental in the IOC’s decision to back the organisation’s determined effort to have Women’s Boxing included in the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
True career pathway for boxers
AIBA’s seeks to create opportunities for its boxers to enjoy sustainable careers and to remain in the AIBA family from Junior level right through to hanging up the gloves and training to become coaches and officials. The Road to Dream programme was created in 2009 to help boxers and coaches from developing nations with funding for travel expenses to major competitions. The impact of that work can now be felt through all echelons of the sport but most tangibly in the increasing numbers of countries entering AIBA tournaments around the world.
The first-ever pro-boxing team competition, World Series of Boxing, was launched in 2010, with country-based franchises giving boxers a chance to compete in a global competition across five rounds. In 2015, the first season of AIVA Pro Boxing created further opportunities for AIBA athletes to pursue true career paths within the AIBA umbrella. The logical progression of the policy was the ground-breaking vote by the Executive Committee to open Rio 2016 Olympic qualification to professional boxers from non-AIBA organisations.
HeadsUp and education
HeadsUp took the Road to Dream concept a stage further, with a far-reaching initiative born out of the re-education of the Elite Men boxers to adopt a more upright stance following the decision to remove headguards for their competitions in 2013. The initiative, based on the four pillars of Sport, Health, Education and Sustainability, encompasses everything from grassroots support for boxing projects around the world to creating sustainable career paths for all boxers, all underpinned by education programmes covering key areas including anti-doping and ethics.