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  • On the Scene in Chicago: "Best Ever" World Championships


    AIBA President C.K. Wu. (ATR)  
    (ATR) The president of the International Boxing Association says the world championships now underway in Chicago are the “best ever so far”.

    While cautioning that three days of competition remain, C. K. Wu said, “I hope at the end of the championships I will be able to openly declare these the best championships ever.” Wu spoke at a press conference in Chicago just minutes ahead of the quarterfinals.

    Wu lauded organizers, saying they accomplished “in five months what usually takes two years to achieve.

    He said he would not discuss the 2016 Olympic bid because he does not want to distract from the World Championships, AIBA’s most important event. However, Wu said that in his role as IOC member he has observed Chicago’s efforts to organize these championships has proved the city’s “capabilities to host bigger events.”

    Perhaps the only blemish on these championships was the disappearance of two Ugandan boxers and one Armenian boxer earlier in the week.

    Wu dismissed any concerns about insufficient security, saying “they got the legal visas to come but they did not report to compete” and that “too much freedom” might be the reason for their disappearance.

    Wu also said that disappearances happen in “many other sporting events”.

    AIBA “Absolutely Clean”

    In response to a question about whether there might be some bias in favor of American boxers, Wu said “There is no way judges can be manipulated, or controlled by any person. AIBA is now absolutely clean and transparent.”

    Raushee Warren of the United States against Georgy Balakshin of Russia in the 51kg weightclass on Thursday. Warren won the fight. (ATR)  
    says the large number of countries qualifying for the finals is a testament to AIBA’s new era and that it would have been “impossible” a few years ago for so many countries to make the finals just a few years ago.

    Final Rounds of Competition Begin Thursday

    More than 120 countries and 600 boxers are competing. Thirty eight countries have qualified for the finals. Nine of the 88 finalists come from Russia and 10 from Asia. Each of the boxers qualifies to compete in Beijing.

    IOC President Jacques Rogge will be in Chicago for the finals and will award medals.

    The next World Championships take place in 2009 in Milan.

    With reporting from Edward Hula III in Chicago.

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