Former world heavyweight and Olympic boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko has called for unity between the sport’s amateur and professional ranks after recent acrimony between the two.
The 41-year-old Ukrainian icon was speaking following the final day of action at the 2017 International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Championships in Hamburg.
He praised the decision of AIBA to allow professional boxers to compete at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
This is despite the move not being universally popular, with possible safety risks due to "mismatches" between professional and less experienced amateurs among the concerns raised.
Various leading organisations and fighters criticised the decision, including leading professional body the World Boxing Council (WBC), which described the idea as the "shameful lowest stage" of Olympic boxing.
But Klitschko, who won the super heavyweight gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, believes it was the right thing to do for the benefit of the sport as a whole.
"I have a dream that this sport will be united, where professionals and amateurs work together and care about the core of the sport, and the core of the sport are fans and athletes," he said.
"Everybody else, all the sanctioning bodies, people that are working for organisations are satellites of the core.
"In the previous Olympic Games in Rio, professionals co-participated [with amateurs].
"It was a great move to unify professionals and amateurs.
"I wish continued success with the unification of these programmes and as I said, I have a dream that this sport will be united and not separated from each other, for the safety of the sport and for the excitement of the fights, and for the great careers and lives of the athletes.
"Congratulations to AIBA for another successful World Championships.
"It was an amazing pleasure to be here and watch these amazing fights."
Klitschko, who united the heavyweight division and held the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) , World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Organization world titles during an illustrious career, announced his retirement from the ring last month.
He was joined as a VIP guest of Wu by WBA President Gilberto Mendoza.
In February, Wu hosted a meeting with Mendoza in Taipei to discuss further cooperation between the two organisations.
"As ever, Mr Mendoza and I enjoyed productive discussions on what the future holds for our organisations, and our shared vision is that mutual cooperation will be so much more productive and beneficial to our sport," Wu said.
"It was a privilege to share our biggest occasion with him and with Wladimir Klitschko, who did so much for boxing as an Olympic and world champion and who continues to give so much back to it."
In July of last year, 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.
Former IBF 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 WBC were among the critics of the move, threatening to ban fighters in the top 15 of its rankings if they appeared at Rio 2016.
It was backed, however, by the WBA.