Story by: Patrick Salama
AP — The world’s leading advocates of clean boxing, the Clean Boxing Association (CBA), have called for a two year ban of the United States in amateur and professional boxing after a damning report confirmed a USA whistle-blower’s claims of a “persistent refusal to teach and enforce the basic rules of boxing” amongst USA boxing officials and trainers.
The CBA’s request is both extraordinary and unprecedented in boxing’s history. USA Boxing President Carl F. Awin responded defiantly as the possibility emerged that American’s would not be competing in boxing, at any level, for up to two years.
While announcing that the American boxing officials named in the report would be “temporarily suspended,” Mr. Awin on Monday asked for “fuller, more objective information that is based on facts.”
“Today we see a dangerous relapse of politics intruding into sports,” he said in a statement. At this time their has been no reaction from US politicians but considering the magnitude of the charges and President Trumps longtime association with boxing most pundits assume that statements will be forthcoming.
Both Timothy Atlas and Victor Hunter, two prominent American boxing trainers, stated in May that for decades they have taught and encouraged American boxers to disregard basic and fundamental rules of boxing such as prohibitions on head-butting, holding, elbowing, forearming, and low blows with Hunter going so far as to state that his boxers game plans typically were based on repeated violations of these rules. Both trainers also stated that the use of these tactics were encouraged by “USA Boxing” for use in Olympic competition.
The Marques of Queensbury Rules are in place primarily for the safety of boxers. The use of hard body parts such as the head and elbows can lead to severe injuries particularly in the form of cuts and eye damage. The CBA’s investigation into America’s disregard for the rules of boxing began in late 2009 shortly after the boxing match between American Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler of the Netherlands which saw the fight stopped on 5 unintnetional, according to referee Jack Reiss, head-butts with Ward never being warned or having any points deducted. The head-butts caused multiple lacerations on Kessler’s face and caused permanent damage to his vision.
The CBA’s Mikhail Morenov issued a statement Monday addressing criticism of his organizations actions; “While we regret having to take such unprecedented action the safety of boxers was our only consideration. For to long we have sat by as the rules of our sport have been ignored. Today was the first step in the process of returning boxing to it’s true nature and eliminating the persistent cheating that has been ignored. I am hopeful that the United States will take the next two years as an opportunity to reacquaint itself with the rules of boxing and reform the practices that have caused us to make this ruling. Clean Boxing must be respected. Break the rules and you will lose” Morenov said with a small fist pump for emphasis.
While the United States is expected to appeal the suspension CBA officials have expressed confidence that the ruling will be upheld.