Greg Sirb, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission and former President of the Association of Boxing Commissions has sent a letter to USA Boxing President Charles F. Butler, asking why it’s OK for amateur boxers can sign professional contracts with APB or WSB and still be eligible for the Olympics, but if these same amateur Boxers sign with Golden Boy, Iron Mike, Top Rank and or Main Events they would automatically lose their Olympic eligibility.
SUBJECT: Amateur/Olympic Boxing
TO: Charles F Butler – President USA Boxing
FROM: Gregory P Sirb, Executive Director – Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission
Mr. Butler I write to you in response to your letter regarding the signing of (2) Olympic prospects with a professional boxing promoter. Is it not the case now that so-called Olympic-caliber amateur boxers can indeed sign professional contracts while maintaining their Olympic eligibility?
USA Boxing, which falls under the regulatory guidance of AIBA, has introduced a number of initiatives in recent months, including the World Series of Boxing (WSB) and, perhaps its most ambitious project to date, AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) that will offer contracts to fighters allowing them to box professionally in the APB while retaining Olympic eligibility. So my question is why would the young boxers mentioned in your letter (Lubin and Galarza) who sign with Iron Mike Productions not be eligible for the 2016 Olympic Games?
The answer appears to be it is OK for so-called amateur boxers to sign professional contracts with APB or WSB and still be eligible for the Olympics but if these same amateur Boxers sign with Golden Boy, Iron Mike, Top Rank and or Main Events they would automatically lose their Olympic eligibility. To me this does NOT SEEM RIGHT.
Almost all of the current Olympic sports allow professional athletes to compete. Boxing should be no different. If AIBA, which is recognized by the IOC as the governing body of amateur boxing, decides that it is now OK to have their amateur boxers sign pro contracts than it should NOT matter who they sign with. The same rules should apply to all.
If AIBA wants to put some restrictions of these amateur boxers, so as to retain their Olympic eligibility, such as limiting the number of pro bouts you can have – than that is OK. In this case each prompter signing these young amateurs would be playing under the same set of rules. By allowing all promoters to sign these boxers this would also allow these young Boxers to shop their services so as to get the best deal. Once they have signed then it would be up to the Boxer and his promoter to decide if they would want to follow AIBA rules and remain eligible for the Olympic Games.
JUST MY THOUGHTS.