Ukraine's boxing dispute continues to go on during the war ©Getty Images

A dispute of leadership within the Ukrainian Boxing Federation (UBF) continues as two individuals stress their claim as President of the organisation amid the ongoing conflict in the nation.

Kyrylo Shevchenko has questioned the recognition of Volodymyr Prodyvus as leader of the UBF and claims he is the rightful head of the governing body.

Prodyvus claims that Shevchenko used the invasion of Ukraine to take control of the body.

In documents shown to insidethegames, Shevchenko is named as someone with the right to execute legal acts at the UBF, alongside executive director Donatas Piskun and secretary general Illya Gurovytch.

Also included in the document from the Ministry of Justice - dated June 15 - is Yuriy Shevchuk, who is also the disputed new secretary general.

The International Boxing Association (IBA) recognises Prodyvus - who is also their vice-president - as the President.

It also recognises Piskun and Gurovytch as having the power to make executive decisions, but not Shevchenko or Shevchuk who were banned for life by the Control and Disciplinary Commission of the UBF on June 10.

Although the directive suggests an appeal was not made, the letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, dated after June 28, says Shevchenko had appealed changes to the leadership.

Ukraine is still being invaded by Russia, a conflict that is into its sixth month ©Getty Images
Ukraine is still being invaded by Russia, a conflict that is into its sixth month ©Getty Images

That letter requested the Ministry of Youth and Sports met with Shevchenko on July 6, but the outcome of this meeting is not known.

It reiterated that Piskun and Gurovytch can make executive decisions.

Another letter from July 15 shows the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine had received his request for changes, but a future meeting would be needed.

"Answering on your letter...the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine informs that the information regarding the change of the head of the 'Ukrainian Boxing Federation' has reached the members of the Executive Committee of the NOC of Ukraine and was taken accordingly into account," read the letter.

"You will be informed additionally about the possibility to hold a meeting regarding further development of boxing."

Shevchenko was one of those who had disputed the December election of Prodyvus, and has since then called the procedures illegitimate.

In a letter to IBA, Shevchenko noted that Prodyvus had fled the country on the day of the invasion by Russia on February 24.

The UBF Conference was then held two days earlier later, which was deemed compliant by the Ministry of Justice.

"Elected leaders remained in Ukraine to defend our country, while Volodymyr Prodyvus was busy campaigning for various positions in EUBC and IBA outside of Ukraine, without any legal or moral right to do so," read Shevchenko's letter to the IBA.

IBA vice-president Volodymyr Prodyvus is claiming to be the President of the Ukrainian Boxing Federation ©IBA
IBA vice-president Volodymyr Prodyvus is claiming to be the President of the Ukrainian Boxing Federation ©IBA

It added that the IBA were invited to send an observer to the next UBF Conference, which is scheduled today.

Speaking exclusively to insidethegames, Prodyvus accused Shevchenko of forging documents and taking advantage of the war to create a power grab.

"During the war, boxing has not been first in importance," said Prodyvus.

"There are people who have never been boxers, who forge documents to be eligible. 

"I assume that he [Shevchenko] has forged his document for being a boxer.

"We have held the Congress of the Ukrainian National Federation in December.

"It was attended by IBA representatives, representatives from the Ministry of Sport and everything was well. 

"Because I have been the President of Ukrainian boxing for 15 years, there were people who just wanted to use this current situation of war to get to the top without being a boxer in their heart. 

"I'd be more than happy to move my power to a different person, but only to a person who really loves boxing and wants to devote their life to boxing and help boxers."

The IBA continued its support of Prodyvus as the President.

"IBA sent to elections on December 17 2021 its observer, who did not detect any violations in the procedural order of such elections," said a spokesperson to insidethegames.

"Therefore, IBA recognises Volodymyr Prodyvus as the legitimate President of UBF who has complete support on our part. 

"At the same time, IBA does not recognise a meeting held on February 22 2022 by the alternative group as the legitimate congress meeting, since it was not in line with the IBA Regulations."

It added the Control and Disciplinary Commission decision and that Piskun and Gurovytch had power to make executive decisions.