Professional Boxers will be allowed to compete against amateurs in this year’s Olympics in Rio. The decision comes after an original proposal that was ridiculed by some professionals. Prior to the announcement made earlier today, former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson expressed his opinions, stating that the idea was ridiculous.
Any professional boxers that wish to compete in the Olympics will be allowed to fight at this year’s competition in Rio. The decision was made after 84 out of 88 of the Boxing federation’s members voted for the change rather than against it. The rule change has come a little late in the day with just weeks to go until the opening ceremony on the 5th August.
Mike Tyson is also of the opinion that professionals could potentially lose to amateurs causing a conflict in the sports. The 49 year old stated that professional boxers would find the pace of amateur boxing difficult to keep up with.
“If they are like the amateur fighters that I was fighting in the 80s, they are going to beat some of the champions it’s just going to happen.”
It isn’t just Mike Tyson that feels this decision is the wrong one for the sport. IBF super bantamweight champion, Carl Frampton has branded the new rule as ridiculous he has pointed out that amateur and pro boxing are two entirely different sports. He emphasized his point by stating that it was like a badminton player playing tennis.
Lennox Lewis, is another high profile figure opposed to the idea branding the decision as preposterous.
There are those that welcome the idea however, Olympic medallist Michael Conlan is happy to be in the ring with professionals. He will be working towards achieving a gold medal to go with his bronze that he won in London 2012. The bantamweight hopes that he would be able to beat anyone that he faces including professionals.
Former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has suggested that he would like to be a contender at the Olympics, but he is unlikely to go through the qualifying rounds.
At this stage it will be difficult to foresee how many professionals will attempt to qualify for Rio 2016. No matter who decides that the challenge is one that they want to take up, boxing is going to be an interesting event to follow at the Olympics.
Author Lisa Wood
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