Professional boxers given green light to fight in Rio


Professional boxers have been given the green light to compete in the Rio Olympics following an International Boxing Association (AIBA) vote on Wednesday.

AIBA put forward the radical proposal to allow full-time fighters to feature in the Olympics back in February, but the plans have been criticised due to concerns over mismatches.

The changes have now been sanctioned, with AIBA revealing that 84 of 88 member federations voted in favour of the rule change just two months before the Games in Brazil, with four abstentions.

"I am very happy to see the AIBA family's unity to reach this 95 per cent yes. No single objections," AIBA president Dr Wu Ching-kuo was quoted as saying by Around the Rings.

Carl Frampton, who unified the super-bantamweight division in February but will now move up to featherweight, wasted no time in letting his feelings on the ruling known.

"Pro boxers being allowed to fight in Olympics is ridiculous! They're two different sports. It's like a badminton player playing tennis," he tweeted.

"Also when and how do they Qualify for Rio? It starts in about 10 weeks. AIBA have got worse since I was an amateur and thats hard to believe."

Professionals are set to have the opportunity to participate in a qualifying event in Venezuela next month, with 26 places in Rio available.