Wladimir Klitschko – the once supreme Heavyweight Champ and ex Olympic gold medalist has expressed his interest in competing for the legendary Games almost 20 years after winning the Super-Heavyweight gold in Atlanta, 1996.
But the ex-Champ has other issues he can’t look past. His rematch against Tyson Fury is set to take place in the coming months and he’s not looking past the new Champ.
Klitschko: ‘I have always said that I would love to participate again in the Olympic Games but right now I’m only focusing on my rematch with Tyson Fury.’
Being the highest-profile fighter to express an interest in taking advantage of the new ruling allowing pro-boxers to compete in the Olympics with the new AIBA policy, enabling pro fighter to enter the final Rio 2016 qualifying tournament in Baku in June.
Other top level professionals have expressed concern over the negative effect it might have on the sport regarding reputational, licensing, and financial issues.
Top British promoter Eddie Hearn said:
‘I think you might get some mid-level professionals having a crack at it but I don’t think you are going to get the elite guys.
‘Sometimes that’s also the case with other sports – we’ve seen that tennis and football hasn’t always had the strongest representation in the Olympics, but I think it is a strange situation in boxing.
‘There are questions over funding and sponsorship and although the sport is in a kind of transition at the moment, I think the two should stay as they are – boxing should be one of the few sports where you have amateur and pro separation.’
Preparing for his world super-bantamweight title unification bout against Carl Frampton in Manchester, Frank Quigg disapproved of the idea.
Quigg said: ‘When you are an amateur you are learning and if you start mixing up with the professionals, I think it is a bad idea and it could be dangerous.
‘The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of an amateur’s career so you have got to keep it separate. I was shocked when they said it could actually go ahead, and I hope they have another good think about it and make the right decision.’