AIBA says boxers made no illegal promoter contact
Amateur boxing's governing body cleared members of the U.S. Olympic boxing team of any wrongdoing Wednesday night regarding their possible contact with a professional promoter before the games.
AIBA announced that no American boxers entered into promotional agreements before the Olympics, which would be a violation of amateur rules.
AIBA didn't specify the promoter involved, but Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions issued a news release last week touting its plans to showcase the pro debuts of several Olympic boxers on CBS telecasts in October and December.
''We are abiding by the rules and continue to abide by the rules of our international federation,'' USA Boxing executive director Anthony Bartkowski told The Associated Press. ''We must work in unison in growing the sport of Olympic-style boxing.''
Golden Boy's news release got the attention of AIBA, but it determined no fighters had actually signed with the promoter yet. Los Angeles-area native Joseph Diaz Jr. is widely thought to be headed to Los Angeles-based Golden Boy after the Olympics, but AIBA was satisfied no rules had been breached.
''AIBA would like to thank USOC and USA Boxing for their swift action in clarifying this situation,'' AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo said. ''We are committed to ensuring complete transparency and that our rules are adhered to at all times.''
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer declined comment when reached by the AP. He is expected to arrive in London this weekend to scout Olympic talent.
Golden Boy's connection with CBS would return boxing to network American television for one of its few showcases since the 1990s. De La Hoya got a gold medal and his nickname from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and has worked with USA Boxing in past publicity events.
The American team started out 4-0 at the Olympics, but has lost five straight fights to leave just four men still fighting in the tournament. Diaz, the bantamweight considered perhaps the top pro prospect on the U.S. roster, lost his second-round bout against Cuban world champion Lazaro Alvarez in Wednesday's first fight.