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knockout blow Katie Taylor fears for the future of amateur boxing if it is dropped from Olympics

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Katie Taylor with her belts after defeating Natasha Jonas in their WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO female lightweight title fight at the Manchester Arena last May. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor with her belts after defeating Natasha Jonas in their WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO female lightweight title fight at the Manchester Arena last May. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor with her belts after defeating Natasha Jonas in their WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO female lightweight title fight at the Manchester Arena last May. Photo: Sportsfile

Katie Taylor fears for the future of amateur boxing if it is dropped from the Olympic programme.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist and current undisputed and undefeated w orld lightweight champion played a pivotal role in persuading the International Olympic Council to include women’s boxing in the programme for the London Games.

Her performance in an exhibition bout during the 2007 men’s world amateur championship in Chicago in front of key members of the IOC Executive committee was the key moment in the campaign for women’s boxing to be recognised as an Olympic sport.

While boxing will be retained for the Paris Games in 2024, it ha s not been listed for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles due to ongoing governance issues in the AIBA, which has been rebranded as the IBA (International Boxing Association).

“What’s the point in being involved in amateur boxing if yo u don’t have the Olympics to aspire to?” said Taylor who also competed in the Rio Games in 2016.

Even though she is focu sing on her forthcoming multi-million-dollar showdown against Amanda Serrano in Madison Square Garden on April 30 the Bray fighter has kept herself informed about the schism between the IOC and the IBA.

“I have followed the story and I was very upset and sad (when boxing was excluded from the 2028 Games) because it is obviously one of the core Olympic sports. I remember when wrestling went out of the Olympics. I was incredibly disappointed by that as well because wrestling and boxing are a couple of the core sports.

“It is crazy to think of amateur boxing not being at the Olympics. Hopefully it won’t happen.”

Taylor expressed fear for the future of amateur boxing if the IOC carry out its threat to exclude it from the Los Angeles Games in six years’ time.

“The Olympics is the biggest event in sport and the biggest privilege an amateur boxer can have is to represent their country in the Olympic Games. It would be very sad if boxers did not have that opportunity.”

In an unprecedented move the IOC took over the running of boxing at the Tokyo Olympics and make it clear to the IBA that unless key governance issues were resolved boxing would not be included in the 2028 Games. Weightlifting suffered the same fate with IOC p resident Thomas Bach describing the two sports as the ‘two problems childs’ of the Olympic movement.

However, Bach did offer an olive branch to boxing by announcing that if the world governing body addressed a number of issues what he described as a ‘pathway’ existed for the sport to return to the Olympic fold.

“AIBA must demonstrate that it has successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes,” said Bach.

The newly named IBA has promised to urgently address these issues though it remains to be seen whether they will do enough to satisfy the IOC who will make a final decision in December 2024.

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Dropping boxing from the Olympics would be a disastrous setback not just to boxing but to sport in Ireland. Irish boxers have won 18 of the 35 Olympic medals secured by Irish competitors since 1928 including three gold medals, Michael Carruth (1992), Katie Taylor (2012) and Kellie Harrington (2021).

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