World Boxing Council Decision Crushes Olympic Dream for Filip Hrgovic

By 29 October 2019

October 29, 2019 - A new decision by the World Boxing Council forces Croatian professional boxer Filip Hrgovic to make a tough decision about competing at the Tokyo Olympics next year. reports that Croatia's best boxer Filip Hrgovic, a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics, dreamed of winning the gold medal next year in Tokyo. For that reason, he recently engaged former coach Leonard Pietra and specific staff in the boxing federation. 

"Next year is the qualifying tournament, in May, and this is the last qualifying tournament. The plan for me and my team is to go to that tournament and to qualify that way. There have been some misunderstandings about the attitude of the Croatian Olympic Committee and the Croatian Boxing Federation towards my team and me. I believe that this will be smoothed over and that everything will be arranged for me to participate in that tournament, to qualify and, God willing, win an Olympic medal, and even better, Olympic gold,” Hrgovic said in March this year.

But it seems like nothing may come of that in the end. Namely, official confirmation from the most famous boxing organization (World Boxing Council) has said that all professional boxers are threatened with a two-year suspension if they decide to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

At the 57th annual WBC convention in Cancun, Mexico, the views of organization leader Mauritius Sulaiman were confirmed, announcing a decision like this at the beginning of the month.

Sulaiman believes professionals should not fight young, underdeveloped amateurs, and therefore announced a repeat of the 1975 suspensions.

‘’We are inspired by the South Africa ban that my Father did with WBC in 1975 when we supported the efforts of Nelson Mandela to combat the horrible act of discrimination. The WBC started a ban on anyone who would participate in boxing in South Africa, supporting apartheid. So that is the inspiration and the message."

Discussing the pros who choose to fight amateurs in the Tokyo Olympics, Mauricio stressed: ‘’Well they’re simply expelled from WBC activity for two years.”

Recall, Hrgovic holds the WBC "International Champion" belt, a sort of regional title, and the third-highest in the organization.

Moving to another organization, such as the WBO, WBA, and IBF, is also not a solution for Filip as they will follow WBC decisions.

This decision also effects world champion Andy Ruiz, who considered performing for Mexico in Rio. 

Hrgovic's next match is on December 7 in Riyadh, as part of the introductory program of the big rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua.

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