Boxing look to Hickey for support

December 1, 2008

The 22-year-old Irishwoman beat the hosts Cheng Dong to retain her lightweight title in Ningbo, China.

She will now be hoping that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approves plans for women’s boxing to be added to the programme for London 2012.

But a decision is unlikely to be made until late in 2009.

Leeds’ Nicola Adams will also be keeping her fingers crossed that the sport is introduced for London after she won England’s first-ever medal at the World Championships in Ningbo, claiming silver in the bantamweight category.

Taylor said: “To represent my country at the Olympic Games would be a dream come through and if I do get the opportunity I will be going for gold, to finish first is always my aim.

“Hopefully, the IOC will sanction it.

“I thought that women’s boxing was going to be sanctioned for Beijing but it didn’t happen and everyone involved with the sport was devastated.

“Now were are told that women’s boxing will be introduced in London in 2012, but I won’t believe it until I see it officially in writing.”

Patrick Hickey, the president of the Olympic Council of Ireland and also the influential president of the European Olympic Committees, is among those campaigning for women’s boxing to be introduced.

He said: “I will be lobbying very hard to have women’s boxing included in the London Games in 2012.”

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) sent an official application last month to the IOC seeking its inclusion.

At the moment boxing has 11 men’s events and 286 competitors and somewhat controversially, several weight categories in the men’s division will probably have to be eliminated if the women’s event is to become part of the schedule.

The IOC has capped the number of medal events across all sports at a maximum of 301.

Women’s boxing was a demonstration event at the 1904 Olympics in St Louis but largely disappeared until 1994 when the international amateur association recognised it.

The current AIBA president, Wu Ching-Kuo, has also led a wide range of reforms to clean up amateur boxing’s image and is hopeful that the IOC will approve his proposal.

Wu said: “The level of boxing is very high, very good.

“Many of our federations have asked us to support women’s boxing in the Olympics.

“We hope we’ll soon have the women competing there.

“Boxing is the only sport in the Olympic programme without women and we believe we are ready.”

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