English Boxing Coaches Burdened By New AIBA Rules | Independent Newspapers Limited
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English Boxing Coaches Burdened By New AIBA Rules

Posted: Jun 24, 2015 at 12:25 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Boxing coaches across England have warned that an international rule preventing crossover between the amateur and professional codes is having a disastrous effect at grassroots level.

They said the rule could see future generations hoping to emulate Amir Khan and Carl Froch, who effectively graduated from armature to professional, lost to the sport.

A number of coaches believe regulations put in place by the International Boxing Association (Aiba) have had negative ramifications at pro-am gyms across the country, with some youngsters becoming disillusioned and falling out of the sport.

Aiba, world boxing’s governing body, which runs international amateur competitions, states that professional coaches are banned from assisting (mainly armature) fighters during its competitions.

Since the Amateur Boxing Association of England reformed in 2013 and became England Boxing, it has had to comply with the worldwide regulations.

It means English coaches – who are often involved at both levels of boxing – have had to make either professional or amateur fighters their priority.

Many have been forced to concentrate on the professionals and are, therefore, no longer permitted to work with amateurs during competitions, resulting in a breakdown of confidence for some youngsters.

Steve O’Rourke, who coaches at Wodensborough amateur boxing club in Wednesbury, West Midlands, said: “Grassroots boxing is going to suffer.

“Without good amateur coaches, you don’t get an Amir Khan or a Carl Froch.”