IBA President Umar Kremlev, left, faces a challenge for the leadership role from Boris van der Vorst, right ©IBA

Dutch official Boris van der Vorst is hoping to have an opportunity to challenge Russian incumbent Umar Kremlev for the International Boxing Association (IBA) Presidency at the Extraordinary Congress here tomorrow - but first requires a vote to hold a fresh election to go in his favour.

The short agenda for the gathering at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex includes a vote by National Federations on whether to re-run the Presidential election, following a prolonged saga at the Extraordinary Congress in Istanbul which ultimately reached the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Kremlev, who led the IBA since December 2020, was re-elected by in May, after van der Vorst was deemed to have broken campaign rules by the Boxing Independent Integrity Unit (BIIU), which was inaugurated earlier this year.

However, the CAS in June found that van der Vorst should have been allowed to stand having committed only one minor breach of the rules relating to early campaigning, which it found Kremlev himself had also violated.

That prompted a second Extraordinary Congress of the year to be arranged in the Armenian capital of Yerevan - a choice of host city that has been criticised by van der Vorst and his supporters.

Publicly, Kremlev supported holding a new election in a statement released shortly after the CAS decision in June, but a number of the National Federations backing him have declared their intention to vote against a such a move.

Boxing faces a battle to save its place at the Olympic Games from Los Angeles 2028 ©Getty Images
Boxing faces a battle to save its place at the Olympic Games from Los Angeles 2028 ©Getty Images

A fresh election would only take place if it is backed by a majority of the 170 National Federations with voting rights.

The Extraordinary Congress comes amid a backdrop of boxing's place at the Olympic Games hanging in the balance.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already stripped the IBA of its involvement in boxing at Paris 2024, and left boxing out of the initial programme for the following edition of the Games.

Ongoing governance concerns at IBA were discussed at the IOC's Executive Board meeting earlier this month.

The IOC has written to Kremlev outlining its concerns about the IBA’s "financial dependency" on Russian state-owned Gazprom, an "increased" role of the Presidential office in Moscow and the early termination of the Governance Reform Group led by Swiss Professor Ulrich Haas.

The IBA has claimed it has "moved away from the issues of the past".

Under Kremlev's leadership, it changed its acronym from AIBA to IBA.

The governing body had its IOC recognition withdrawn in June 2019 due to concerns over judging and refereeing, financial stability and governance.

Last year, it was one of three sports left off the initial programme for Los Angeles 2028 by the IOC, which has said this month that it is "not in a position to reverse this decision".

Armenia's capital Yerevan is set to host the Extraordinary Congress, with 170 National Federations possessing voting rights ©Getty Images
Armenia's capital Yerevan is set to host the Extraordinary Congress, with 170 National Federations possessing voting rights ©Getty Images

Van der Vorst enjoys strong support among Western nations, who have argued that any result at the Congress other than his election would damage IBA's hopes of featuring at the Games in six years' time.

He has committed to resigning within 100 days if a series of goals including the restoration of IOC financial contributions to the IBA are not achieved, and within one year if boxing's inclusion at Los Angeles 2028 is secured.

Backers of Kremlev have insisted that governance has improved at IBA under his watch, and have pointed to his support of National Federations.

Kremlev has been the subject of a BIIU investigation in the build-up to the Congress in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, but was cleared of all charges relating to an alleged breach of campaign rules by the Interim Nominations Unit.

Of IBA's 203 National Federations, 170 hold voting rights at the Extraordinary Congress - 41 from Africa, 33 from the Americas, 38 from Asia and 11 from Oceania.

The number of European nations eligible to vote has been reduced by one to 47.

That is after the Boxing Federation of Ukraine (FBU) was suspended by the IBA Board of Directors yesterday, blaming "Government interference" amid a leadership dispute involving IBA vice-president Volodymyr Prodyvus - who is recognised by the global governing body as FBU President - and Kyrylo Shevchenko.

The Extraordinary Congress agenda begins with an opening speech from Kremlev and a welcome speech by hosting authorities, followed by the introduction of other participants, a roll call and the approval of the minutes of the Extraordinary Congress in Istanbul.

Either one or two votes will then be held depending on the outcome of the question on whether to run a fresh Presidential election.