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Poles to boycott World Boxing Championships in Tashkent

“We are consistent. We will not take part in the men’s world championships in Uzbekistan,” Marcin Demel, Vice President of the Polish Boxing Association (PZB), told the Polish Press Agency (PAP). Previously, Polish female boxers had not taken part in a similar event organized in New Delhi in March.

The boycott resulted from the decision taken by the International Boxing Association (IBA), which admitted representatives of Russia and Belarus to the world championships. Further to this, against the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee, female athletes from these countries performed in India not as neutrals but under their countries’ flags. The event was ostracised by several countries, including Poland.

Ukraine & 9 countries will boycott 2023 World Boxing Championship among men & women due to participation of Russian &Belarusian athletes

The main tournament for the Ukrainian team will be European Games held in June in Poland without Russians &Belarusians

— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) February 22, 2023

According to Demel, the boycott will result in a doubling of the prize pool. The winners of each weight category will receive USD 200,000 each. “It saddens me that many countries in the Western world declare a boycott and later on, like Australia, France, and Italy, decide to compete in the event,” he added.

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A new organization on the horizon

The PZB vice president also referred to an initiative by representatives of Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States to set up a rival organization to the IBA. This is for allowing boxing to remain in the Olympics. National federations will be able to belong to both organizations, but the United States has decided to drop its membership in the IBA.

Demel “has a very difficult task ahead of it. The IBA brings together 203 countries. It will be very difficult to convince the majority to the new project. African, Asian, or South American countries are rather reluctant to change.”

He recalled that Polish fighters are preparing for the heavily attended international tournament named after Feliks Stamm (21-26 May in Pułtusk) and, above all, for their appearance in the European Games in Kraków providing a possibility to win Olympic qualifications.

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