Malawi Boxing Association (Maba) and the National Professional Boxing Committee’s (NPBC) recent delinking faces a tough test of allegiance following a wrangle between the Amateur International Boxing Association (Aiba) and the World Boxing Council (WBC).
The wrangle threatens the future of Malawi professional boxers as they have to choose under which body they will be fighting after the WBC has objected to Aiba’s move to establish its professional boxing wing.
The WBC and Aiba disagreement leaves Maba and NPBC on a possible collision course as their responsibilities could overlap if they both administer professional boxing. It was the very same reason that necessitated their delinking which the Sports Council facilitated last year.
NPBC president Lonzoe Zimba admitted that the WBC versus Aiba row could jeorpadise domestic professional boxing. Aiba wants to run professional boxing through a wing called World Series of Boxing (WBS). Aiba were until 2012 only responsible for amateurs.
“Aiba’s professional boxing wing will confuse professional boxers. Once our professional boxers choose to fight under Aiba, they will not be allowed to fight in other countries. That could earn them the wrath of the WBC which is a more superior professional body followed by the African Boxing Union (ABU) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF),” Zimba said on Friday.
Maba vice-president Henry Sakala, who referred further questions to secretary general Arthur Nanthuru, on Saturday said “we can’t take a stand now. It is like our two parents are fighting.”
Junior welterweight champion Osgood Kayuni on Sunday said it was now difficult for Malawian boxers to tell which body they will be fighting under on the international stage.
Both WBC and Aiba have since written Maba and NPBC demanding allegiance on the control of professional boxing.
In the statement to NPBC and copied to the press on Friday, WBC president José Sulaimán condemned Aiba/WBS which says only boxers registered in their tournament will be eligible to compete at the Olympic Games to the exclusion of boxers affiliated to other organisations.
“Aiba/WSB elitist attitude in disregard of the rights of the world’s boxers is further confirmed by their exclusion of third-world countries among their proposed tournament sites,” Sulaimán wrote.
“The WBC will remain vigilant and will continue to monitor AIBA/WSB’s abuses of power and attempts to demand that sovereign nations change their laws to accommodate Aiba/WSB’s restrictive purposes.”
In an earlier letter to Maba and all national boxing federations on October 12 2012, Aiba president Ching-Kuo Wu ordered all their affiliates to rebrand and set up a new APB [Association for Professional Boxing ) department within the national federation.
“With regard to those national federations that already have an existing professional boxing programmes, they must take steps (to the satisfaction of Aiba) to ensure that such programmes are subject to the rules and falls within the structure of APB and get completely transformed within the next five years to an APB programme only,” reads the letter posted on Aiba website.