Gafur Rakhimov admitted that the International Boxing Association could have gone bankrupt ©ITG

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) could have gone bankrupt if it had not last month signed a "settlement agreement" with an Azerbaijani company, Gafur Rakhimov, AIBA's interim President, has suggested.

In a "progress report" posted on the body’s website, Rakhimov said: "In July, AIBA and Benkons signed a 'Settlement Agreement' that allowed AIBA to avoid bankruptcy.

"According to this agreement, out of AIBA's total debt of $10 million (£7.8 million/€8.6 million), $2 million (£1.55 million/€1.7 million) will be returned to Benkons via sponsorship…

"Further discussions will be held for another $3 million (£2.3 million/€2.6 million) to be also covered through sponsorship, which will significantly improve AIBA's financial situation."

According to a separate AIBA progress report to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board dated January 31, the settlement agreement with Benkons means that AIBA "will not have to make any cash payment until January 2021".

"Taking into account AIBA's current bank balance of CHF4 million ($4 million/£3.2 million/€3.5 million), this means that the threat of short-term financial difficulties is averted," the document stated.

In his report, Rakhimov also passed comment on an agreement with First Commitment International Trade (FCIT), whose chair - Wu Di - he met this week at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

Rakhimov said: "AIBA signed an agreement with FCIT to create a new joint venture to manage the marketing programmes of both AIBA and the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

"As a result this has removed the CHF19 million ($19.3 million/£15 million/€16.7 million) burden from the shoulders of AIBA."

Boxing remains at risk of losing its Olympic place ©Getty Images
Boxing remains at risk of losing its Olympic place ©Getty Images

AIBA, he added, is "currently discussing with several additional investors/sponsors regarding the marketing rights for the 'Mixed Double Boxing', a new competition initiative."

Rakhimov - who appears to be attempting to cement himself in the AIBA top job after a tumultuous 2017 which saw former President CK Wu of Taiwan resign and has put boxing's place on the Olympic programme under question - also disclosed that AIBA had received the "final forensic investigation report" from K2 Intelligence, a company contracted to review AIBA and WSB finances.

According to Rakhimov, K2 was "also mandated to investigate all financial issues related to the former President's office in Chinese Taipei".

He said a copy of the report had been given to the IOC.

Among the findings, Rakhimov said, were "disturbing facts related to past mismanagement".

AIBA was "currently considering next steps with its legal experts".

In addition, he said that AIBA's Ethics Commission would "have an opportunity to fully review the report and present its recommendations" to the AIBA Executive Committee and Congress.

Rakhimov's present mandate as interim President at AIBA lasts until the next ordinary electoral Congress in November.

IOC President Thomas Bach has said that the fate of boxing as an Olympic sport “greatly depends” on the result of the Congress, with the Uzbek having alleged links to organised crime.