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Boxing: Eyes of AIBA World will be on Doha October 6th/15th - inc. the future as seen by Dr. C.K. Wu
by Michael O'Neill
October 6, 2015
Photo: AIBA

(OCT 6)  The 2015 AIBA World Elite championships - for men - gets underway Tuesday 6th October in Doha, Qatar with not only medals and World titles at stake but also a place in the 2016 Rio Olympics 'up for grabs'.

It is an important event for women too albeit indirectly since, boxing
aside, both the AIBA and members of the visiting International Olympic Committee's Medical Commission will also be 'on hand' to watch out for any reported significant injuries particularly those involving serious cuts and/or possible concussions.

Some very conflicting views on that subject depending on whether you believe the AIBA version or that of other boxing experts, particularly insofar as headgear is concerned.

Remember that the AIBA is considering removing headgear for women in 2017 though equally opponents say that the IOC may not in any event authorise removal of headgear for men for Rio 2016 hence the importance of the event in Doha.

You can read much more about that controversial topic later this week here on WBAN.

The Doha 2015 Championships will see 23 boxers qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the first time an edition of the World Boxing Championships serves as a qualifying event for the Olympics.

As ever the eyes of the boxing world will also be on referees and judges and hopefully no more highly controversial decisions like some that have caused serious concern over the past year or so as in the Asian Games championships in Incheon and later in AIBA Youth and Junior tournaments.

"This edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships will be a key event in the run up to Rio 2016 Olympic Games as the top boxers from all five continents converge in Doha, Qatar, to compete in an astounding venue. For the 1st time, all boxers had to qualify to the World Championships ensuring that boxing fans will enjoy the most remarkable show the Elite of the boxing world has to offer", said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.

"Doha is ready to welcome all of the boxers and officials to AIBA World Boxing Championships Doha 2015 and we are confident that the event will be held at the highest level. Local fans are looking forward to the event, which demonstrates the vitality of boxing in our region", said Qatar Boxing Federation (QBF) President Yousuf Ali Al Kazim.

Kicking off on 6 October at the state-of-the-art Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, the World Boxing Championships represent ten days of boxing action with 243 boxers taking part in this historic event. Beyond the iconic gold medal, boxers will also be competing for 23 Olympic quota places to Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The official draw for the 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships took place at the Ezdan Hotel in Doha Monday afternoon, following the official weigh-in earlier in the day. AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu welcomed the 243 boxers taking part in the 10-day competition, which begins with the preliminary rounds running from Tuesday to Friday.

Dr.Wu has also been speaking on the subject of women's boxing to 'InsideTheGames.biz' :

Speaking in the run-up to the 18th AIBA World Boxing Championships, which get under way tomorrow in Doha, he told insidethegames:  "After next year's Olympic Games, we will have a total evaluation to examine our competition; whether we should amend some of the rules - technical rules, competition rules.
"That is on the way after Rio." (link full interview at end of this
article) - see also video link below.

Wu again underlined his determination to secure an increase in the number of women's Olympic boxing events from three to five, describing this as "my commitment to women's boxing".

He said: "I hope in 2020 we will get five categories.
"This is my commitment to women's boxing.

"I think five categories is reasonable because at the moment, with three categories, 60kg to 75kg is a big gap. "We have to look into this [and come up] with a scientific, realistic recommendation."

He concluded that 2017 was 'the year in which decisions on new events would need to be made' .

Meanwhile in Doha, in the 56kg class, Ireland's WSB number one boxer and EUBC European Championship winner Michael Conlan has a golden opportunity to bring home his country's first ever AIBA World Championship gold medal. Conlan is Irish team captain in a squad responsible to Irish HPU Head Coach Billy Walsh, recently much sought after by U.S Boxing's women's team.

Hopes remain high in Ireland that with a new IABA President, Pat Ryan in place that the Wexford man (Walsh) will continue to look after the Irish team, perhaps even beyond Rio albeit no longer term solution has as yet been agreed.

The pick of the first preliminary round sees Thailand's defending ASBC Asian champion Chatchai Butdee face the Ukrainian AIBA World Championship bronze medalist Mykola Butsenko. Another 'battle royal'is likely when U.S champion Nico Hernandez (49kg) faces off against Ireland's European Games Baku bronze medallist Brendan Irvine. Difficult to call this one but a very close encounter can be expected.

In temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Centigrade in the city, those who visited the state-of-the-art Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena in Al Sadd Saturday evening were fulsome in their praise of what they found.

One of the highlights of Doha 2015 will be the bouts in the super
heavyweight category. Joe Joyce, representing Team Great Britain, is chasing his country's first gold medal since 2007 in Doha:

"To walk in here and see the sheer scale of this arena is amazing.
Everything here is top-notch, all shiny and spectacular. It's going to be great to see this place packed with people, and I hope to put on a real show. Hopefully I'll perform to my potential, and get to leave Qatar with a gold medal in the bag."

Canada's Artur Biyarslanov is the reigning Pan-American welterweight champion, and recently defeated Yasnier Toledo, the world's no. 1 ranked boxer from Cuba. The hard-hitting youngster has had a meteoric rise in his career so far, and will be one of the favorites at the Worlds:

"It feels great to be in Qatar. I've come here to win gold, to become a
champion and qualify for the Olympics. It's going to be really special, and I'm looking forward to compete in this arena - it's so big - way bigger than I could have ever imagined!" an excited Biyarslanov said.

The young Canadian is a devout Muslim, and is thrilled that the World Championships is hosted in the Middle East:

"I'm so glad that it's here in Qatar. It's such a beautiful country, and
everything looks great. For once I don't have to worry about the food with everything being halal, and there are so many mosques so I can go and pray whenever I can. It feels like a home away from home, and I hope people will come to support me."

The interest for world boxing's signature event is booming around Doha with only hours to go until the competition officially starts. The event will be broadcast live in various territories worldwide and can also be followed live on www.aiba.org

Tickets are priced between QR10-50 and can be purchased online at
www.virgintickets.qa and in Virgin Megastores in Villaggio Mall and Landmark Mall, as well as at the venue throughout the World Championships.

Official tournament website is here:  Link

You Tube interview here with AIBA President Dr Ching Kuo-Wu :

and finally,

'InsideTheGames' interview with Dr. Wu :
Link on insidethegames.biz  Go Here  

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