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Olympic boxing under threat: 'The damage would be catastrophic'

Boxing‘s future in the Olympics is in serious doubt after it was revealed it faces expulsion from the 2028 Games.

The likes of Anthony Joshua, Amir Khan and Lennox Lewis have all made a name for themselves competing for glory on the world’s biggest stage.

Why is Olympic boxing under threat?

It has been a part of every single event – save for the 1912 edition – since its introduction to the program at the 1904 Games.

But reports claim that it faces being axed amid a public war between the International Boxing Association and the International Olympic Committee.

The IBA has come under intense scrutiny after serious allegations of corruption following an investigation into the standard of officiating at recent tournaments.

Now two of the UK’s most promising amateur prospects, Team GB stars Harris Akbar and Ramtin Musah, have had their say on this sorry state of affairs.

Boxing’s future at the Olympics hangs in the balance

“I don’t understand the reasons behind it but hopefully they can figure something out,” Akbar told GIVEMESPORT.com.

“The Olympics has been a stepping stone for a lot of people before they turned pro.

“If you look at a lot of the boxers that have turned over like Anthony Joshua, Amir Khan and even the ones coming up, Lauren Price, Frazer Clarke and Ben Whittaker, they used the Olympics as a stepping stone to get them into the pro game.

“It’s horrible that they’re thinking of taking that away from amateurs like me.

“I remember when I was 16 years old I dreamed of boxing in the Olympics. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I started boxing in the first place.”

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How would it impact the sport as a whole?

Anthony Joshua was crowned Olympic champion at the 2012 London GamesAnthony Joshua was crowned Olympic champion at the 2012 London Games

Musah also insists that the potential ramifications would be felt at every level of the sport.

“The damage would be catastrophic,” he added.

“Amateur boxing is kind of like your apprenticeship. You forget like all of these big pros, half of them boxed each other in the amateurs. It gives you so much experience.

“It’s hard for people to judge how good you are. It’s such a big jump going from being an amateur to being a professional. You need to give people something to dream about.

“The Olympics gives you a chance to put your name out there. Without it sponsors will start to dry up. Just think about the knock-on effect it will have at grassroots level.

“It’s the kind of thing that will make people quit the sport.”

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What can be done to save Olympic boxing?

Lauren Price poses with her gold medalLauren Price poses with her gold medal

While Akbar has urged the IOC to come up with another solution instead.

“There’s got to be other ways around it,” he continued.

“It’s absolutely crazy. Boxing is one of the biggest sports in the Olympics. It needs to be back in it.

“I don’t think they’ve properly thought about it.

“Think about every amateur who starts training in the hope of turning professional at some point in the future.

“They need that Olympic dream to almost fuel them.”

Roy Jones Jr has launched a petition to keep boxing in the Olympics, you can sign it here.

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