Amidst the anticipation surrounding the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, there’s a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the sport of boxing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to put boxing “on hold” for the 2028 Olympics, casting a shadow over its longstanding presence in the Games.
For over a century, boxing has been an integral part of the Olympics, making its debut in 1904. It has witnessed legendary moments and iconic champions over the years. The IOC’s decision raises concerns about the future of this beloved sport on the Olympic stage.
Despite the sport’s exclusion from the 2028 Games, it’s important to note that boxing will still be featured at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France. This distinction highlights the IOC’s recent reservations about the sport, particularly regarding its governing body.
IOC president Thomas Bach has emphasized that the issue lies not with the sport itself but with the governing body. He’s made it clear that the IOC is keen on retaining boxing as an Olympic discipline. “We want boxing on the program. We have no problem with boxing or boxers—we have a problem with the governing body,” Bach stated.
The trouble began when the International Boxing Association (IBA), responsible for overseeing amateur boxing in the Olympics, lost its recognition by the IOC’s executive board. The concerns were multifaceted, ranging from officiating controversies to financial and governance issues. As the IBA appeals this decision, the future of Olympic boxing remains uncertain.
During an IOC session in Mumbai, a vote was held to determine the sports program for the 2028 Los Angeles Games. In the absence of a recognized governing body for Olympic boxing, the IOC took the unprecedented step of putting the sport “on hold.”
Casey Wasserman, chairman of LA 2028, expressed his desire to see boxing retain its place in the Olympics. He highlighted the sport’s rich history in the Games and its significance in American boxing culture. However, Wasserman acknowledged that the ultimate decision rests with the IOC’s membership, considering the complexities surrounding the sport’s governance.
While the fate of boxing in the 2028 Olympics remains uncertain, its legacy and cultural significance within the Olympic movement are undeniably powerful. Boxing enthusiasts and athletes worldwide hope for a resolution that preserves the sport’s cherished place on the Olympic stage.
Earlier this week, kickboxing was ruled out as a sport to be included in the 2028 Olympics.