The Women's World Boxing Championships have been moved from February to May by AIBA ©Getty Images

The 2016 Women’s World Boxing Championships have been pushed back three months by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in order to give organisers more time to prepare for the event, a spokesperson for the organisation told insidethegames today.

The competition was due to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan,  from February 1 to 14 but is now scheduled to be held from May 16 to 28.

AIBA’s controversial decision to switch the event means their Women’s World Championships will come after the European Continental Qualifying tournament for Rio 2016, which will be staged in Turkish city Istanbul from April 20 to May 1.

A total of six qualification berths for next year’s Olympic Games will be available across the three Olympic women’s boxing categories, with two to be awarded in the 51 kilograms, 60kg and 75kg events at the competition in Istanbul.

During the AIBA Women’s World Championships, four spots in each category will be on offer, and if a boxer meets the qualification criteria at both tournaments, their place at the event in Astana will take priority.

The spot they give up will then be given to the next highest-ranked athlete and if two competitors from the same country have earned their ticket to Rio in the same weight category, the respective National Federation will choose which boxer to send to the Brazilian city.

An AIBA spokesperson insisted there were “no concerns”, despite the late notice at the change, and claimed it will not affect the qualification process for Rio 2016, insisting they remained “completely in line with what is required by the International Olympic Committee”.

The Women's World Boxing Championships will now take place in May and will come after the European Continental Qualifier for Rio 2016
The Women's World Boxing Championships will now take place in May and will come after the European Continental Qualifier for Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

The AIBA spokesperson added: “We have held discussions with the Organising Committee and decided the best thing to do was to move the Championships.

“This gives them more time to prepare and is better for the National Federations.

“It also gives the athletes more time to get ready for the competition.

“As far as we are concerned it isn’t short notice - the decision has been taken three months in advance.

“We’ve had no negative feedback or opposition at all and having it in May makes it easier for everybody.”

The Women’s World Championships in Astana will be the ninth edition of the event, first held in Scranton, the United States, in 2001.

Jeju City in South Korea played host to the most recent competition last year.

AIBA have recently staged a test event for the 2016 World Championships, with the Astana Women’s Cup in October used to test facilities and preparations for next year's tournament.

Related stories
September 2015: 
Exclusive: Wu targets five Olympic boxing categories for women
November 2014: Exclusive: Cuba "can see potential of women's boxing" claims Wu as he opens World Championships in Jeju
November 2014: Alan Hubbard: All opinions matter but women's boxing is on an upward curve
September 2014: Exclusive: More Olympic events for women boxers a major aim as Wu confirms bid for third AIBA Presidential term
August 2013: Petition launched to increase Olympic equality for women boxers