Once again, USA Amateur Boxing is having their difficulties

This week, the USA Amateur Boxing Program, which includes the boxers from the Armed Forces Boxing Teams, took one of those blows well below the belt line. Photo: Jim Wyatt

On Wednesday came the dreadful news below and

Then Thursday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. came this saving grace email:

“Saving the Day! email”

Good news!!!! 

This revision reflects the lifting of the suspension of USA Boxing by AIBA. 

All USA Boxing events are back to normal.

After placing all USA Amateur Boxing programs on suspension on Wednesday – the USA Amateur Boxing Program was officially removed from that AIBA suspension today.

You talk about going through a nightmarish 24 hours. Countless USA Amateur Boxing Shows throughout the United States had been scheduled to take place this weekend – and countless other shows and Tournaments were already well into the planning stages. People had spent their hard earned money for plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc. and these are not the people who have anything to do with what an administrator has done or not done.

It was like some concern outside of the United States tried to ban Little League Baseball. The kids wanting to play baseball don’t need an administrator. All they need are 18 players, 9 gloves, one bat and one ball. They can even show up at an abandoned lot with four pieces of cardboard to mark the bases.

Regardless of the consequences to the young athletes, this AIBA World organization had no foresight whatsoever – apparently no consideration of what such a ruling would do. Let’s revisit that rash behavior of Wednesday.

This development reminded me of the above photo with its three beggars. With some sports organizations you feel like you’re constantly genuflecting and you can’t bow down low enough to the authority they wield, an authority they sometimes abuse.

Below is that earlier scare
California Border (Local Boxing Committee 44)
Boxing Events Calendar 
25 October, 2012 (second Revision for this date)

To: USA Boxing Board of Directors

LBC Presidents

LBC Vice Presidents

LBC Registration Chairpersons

LBC Treasurers

From: Anthony Bartkowski, Executive Director


Date: October 24, 2012

Re: AIBA Suspension of USA Boxing Effective Immediately – October 19, 2012

CC: Mr. Steve Smith, Bryan-Cave HRO

USA Boxing just received notification from AIBA, the international federation for boxing, that all amateur boxing activities in the United States are immediately suspended. The suspension cancels all sanctioned competitions; coach and official clinics; boxing club activities; membership registrations; and insurance coverage.

USA Boxing and our insurance companies will not take any insurance claims until the AIBA suspension is remedied and/or served until January 19, 2013.

The AIBA Disciplinary Commission levied this suspension against the organization for inappropriate and improper statements made by Mr. Hal Adonis earlier this year. The AIBA Disciplinary Commission

Decision of October 19, 2012 states:

“By failing to remove Mr. Adonis from the USA Boxing Board of Directors when it had the chance to do so, USA Boxing, in essence, endorsed Mr. Adonis’ statements and sent out a message that such behavior was acceptable. The action (or lack thereof) and the very serious and harmful nature of Mr. Adonis statements, has jeopardized boxing and the Panel finds it appropriate to impose a suspension upon USA Boxing. This suspension must reflect the severity of the offense.”

The AIBA suspension terms are:

1. USA Boxing shall be fully suspended for a period of 3 months from October 19, 2012

2. Mr. Adonis shall pay a fine of CHF 2,000 and be suspended from all boxing activities at national and international levels, for 2 years starting from October 19, 2012.

3. The costs of the proceedings, fixed at CHF 1,500, shall be borne equally between USA Boxing and Mr. Adonis.

4. The decision will be communicated to USA Boxing, Mr. Adonis (via Hollie L Wieland of Karp Neu Hanlon Attorneys) and to the Headquarters of AIBA.

This is the initial notification. It is unclear if further conditions or demands will follow. We are waiting on further details from AIBA. Your President; Board of Directors; and Executive Director are working diligently to determine any further demands of this suspension and to see if USA Boxing can offer any remedies to shorten it. In the event we are successful in shortening or lessening our penalties, USA Boxing will notify you immediately to let you know your sanctioned event can take place. Please assist in communicating this information to your constituents as soon as possible. We will continue to update you on the status of this suspension as necessary. In the meantime, USA Boxing and the Board of Directors are taking every measure available to ensure that amateur boxing is resumed as soon as possible.

The International Boxing Association, originally the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur and still referred to as the AIBA, is the sports organization that sanctions amateur boxing matches and awards world and subordinate championships.

Until now, amateur boxing has been present on all continents with continental championships as well as World Cups and World Championships organized by AIBA.

