Savory: New rules a testing time for code

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2013

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OPINION: Boxing New Zealand has battled with the dramatic transition into the new Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) era as a spat within the sport has bubbled away in recent months.

Government funding agency Sport NZ and the sport's world governing body AIBA were drawn to a complaint made by some Boxing New Zealand members as to how the sport is being run in New Zealand.

Fairfax Media last week received correspondence that stemmed from a complaint made by an unnamed association delegate at last year's annual meeting about Boxing New Zealand's executive committee.

The complaint was sent to Sport NZ and AIBA executive director Ho Kim.

The complaint was based around certain Boxing New Zealand executive members not complying to AIBA rules at the 2012 annual meeting and that members on the executive committee were involved with professional boxing, which is now prohibited by AIBA.

The allegations were reviewed by the world amateur boxing governing body and were followed by a stern response by the AIBA boss Ho Him.

"AIBA has learned that at several points during the AGM members of the Boxing New Zealand executive told delegates that the AIBA statutes and rules did not apply to the conduct of the AGM and that the [meeting] would be conducted in accordance with the rules of New Zealand Boxing only," Him said in a letter to Boxing New Zealand.

"For any member of the Boxing New Zealand executive to have made such a statement is completely unacceptable." Boxing New Zealand chairman John McKay was disappointed a complaint had bypassed Boxing New Zealand and gone straight to AIBA and Sport NZ.

A letter sent to all associations aligned to Boxing New Zealand followed in which McKay said the matter had since been settled with AIBA and he referred to those Boxing New Zealand members who had lain the complaint "rats in the ranks".

He said the complaint went to Sport NZ a week before it was announced Boxing New Zealand would not receive any funding this year.

He felt that complaint hadn't helped the sport's chances of getting funding.

McKay said they had since reviewed the constitution of Boxing New Zealand and they were complying with a shakeup in AIBA rules, which includes none of its executive members having any involvement with professional boxing.

"On Friday morning we had a reply from AIBA to say the new constitution has been approved. We have had to send it to Switzerland and it is the third time it has been sent back for consideration. Our next move is to present it to our members at a special general meeting which needs to be sorted at some stage this year."

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McKay said yesterday the sport was in a big transition period at the moment and it was taking time for everyone to get use to the new rules introduced by AIBA.

The big adjustment for boxing in New Zealand is AIBA officials and coaches, along with professional boxers, must choose which code they want to stay in.

"I have a professional boxer [I have trained] but I am no longer allowed to take him in the corner. If I do I will be banned from Boxing New Zealand," he said.

"Once the new rules have been confirmed every person involved with Boxing New Zealand, whether it be coaches, referees, judges, boxers, officials, they will all have to come into line."

"It will be a mammoth job and it will cause a great deal of consternation around New Zealand."

When asked how Boxing New Zealand felt about AIBA's move to introduce the new rules, McKay said it was too soon to tell.

- Southland

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