IABA chairman reacts to potential for Irish pro boxers to go to future Olympics

Joe Christle gives his take on announcement made by AIBA president on Off The Ball

IABA chairman reacts to potential for Irish pro boxers to go to future Olympics

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Could professional boxers be allowed to take part in the Olympic Games which has been the preserve of amateurs?

It certainly seems like the sport's governing body, AIBA, is considering it even as early as Rio 2016.

But how will that effect the Irish challenge which has enjoyed plenty of success with its amateurs at past games?

Joe Christle, Chairman of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association, joined Off The Ball and he expressed how "surprised" he and the IABA were by the public suggestions of AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.

He says that it could be months before a decision could even be made, with the Olympics taking place as soon as August.

"They are proposals which they have to set out eligibility rules for any such professional boxers to be included in the qualification event. Those eligibility rules have not been agreed and the proposal to allow them to compete in the qualification event hasn't been approved by the executive commission of AIBA and I don't think the executive commission can meet until May, so it may not be until May that we can say definitively whether or not the measure is going to be introduced," he said, before detailing changes and status regarding pro boxers over the years.

As for the future and Irish pro boxers at Olympics if a rule change occurs, Christle says the likes of Carl Frampton, Andy Lee and future pro boxers would be considered for future Games "if they met the eligibility criteria".