CK Wu, right, met with Gilberto Mendoza in Taipei ©AIBA

International Boxing Association (AIBA) President CK Wu hosted a meeting with World Boxing Association (WBA) counterpart Gilberto Mendoza in Taipei, to discuss further cooperation between the two organisations.

In July, AIBA's Executive Board gave its backing to a collaboration with the WBA, one of the four prominent professional boxing governing bodies.

Mendoza said he would start working with AIBA on "mutual projects" to benefit the sport after attending the Rio 2016 Olympic Qualification Tournament in Vargas in Venezuela. 

The event saw professional boxers attempt to book their place at the Olympic Games for the first time in history, although their inclusion proved controversial.

Former International Boxing Federation flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand and Cameroon’s Hassan N’Dam were the first two professionals to clinch places at the Games, with Italy’s Carmine Tommasone then becoming the third to qualify.

The World Boxing Council were among the critics of the move, threatening to ban fighters in the top 15 of its rankings if they appeared at Rio 2016.

Safety risks and a supposed difference in standard were among the concerns raised, although the WBA backed the move. 

Amnat Ruenroeng was one of the professional boxers to appear at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Amnat Ruenroeng was one of the professional boxers to appear at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"AIBA has always worked in tandem with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the development of education policies, anti-doping campaigns and the strengthening of boxing from its grassroots right through to the elite level and this meeting will pave the way for wider knowledge-sharing between AIBA and WBA on these subjects alongside the creation of further opportunities for the sport and its athletes," an AIBA statement said today.

Wu described the meeting in Taiwan's capital as "an important moment for two organisations with shared principles and goals on many subjects".

"As boxing's only IOC recognised body, AIBA has well established education programmes and research across 12 Commissions of experts to share with the boxing world," he said.

"Equally, as we continue to expand our own professional competitions, with Season VII of World Series of Boxing having recently begun, we can work with WBA to explore new markets and bring even more benefits to our athletes, the fans and the boxing family as a whole."

Mendoza said he was "delighted" that the two organisation have "common goals".

"By opening up Olympic qualification to professional organisations ahead of Rio 2016, AIBA took a major step towards bringing greater unity to world boxing and I have no doubt that together we can continue to create lasting programmes that will positively shape the sport we both represent," he said.

Also in attendance in Taipei were AIBA's acting executive director William Louis-Marie, WBA Board member Julio Thyme and WBA Championship Committee chairman George Martinez.