LAUSANNE: Professional boxers can compete at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the sport’s governing body ruled in a landmark decision on Wednesday.
Meeting at an extraordinary congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, 88 members of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) voted in favor of the move, while none voted against and four abstained.
The final results of the vote were told to AFP by a senior official within AIBA who requested anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the subject before the official announcement.
The revolutionary decision is however unlikely to see boxing’s biggest names enter the Olympic ring in Rio.
For most professionals, like former heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko, it is already too late to take part in a qualifying contest. The last tournament is in Venezuela in July.
Boxing has undergone major changes in recent years. Women were allowed into Olympic competition in 2012 and headguards will no longer be compulsory from Rio.