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Russian sports minister and AIBA chief hold joint boxing training with Olympic champions

The training session was attended by two-time Olympic Champion Oleg Saitov, Olympic Champion Yegor Mekhontsev, former WBA Welterweight World Champion Alexander Besputin as well as by Chairman of the Supreme Supervisory Board of the Russian Boxing Federation Alexei Rubezhnoi and Deputy Chairman of the Samara Region’s government Alexander Fetisov

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin and President of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) Umar Kremlev held on Tuesday a joint boxing training session in Moscow with several titled boxers, the Russian Sports Ministry’s press service reported.

The training session was attended by two-time Olympic Champion Oleg Saitov, Olympic Champion Yegor Mekhontsev, former WBA (World Boxing Association) Welterweight World Champion Alexander Besputin as well as by Chairman of the Supreme Supervisory Board of the Russian Boxing Federation Alexei Rubezhnoi and Deputy Chairman of the Samara Region’s government Alexander Fetisov.

"Boxing has always been and still is a heritage of our country, a gentlemen’s sport, which is worshipped by millions of Russians, and this is why its development is a strategic task for us," Matytsin said.

"I love boxing, enjoy watching its development in Russia and I am sure that despite all present-day difficulties our boxers will continue competing with dignity on the international arena," the Russian sports minister added.

Prior to the training session, Matytsin and Kremlev held a work meeting discussing issues of Russian boxers’ participation in international tournaments this year.

They noted that despite today’s difficult conditions, boxing tournaments will be still organized with the top priority given to the health of athletes, coaches and spectators and this is why all events will be held with the strict observance of the necessary sanitary and epidemiological requirements.

Moreover, Matytsin also said that he was following all reformations launched by Kremlev in the Amateur International Boxing Association and expressed hope that the Olympic boxing will soon experience an active worldwide development. Kremlev was elected the president of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) on December 12, 2020.

AIBA’s spat with International Olympic Committee

In late November 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) halted all planning for the 2020 Olympic boxing competitions in Tokyo. The decision followed an investigation into activities of the Amateur International Boxing Association.

The IOC claimed at that time that the organization’s financial operations, management and ethics raised suspicions.

In June 2019, the IOC ruled at its 134th session in Lausanne to strip the world’s governing boxing body AIBA of its Olympic status, but also made a decision to keep the sport of boxing on the program of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

The IOC Executive Board also proposed at that time to organize a boxing program for the Olympics in Japan comprised of 13 weight categories, eight for men and five for women, compared to 10 for men and 3 for women at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.