Legendary Boxing Promoter Don King Speaks Out Against New Olympic Ruling

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New AIBA league would allow professional boxers to compete.

I am extremely concerned by the commandeering of those participating in the Olympics by the AIBA

Famed boxing promoter Don King ripped the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) yesterday for a plan to launch a pro fight league whose boxers could compete in the Olympics.

“In the interests of the people, I totally reject the notion of pitting professional fighters against amateur fighters,” King said. “I am frightened, shocked and appalled that the AIBA and the International Olympic Committee could support such a harmful policy against human interest and public interest.”

The league, called AIBA Professional Boxing, would offer fighters from ages 19 to 40 a chance to work their way through national, regional and world levels in 10 weight categories starting later this year. The plan is gaining opposition from professional boxing associations and promoters.

“I am extremely concerned by the commandeering of those participating in the Olympics by the AIBA,” King said. “Their policy demanding that participants sign exclusive, professional contracts with AIBA in order to participate in the Olympics is tantamount to monopoly, coercion and restraint of trade.”

While King acknowledges the positive impact the IOC and AIBA have had on amateur boxing, he suggests this latest move will undermine their credibility.

“The AIBA and the IOC, for the past century, have had a mission overseeing amateur boxers for safety, ethics, honor, and the spirit of fair play,” King said. “Now, today, unfortunately, AIBA’s new policy runs completely counter to the integrity of the past century’s mission.”

King’s concerns have been echoed by Dr. Allan Fields, a leading ringside physician and medical advisor for several athletic boards who believes the safety of the athlete is at stake.

“The safety of a fighter can’t be guaranteed when you place a professional fighter in the ring with an amateur fighter,” said Dr. Fields.

King is imploring the AIBA and IOC to reconsider this recent ruling.

“Again, I strongly urge the AIBA and the IOC to take heed,” he said. “This policy is not only implausible; it is immoral, harmful and highly dangerous.”

For more information contact:
Don King Productions, Inc.
(954) 418-5800
501 Fairway Drive
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

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