In only athletics has Kenya won more Olympic medals than boxing ©Getty Images

The Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) has pledged its support for International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umar Kremlev at this year's elections.

Russian official Kremlev was elected in December 2020, and is set to seek a fresh mandate at the Electoral Congress due to be held alongside IBA's Women's World Championships in Istanbul on May 13 and 14.

The state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) reported that Kenya is one of 24 National Federations in Africa set to hold voting rights at the Electoral Congress, and that the BFK director of communications Duncan Kuria confirmed the organisation would back Kremlev for a second term.

"The current President has raised the standards of boxing through introduction of reforms which have immensely contributed to the growth of the sport in the world and I believe he should be given another opportunity," Kuria said, quoted by the KBC.

Kremlev was elected on a vow to wipe out the organisation's debts and restore its place at the Olympic Games.

Governance reforms were approved at IBA's Extraordinary Congress last year, including a reduction in the size of the Board of Directors from 28 to 18 members and the creation of the role of International Olympic Committee (IOC) liaison officer.

Boxing Federation of Kenya director of communications Duncan Kuria said IBA President Umar Kremlev had
Boxing Federation of Kenya director of communications Duncan Kuria said IBA President Umar Kremlev had "raised the standards of boxing" ©Getty Images

The International Federation also changed its acronym to IBA, claiming that the AIBA brand had been "tarnished" amid allegations of match-fixing and corruption.

Elections are likely to be pivotal to IBA's hopes of restoring its Olympic governing body status in time for Paris 2024 and salvaging boxing's place on the programme at Los Angeles 2028.

The IOC has set a deadline of 2023 for the IBA to meet certain criteria, after boxing was left off the programme for the Games in six years' time.

The IBA was stripped of any involvement in the boxing document at Tokyo 2020, with concerns raised over refereeing, judging and governance.

Boxing is Kenya's second most successful sport at the Olympics behind athletics, winning one gold, one silver and five bronze medals.

Robert Wangila earned Kenya the men's welterweight title at Seoul 1988.