By Tom Degun

Central Downtown_Astana_13-04-12April 15 - Astana in Kazakhstan has been unveiled as the host city of the 2013 International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Boxing Championships.

The decision comes after an agreement was signed between AIBA President C K Wu and Kazakhstan Boxing Federation (KBF) President Timur Kulibayev (pictured below left) at the Rixos Hotel in Astana, Kazakhstan.

"Kazakhstan is one of the leading nations in boxing, in terms of quality of boxers and in quality of tournaments," said Wu.

"Hosting the AIBA World Boxing Championships next year is another milestone for the country and we are also very excited about the AIBA World Boxing Academy that is currently being built near Almaty."

The move continues the strong link between the Kazak capital and AIBA after Almaty hosted the organisation's Executive Committee meeting last August where Wu announced AIBA's historic new programme entitled AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) that will get underway next year.

The city also is also home of the Astana Arlans, who fight in the AIBA-owned tournament World Series of Boxing (WSB).

Earlier this month, the Astana Arlans competed in the semi-final WSB season two against Dynamo Moscow but they were defeated by the Russian outfit, who will now meet Italy's Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder in the final in London next month.

Wu was also keen to discuss the new AIBA World Boxing Academy under construction near Almaty, which he anticipates to open at the start of the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in October next year.

Timur Kulibayev_and_c_k_wu_13-04-12
"This will be a world class facility to welcome the world's best boxer," said Wu (pictured right), who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"This project was endorsed by the Federation and by the Ministry of Sports and once again demonstrates that Kazakhstan is building the foundations for the future of our sport."

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