The 2015 edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships drew to a close on Thursday night, with ten World Champions crowned at the culmination of a historic tournament watched by millions of boxing fans around the world.
The competition was unveiled with a spectacular opening ceremony on October 5, with IOC President Thomas Bach adding his support to AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu and the historic first world championships in the Middle East.
“This has been a huge step for the global development of boxing. Bringing the AIBA World Boxing Championships to Qatar and the Middle East for the first time in history was really special, and it was tremendous to see the local communities in Doha coming out in their thousands to see the best boxers battle to be crowned world champions,” said Dr Wu.
“The organisers have been first class, from the spectacular arena to the incredible facilities for our boxers and the full logistical side of the event. Doha has really set a new benchmark for the AIBA World Championships, and I think it is safe to say that this was the best ever.”
No fewer than eighteen countries were represented at the semi-final stage, underlining the universal appeal of boxing around the world. In the gold medal matches, boxers from Azerbaijan, Cuba, France, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Morrocco, Russia and Uzbekistan competed for the title of World Champion.
Highlighting the importance of AIBA’s HeadsUp! campaign, there were no incidents of concussion during the 238 bouts. Officially launched during the championships with workshops for referees and coaches, the first phase of the ongoing initiative seeks to instil a more upright style and keep boxers’ health a priority.
For Mr Yousuf Ali Al Kazim, of equal importance as staging a first-class event was leaving a strong legancy for Qatar boxing. “This has been a defining moment for boxing in this region and as history was made, new generations of boxing talent are left inspired. We cherish the friendship and relationship we share with you and we will undoubtedly see Qatar continuing to be an integral part of the development of boxing here in the Middle-East and across the world. That is our commitment. That is our pledge..”