Since 2005 AIBA has held the Boxing World Cup and since 2006 it’s been headed by WU Ching-kuo. In August 2011, Olympic news outlet Around the Rings reported AIBA had unanimously approved the creation of its own professional boxing brand and AIBA is set to begin in early 2013.

In September 2011, Anna Adams and Meirion Jones of the BBC Newsnight program made allegations that AIBA, World Series Boxing, Azerbaijan and the Olympics were holding back information regarding some wrongdoing. On 30 September Reuters reported AIBA “has formally asked the BBC to provide evidence behind its allegations that Azerbaijan was promised two gold medals at next year’s London Olympics in exchange for a $9 million loan”. The IOC Ethics Committee had also requested the evidence.

The comments that have started to pour in:

Don Alvey, USA Amateur volunteer coach: For those that voted to keep Mr. Adonis, I want to thank you for screwing up USA BOXING more than it already is.

The only ones that suffer from this are the boxers and coaches who for the most part have nothing to do with the board of directors. They are punishing the wrong people!

Pat Russo, President at Chef’s Choice Cash & Carry Food & Paper: I do not know what Hal Adonis said, but I know that in America we still believe in freedom of speech. I also know that we run a youth boxing program that keeps kids off the streets and out of trouble. Tournaments and shows are what keeps our boxers focused and in the gym. This needs to be resolved immediately, because I’ll be damned if I let a dispute between grown men have a negative impact on the kids in this wonderful program.

Otilia Madrid Nevarez: This is absolutely crazy.. While there seems to be a problem with Mr. Adonis, this is completely unfair to the boxers that have trained so hard. Some of the boxers that are in our gym come from broken homes and have been told all their lives how they can’t do this or that. We have given them the opportunity to say, “yes you can!” and now USA Board is telling them again that they cannot at no fault of theirs. This is insane!

Tommy Clohessy Writer/Director/Producer/Actor at The Little Film Co.: Small-minded, backwards-thinking, fake power-drenched, megalomaniacal morons. You know who else hurts innocent kids just to make a statement? Terrorists.

Sheila Sweeney: Very Sad, Boxing for kids truly helped to build honorable young men! I hope they can find away around this.

Tom Clark: It’s very unfortunate that our kids suffer again. I thought we were here for the kids. I have all the faith in our New England LBC president that he will figure out a solution so our kids will be able to continue to train and box!!!

Rick Culler LAVC: We have numerous boxers that have paid into this organization for insurance and non athlete participation! I wonder if a class action suit should be taken against USA Boxing for failure to provide services that amateur boxers and non athlete members have paid for? Will the kids that just signed up last week and never competed be refunded for their membership? Not fair to pay for services not rendered….

Gerald Peters: Now if I can just find the info for the ones in control of this so we can all tell them what a sorry move it is to do this to these kids, and not to mention the coaches that do this everyday. Not because they have to, not because they’re paid (cause they ain’t) but because they love helping these children.

Arturo Gastelum, Director of Business Development at Tango Multimedia Productions: We need to able to register under the State Athletic Commissions and do away with the crap and arrogance of USA BOXING. And should USA BOXING remain as the main Boxing association for the U.S. then those of us who register our fighters through the state should not be banned from USA BOXING competition. Enough of this monopoly that they have had for 30 years.

Jerry Page: USA boxing suspended by a international committee that’s goofy within itself. Box here then. That system is horrible anyways!

Matthew Voltolini: As always, its the kids who get punished for the acts of selfish, incompetent adults. Unbelievable!

Chad Van Sickle: AIBA is horrible… USA boxing should boycott them!

Daniel Nieves, owner/head coach at Straight up Boxing: It’s obvious to boxing fans that boxing needs a change! I hope USA Boxing is working on a miracle, and changing for the better.

Laura Rutkowski, manager at Panera Bread: Do not understand how an entire organization is being held accountable for one person’s actions. The children and coaches that dedicate countless hours every week are the ones that suffer. The fella should pay for his mistakes. Period!

Dan Doyle: Do Ya think we can get pro-rated refunds on our.membership?

Brad Cooper: Okay, Hal… how about explaining this to my fellow coaches, and to my fighters, and to the families and friends who provide so much support while we compete. I am FURIOUS. What an absolute shame. A lot of innocent, hardworking competitors are getting punished for this crap that basically comes down to one man. Five fighters from our gym were set to fight for or defend titles this weekend and now it’s gone. Devastating and disgusting. Another low blow to the sport.

Brian Harrison: All because of one man everyone else suffers. No wonder we didn’t get any medals in mens boxing. Word to USA Boxing….. Clean house and get amateur boxing back to where it should be. Boxing saved my son from certain disaster on the streets. Get it together.

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