Boxing to be scrapped from 2028 Olympics after vote

The International Boxing Association (IBA) delegates who met in Yerevan on Sunday voted vehemently against allowing a challenge to current president Umar Kremlev’s position. This cast more questions on the future of Olympic boxing.

After a 45-minute delay brought on by a power outage in the Armenian capital, the Russian was given 106 votes to 36 against him. This ended any hopes that the sport would be included in the Los Angeles 2028 schedule.

After that, Kremlev made a fiery speech in which he seemed to prioritize the organization’s transition to a post-Olympic future, insisting:

“We shouldn’t say Olympic boxing, we should say IBA boxing.”

Because Dutch delegate Boris van der Vorst had successfully appealed against an earlier ruling barring him from challenging Kremlev’s presidency in May, the Extraordinary Congress was called. The Boxing Independent Integrity Unit found that Van der Vorst had violated the campaign rules. However, the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport later rejected that finding.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously voiced “grave concerns” about the IBA under Kremlev’s leadership. It initially excluded boxing from the Los Angeles Games’ schedule of sports.

Following the lead of the postponed Tokyo Games in 2021, when boxing would be governed by an IOC task team, the IBA is prohibited from organizing the Paris Olympics in 2024.

To persuade Olympic authorities that boxing deserves to return to the program, a significant change in governance would be necessary. However, the IOC’s first decision suggests that it has little desire to repeat that process for 2028.

Kremlev told the audience in a speech that seemed to be directed at the IOC. He said, “I am working for you, not a side organization. No one else should have influence on the organization.”