Has USA Amateur Boxing become the lap dog of AIBA? The latest announcement from USA Amateur Boxing in regards to the boxers qualifying for the 2016 Olympics is as follows: “The Olympic Trials for Women’s Boxing were contested October 26-November 1 in Memphis, Tenn. Flyweight Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas), lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.), and middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) won gold at the women’s events and will now prepare for international qualifying.
“U. S. athlete Carlos Balderas received an Olympic berth from AIBA via his finish in the World Series of Boxing Season V in the lightweight, 132 pound division. AIBA informed USA Boxing of this on October 28, and the position was accepted in accordance with USA Boxing’s selection procedures.” (An unheard of procedure until now) “Because AIBA allows only one individual per country in each weight class to qualify, Balderas is selected to be the U.S. representative in the lightweight division for the 2016 Olympic Games.”
The announcement continues: “Due to this recent qualification, the 132 lbs./60 kg weight division can NOT be contested at the 2016 Men’s Olympic Qualification Team Trial for the purposes of naming an athlete to the 2016 Men’s Olympic Qualification Team.
“However, USA Boxing has determined to still hold the competition for the 132 lb/60 kg weight division during the Trials. The competition results for your weight division will determine the ranking of athletes who may be selected to compete in any remaining AIBA Qualification Pathway(s) should Balderas be unable to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games for whatever reason. It does NOT place any athlete on the Olympic Qualification Team. The competition only determines rankings of athletes who could attempt to qualify in any remaining pathway(s) left if Balderas cannot participate in Rio.” (So for all you 132 pound gullible donkeys who kept reaching for that carrot, the carrot has left the building.)
“USA Boxing is currently in the process of amending the selection procedures to distinguish between the competition that is to be conducted with the (other) six qualified athletes in the lightweight division and the other weight divisions that have yet to be qualified. This competition will take place December 7-12 in Reno, Nevada. If you wish to compete in this event, your travel to Reno and housing there will be covered by USA Boxing.” (Better bring some extra money, there seems to be a credibility issue.)
After nearly a full year of qualifying events, the 69 athletes who will compete in the Olympic Trials for Men’s Boxing in Reno, may or may not get an opportunity to go to Brazil. You may or may not have to wait and hold your breathe while the numbskulls at AIBA make up their mind about adding yet another of their WSB (World Series of Boxing) lackeys to the roster.
USA Amateur Boxing went on to say, “The first four days of Olympic Trials competition will take place at the Silver Legacy Exposition Hall with final round action moving to the Reno Events Center for championship bouts on December 11 and 12.”
Once again AIBA, the enlightened despot, steps out of the shadows: “The champions from our World Series of Boxing format and our World Championship Team Trials in December of 2014 plus the 2015 USA Boxing National Championships in January get to claim the first spots in the Olympic Trials followed by the top two finishers in the three Pathway to Glory Men’s Trials Qualifiers in June, September and October. Two athletes qualified for the Olympic Trials in two weight divisions and later this month will select the weight class in which they wish to compete. In addition, due to one athlete turning professional in the bantamweight division, only seven boxers will compete in the 123-pound weight class.
“Two champions from the 2012 Olympic Trials have returned for another run at the Olympic Games in 2016. Flyweight Eros Correa (San Jose, Calif.) and Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) are back for a second straight Olympic Trials in Reno. Awesome is one of the two athletes currently determining his weight division as he qualified at both the heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions.”
The controversial Lightweight/132 lbs. division
Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) Olympic allocation was based solely on his finish in the World Series of Boxing.
