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Professionals Could Fight In 2016 Olympics
Khan, DeGale and co could take part in Rio
Posted Aug 11, 2011 by Chris White
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When questioned about the rumours circulating that professional boxers will be allowed to fight at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee refused to rule out the possibility, giving the strongest indication yet that professional fighters will be eligible to compete.
The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), who are introducing a professional tournament in 2013 with participants eligible for Rio, are currently “discussing the project” with the IOC.
There is a feeling among boxers who have done well at the Olympics that they need to turn professional in order to progress in their careers, viewing the Olympics as the pinnacle of amateur boxing. Amir Khan won silver in 2004 and turned professional, just as Olympic champion James DeGale did in 2008, so neither were given the chance to defend their Olympic titles. Under the new proposal, both would be eligible to go to the Olympics in Rio and if they were still the titleholders they would have been able to defend.
The proposal does mean that professional world champions would be allowed to compete, which has not gone down well with the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA), who have questioned “what it means for amateur boxing.”