A breakaway boxing federation has been formed, rivalling the IBA ©Getty Images

A new International Federation, World Boxing, has been established with the aim of securing the sport's future in the Olympic Games as the feud between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Boxing Association (IBA) continues.

The body is led by an Interim Executive Board comprised of representatives from the National Federations of Germany, Britain, The Netherlands, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States.

World Boxing has stated it is prioritising five key pillars for its establishment including keeping "boxing at the heart of the Olympic Movement", putting the interests of athletes first, and delivering sporting integrity and fair competitions.

It also vows to "create a competition structure designed in the best interests of the boxers" and to operate with "the strongest governance standards and transparent financial management."

Despite insisting that it is "not in a fight with the IBA", World Boxing is directly rivalling the organisation which has long been boxing's main governing body.

The IBA, run by Russian Umar Kremlev, is caught up in a long-running dispute with the IOC which has expressed grave concerns over its governance.

A key worry of the IOC is around the IBA's finances as the majority of its funding is provided by Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom.

Although it means the IBA is incredibly wealthy, offering up to $200,000 (£160,000/€180,000) for gold medals at its events, it is also unstable.

In contrast, World Boxing is launching with a more modest budget of €900,000 (£790,000/$990,000) that is provided courtesy of a number of stakeholders.

Boris van der Vorst, who leads the Common Cause Alliance, is part of the Interim Executive Board of World Boxing ©Boris van der Vorst
Boris van der Vorst, who leads the Common Cause Alliance, is part of the Interim Executive Board of World Boxing ©Boris van der Vorst

"We have various funding sources," World Boxing interim secretary general Simon Toulson told insidethegames.

"There are donations, memberships, sponsorship, revenue, and some miscellaneous funding that we can find from various sources.

"The budget that we have got calculated for this year is €900,000.

"That includes salaries, operations, and also publishing and various other aspects."

The finances are set to be ratified at the body's first Congress in November of this year.

President of the Dutch Boxing Federation Boris van der Vorst is one of the members of the Interim Executive Board and also leads the Common Cause Alliance.

The Alliance was created to prioritise boxing's presence at the Olympics, which is in doubt from Los Angeles 2028 and not guaranteed for Paris 2024 due to a row over technical officials.

Despite this, Australia, France, Canada, and Ireland, were not present which makes up half of the Alliance's eight-strong membership.

However, van der Vorst is not worried.

"Based on the discussions that we have had with several National Federations across the globe, lots of National Federations will join us for our common cause of keeping boxing in the Olympics," he told insidethegames.

There have been concerns that World Boxing will be unable to lure some federations of poorer countries away from the IBA due to the lucrative prize money on offer.

Despite its primary aim being Olympic recognition, World Boxing is yet to make contact with the IOC.

World Boxing claims it is not
World Boxing claims it is not "in a fight with the IBA" but it is rivalling it for control of the sport in the Olympic Games ©IBA

Instead, it has focused on registering in Switzerland and the country's laws as it is likely to establish its headquarters in Lausanne.

"We have had no contact with the IOC regarding the setting up of this organisation," Toulson said.

"The whole point of this is to become a recognised federation in Switzerland.

"That now allows us to take the process of looking for temporary recognition by the IOC and due communication will start thereafter this launch."

The Board suggested that it will allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals, as the IOC has recommended, because it wants to "stay close and align with the IOC."

The IOC is set to manage the sport at Paris 2024 for the second consecutive Games due to continuing concerns with the IBA's governance, including finances and refereeing and judging.

World Boxing has stated that next year's Games are too soon for it to handle operations as it takes at least two years to gain provisional recognition.

The body have pencilled in its General Assembly for the end of this year or the beginning of 2024.

World Boxing is aiming to hold discussions with the IOC "in the next month or two to clarify what procedure and what availability there is for us to be recognised in some form by the IOC."

World Boxing competitions are set to begin in the latter stages of 2023 and are due to cover all age categories from junior to senior. 

"A comprehensive competition calendar is being developed that will feature a series of new tournaments designed to create longevity and appeal to potential broadcast and commercial partners," read a World Boxing statement.

World Boxing states that there is currently nothing stopping National Federations from being a part of both it and the IBA.

However, the latter is widely expected to combat and exclude any organisation that joins World Boxing.

insidethegames has contacted the IBA for comment.