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Paddy Barnes pens plea for boxing’s Olympic continued inclusion

Irish amateur legend Paddy Barnes has asked the International Olympic Committee to keep boxing as an Olympic Sport.

The double Olympic bronze medallist wrote to the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach petitioning him and requesting boxing remains as part of the Olympic set up.

Boxers will compete in the Paris Games in 2024 but the sport has been left out of the LA Games, although the IOC have recently said that boxing could be seen at the 2028 Games but not under the supervision of the IBA.

Still, three time Olympian Barnes wrote to the IOC in his guise as a member of Olympic Federation of Ireland Athletes’ Commission to appeal for the sweet science, Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport to remain part of the Games.

“I have written a letter and we are going to send it collectively to Thomas Bach, I think today, in the hope that they will change their mind,” Barnes explained

“It gives details and reasons why it should stay. Obviously there are issues in governance with IBA but it has been run before by the IOC. I don’t see why it can’t be now.”

“I am part of the athletes’ commission. This is my sport I thought this is something I should really do. I sat down with another guy who helped me with the letter. It’s out there now and hopefully it helps.

“I really do believe that boxing will be part of the programme at the LA games.”

The letter is said to outline the damage boxing’s absence from the Games would have on disadvantaged areas in particular.

A number of star names added put their weight behind the letter including Katie Taylor and Claressa Shields. A number of national federations have also signalled their backing for the letter.

The Belfast man was speaking in Dublin at the launch of the OFI’s Athletes’ Commission strategy which is focused around four key pillars: athlete welfare, athlete voice, athlete impact and athlete spirit. The launch also marked the announcement of a €65,000 ‘Make a Difference’ fund for athletes and coaches.


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years