Former Olympian and Tulare native Richard Torrez Jr. is working to keep boxing as an Olympic sport.
With the International Boxing Association suspended from the Olympic Games, Torrez Jr. has joined a new federation seeking to save the sport for amateur athletes.
The backstory: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the International Boxing Association (IBA) in 2019 due to its governance, financial transparency and the integrity of its refereeing and judging.
- While boxing will be part of the 2024 Paris Olympics, it will be directly run by the IOC and is not on the docket for the 2028 games in Los Angeles.
The big picture: Torrez Jr. is joining American and British boxing officials with World Boxing, which launched Thursday.
- Torrez Jr., who won a silver medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and is undefeated in all five matches of his young professional career as a heavyweight, has joined the board of World Boxing as an athlete representative.
- World Boxing will be based in Switzerland, and its temporary board will be led by USA Boxing President Tyson Lee and include GB Boxing CEO Matthew Holt.
- A permanent board will be elected in November.
By the numbers: World Boxing will start out its operations with a $994,000 budget, according to a report from the Associated Press.
- With the IBA offering up to $200,000 for gold medalists at the men’s world championships, World Boxing faces a financial hurdle in gaining members to grow the group and take over Olympic operations.
What they’re saying: While World Boxing has not yet started to take on national boxing organizations as part of the new group, Lee told the Associated Press that many nations seek to save boxing at the Olympics with IBA on the outs.
- “Amateur, Olympic-style boxing was facing elimination from the Olympic Games,” Lee said. “I can speak for the United States and many other national federations. We have a vested interest in maintaining a pathway to the Olympic movement and somewhere along the line that turned out to not be a priority for IBA.”