UK Sport chief warns boxing home nation federations to align or risk losing more than £10 million funding

Friday, 21 December 2012
By Tom Degun

Nicola AdamsDecember 21 - UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl says that the Welsh and Scottish Amateur Boxing Associations must respect the British Amateur Boxing Association (BABA) as their ruling body or the sport could lose £10.4 million ($17.9 million/€12.8 million) of its funding.

Boxing proved one of the biggest winners in UK Sport's Rio 2016 funding announcement this week as it received £13.8 million ($22.4 million/€16.9 million) for the 2013-2017 cycle compared to the £9.5 million ($15.5 million/€11.7 million) it received for 2009-2013.

It marks a £4.25 million ($6.9 million/€5.2 million) or 44.5 per cent increase in funding - more in percentage terms than any other sport.

The funding boost is unsurprising after Britain's boxers won five medals at the London 2012 Olympics, with super heavyweight Anthony Joshua, bantamweight Luke Campbell and female flyweight Nicola Adams all taking gold, while welterweight Fred Evans took silver and middleweight Anthony Ogogo claimed bronze.

But boxing has been put on a one-year probation, meaning it is only guaranteed the first year of the four-year funding, which equates to £3.45 million ($5.6 million/€4.2 million).

This is because the Welsh Amateur Boxing Association and Scottish Amateur Boxing Association have refused to accept the BABA as the ruling body in Britain, even though the English Amateur Boxing Association has.

Nicholl says the Welsh and Scottish Amateur Boxing Associations have one year to sort out their differences with the BABA and to fall in line or their funding, which is currently ring-fenced, could be withheld.

"Boxing is obviously a hugely important sport for UK Sport," Nicholl said.

"It was one of our most successful medal sports at London 2012 and we are hopeful of repeating that in Rio 2016.

"But boxing has only been allocated a one-year award as part of an administrative procedure.

"The British Amateur Boxing Association is the ruling body for the sport in Britain and all the home federations, including the Welsh and the Scottish federations, must respect them as the overall ruling body.

"They have a year for this to happen before we meet again to review the situation."

anthony joshuaHeavyweight Anthony Joshua helped the Team GB boxing squad star at London 2012 but a row between the home nations threatens to prevent similar success at Rio 2016

The Home Nations have had an uneasy relationship in recent years.

This was illustrated vividly when Wales and Scotland publically refused to back former English Amateur Boxing Association chief executive Paul King in his doomed campaign to become International Boxing Association (AIBA) President in 2010.

King was ultimately crushed in the elections by incumbent AIBA President C K Wu and stepped down as English Amateur Boxing Association chief shortly after.

Relations have healed in recent years but Wales and Scotland are still very reluctant to join England in accepting BABA rule.

Nevertheless, BABA chairman Derek Mapp admitted that all the bodies are delighted by the funding boost for boxing.

"This is a well-deserved reward for the hard work of the boxers, coaches and everyone associated with the Olympic boxing programme who have delivered a period of sustained success over the last three years," said Mapp.

"The decision by UK Sport to increase the funding for boxing is a reflection of their confidence in the fantastic work of Rob McCracken and his team in delivering medals at major championships and putting-in-place a system to deliver long-lasting success."

Contact the writer of this story at tom.degun@insidethegames.biz


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