Comments from boxing fan Sabrina Rhodes:
“As of October 29, 2015, Carlos Balderas’ ranking was #49. So how did he get the 2016 Olympic Spot? He didn’t participate in the World Series of Boxing Tournament! Carlos is not ranked in the top 3 in the WSB rankings! Antonio Vargas was the 2015 Champion at the Pan American Games and won Athlete of the Month! So why does Vargas have to compete for his Olympic spot? Balderas only won WSB in December. In Tennessee along with every other weight class winner! The article USA Boxing now has on their website states he won “best fight of the night.” Every Qualifier I know has been awarded at least one “Best Fight of the Night.” So Balderas hasn’t done anything anyone else hasn’t already done! They still have to compete for a spot and not be handed a spot that they don’t deserve! This is all USA Boxing doing what they want and then blaming AIBA. Balderos’ family must know someone in a top position of USA Amateur Boxing!
“It’s a disgrace that they are hurting these young men in the 132 weight class and their families that had to spend a lot of money to be able to qualify for the various trials! USA Amateur Boxing is robbing six athletes who have won big tournaments and as mentioned some have also won “Fight of the night” honors! Carlos, if you can’t prove that you can beat the other six USA Qualifiers then you should be ashamed to even want to represent the United States. Go look at the Carlos Balderas versus Genaro Gamez bout on You Tube. Balderos clearly didn’t win that fight, they gave it to him. In my opinion he shouldn’t have even won the World Series of Boxing. Please spread the word that the USA Boxing representatives are being unfair. We must stop this kind of nonsense.
Anonymous: “Since I make my money by working for these clowns, these sanctioning bodies, I have to be careful what I say. They don’t give a damn, who wins or what’s fair. AIBA and the World Series of Boxing is run by this Chinese dude, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, who’s out to make a fast buck. After realizing he couldn’t get the proper TV ratings, he talked the AIBA board of directors into removing the protective head gear. Why? Because there wasn’t enough blood, and he knew knockouts sells tickets. They also make money by being scouts, on the lookout for the new crop of up and coming pros. Cha-ching! They want first dibs on representing them.”
Some of the hot prospects being promoted by the World Series of Boxing:
Two-time AIBA World Champion Julio Cesar De La Cruz of the Domadores de Cuba cuts an imposing figure over the light heavyweight division. The four time Cuban National Champion finished second in the WSB rankings and thus qualified for his second Olympic Games.
One of the most dominant boxers in the WSB is Vassiliy Levit, their top ranked heavyweight at 200.6 lbs. In Season 5, Levit won 8 matches and finished with the same amount of points as Cuba’s Erislandy Savon, but claimed the Rio 2016 Olympic Games heavyweight spot due to his impressive TKO record. Only one of his seven opponents was able to go the allotted five rounds.
Nurdaulet Zharmanov of Astana, Arlans, Kazakhstan began boxing at 12. A gold medal in the 2013 Kazakhstan National Championships was followed by a silver in 2014. The World Series of Boxing is wholly owned by AIBA and all of the boxers in it are registered with AIBA. National Federations play an important part by ensuring the best boxers are aware of and available to participate in WSB.
The boxers compete without headgear in 5 three minute rounds, 5 bouts per match with a 10-Point-Must-System. During the first 4 seasons, 12 teams competed and in Season V there were 16. Seasons I & II included a program for individual boxers and the franchises were city focused. By Season III the franchises developed a national identity and teams were permitted to have international boxers (a maximum of eight from Season V with a maximum of three of the same nationality). Since Season IV, teams compete in 10 weight categories and the top four teams from the regular season participate in their playoffs. Each franchise is responsible for recruitment, preparation of the team, logistics, management, finances, marketing, events, promotion, communication and of course coaching.
What is AIBA’a goal? AIBA appears to have this manifest destiny of controlling all Amateur Boxing Organizations Worldwide and yet they have the local Amateur Boxing Organizations do all the work while they control who fights, when they fight, where they fight and now, which of the athletes gets to represent their country in the Olympics.
Next on their agenda: the National Series of Boxing (NSB) is in the development stages. It will follow a similar format as the WSB but at a national level. AIBA is hoping such a project could satisfy the demands of Franchises and National Federations. Since USA Amateur Boxing already fulfills this need, and currently complies or kowtows to all of AIBA’s wishes, AIBA’s attempt to take it over might be so simple – not your usual hostile take over and not one bullet will be fired. With complete control, you can bet the membership and the sanctioning fees will go up.
