Boxing marked its Olympic debut in the 1904 St. Louis Games, becoming one of the earliest modern Olympic sports. Despite a brief absence from the 1912 Stockholm edition, it reappeared at the 1920 Antwerp Games and has remained a fixture in the prestigious event ever since.

Throughout the years, boxing has captivated and thrilled audiences, showcasing the determination of athletes who endure pain in their quest to stand victorious in the ring.

However, recent developments suggest that the physically demanding combat sport might face suspension in the 2028 LA Olympics, raising uncertainty about the sport’s future and causing concern among athletes and fans alike.

Thomas Back: ‘We have a problem with its governing body’

In a statement released by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), last week, he said that although they wanted the sport to be included in the games’ programme, their current relationship with its governing body, the International Boxing Association (IBA), prevents them from doing so.

“We want boxing on the program. We have no problem, with boxing or boxers — we have a problem with the governing body,” Bach said to AFP, according to boxingscene.

Perhaps the bad blood between the Games chiefs and the Russian president of the IBA, Umar Kremlev, was a foreshadowing of this event. Following reports of their strained relationship, it was later announced in June that the IBA had been banned from the Olympic movement, as reported by France24.

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A number of crucial facets of the IBA’s administration, including its sanctioned tournaments as well as its finances and governance, prompted the IOC to make its decision.

IOC: Boxing ‘on hold’

Ever since their falling-out incident, the IOC has not recognized any other governing body for boxing. Without an organization to support the sport, the executive board of the IOC has declared that any decision to include boxing in the Los Angeles 28 sports programme is ‘on hold’.

Casey Wasserman, the chairman of LA 2028, has also expressed her thoughts about the issue, saying that while she’d love for the combat sport to be included in the program, it is ultimately up to the IOC whether it’s going to make an appearance in the 2028 Summer Olympics or not.

“Boxing has a great history in the Olympics, has a great history in America as a lineage of boxing champions. So we’d love to see boxing on the programme,” Wasserman said in front of the Mumbai press.

“But obviously it’s a decision that’s going to be taken by the IOC’s membership, given the complexities that exist with the federation. We’re hopeful, but all we can do is wait for the answer.”

While boxing will still be a part of the next Paris Games next year, its inclusion in the Los Angeles edition in 2028 is still up in the air.

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