Since the U. S. is still the leader when it comes to the Olympic Boxing medal count, 50 Gold, 23 Silver and 38 Bronze, we owe it to our predecessors to keep that glorious history alive. However, that’s going to be tough when we have someone from halfway around the world, in Switzerland, making the call in regards to who makes our Olympic Boxing Teams. As they’ve already done, they’ll be choosing which boxers make the Olympic Team from their own personal World Series of Boxing promotion group and not necessarily the best overall USA Amateur boxer.
“The current selection of Carlos Balderos of Santa Maria, Calif. to represent the U.S. in the Olympics, a matter normally decided on December 7th through December 12th at the Olympic Trials in Reno, Nevada, is wrong,” so says Hondo Fontan, the President of the local USA Amateur Boxing LBC 44 CAL Border. Not to say Balderos won’t make a good representative but six additional athletes were hoodwinked into believing they too had an opportunity to qualify if they traversed the many hurdles. At this point, who can these young men trust after doing so well and working so hard but they still didn’t get their opportunity to compete? This Dr. Wu must be somewhat of a control freak like that George Steinbrenner of the N. Y. Yankees.”
“Well, not on my watch!” says the popular USA Amateur Boxing President who is hot under the collar. “This is so unfair. For such a long period of time all we ever saw was Gamez as the #1 seed. I’m telling you, Gamez can beat this guy, anywhere, anytime, with one hand tied behind his back. Gamez has traveled several times to LA for shows and Balderas failed to show up. Even when they were pre-matched, Balderas was a no show.”
Who in their right mind, gave AIBA this power?
Another announcement worth a read came on “September 28, 2015, 3:51 p.m. (ET)
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Four of USA Boxing’s elite men will challenge the best boxers in the world at the 2015 AIBA Elite Men’s World Championships, October 10-15 in Doha, Qatar. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas), middleweight Anthony Campbell (Covington, Tenn.), light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Omaha, Neb.), and heavyweight Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) will all compete in the event, which is also an international Olympic qualifier.” Wow! They must have gone shopping and bought another bag of carrots.
“Unlike past events, athletes had to qualify for the World Championships, ensuring a smaller and more competitive event than previous years. The 2015 tournament will feature 260 boxers from 73 nations all competing for not only world titles but also 23 berths in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“This edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships will be a key event in the run up to Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the top boxers from all five continents converge in Doha, Qatar, to compete in an astounding venue. For the first time, all the boxers had to qualify to the World Championships ensuring that boxing fans will enjoy the most remarkable show the elite of the boxing world has to offer,” said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
“The two finalists in the light flyweight, flyweight and light heavyweight divisions, top three finishers in the bantamweight through middleweight classes and heavyweight and super heavyweight champions from the 2015 Elite Men’s World Championships will all qualify for berths in the 2016 Olympic Games.
“All four American representatives won gold at the WSB and World Championship Trial last December in Chattanooga, Tenn., before qualifying internationally at a continental event in Venezuela in August. The squad has been preparing for the major international event at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs since September 12. They will depart for Qatar on Thursday to acclimate for the start of competition on Tuesday, October 6 at the at the state-of-the-art Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena in Doha, Qatar.”
Another AIBA announcement was made: “WSB provides boxers with further development opportunities by competing at the highest level with guarantees and stability over the long term, and at the same time retaining their Olympic eligibility. For the first time the world’s top boxers can enjoy training in a team, with regular competition against world-class opponents and the opportunity of earning a regular salary, along with a performance based bonus system.“
Isn’t this an admission that several or possibly all of the World Series of Boxing boxers are being paid? And if so, that would make them Professional athletes, no longer having Amateur status. Everyone knows only an Amateur can compete in the Olympics.
Hopefully, things will turn out for the best and everyone will have a wonderful time in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.