Irish Examiner view: The IABA is not boxing clever

The Irish Amateur Boxing Association ought to have listened to Bernard Dunne, Billy Walsh, and Kellie Harrington among others
Irish Examiner view: The IABA is not boxing clever

It's baffling but, despite the advice of key people who were always in their corner, the IABA chose to forego funding because it would not accept the need for reforms. Stock picture

The decision of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) not to accept that the organisation needs radical reform has seen them lose 15% of their funding, with more budgetary cuts coming at them like an unstoppable right hook.

Quite why the organisation took this extraordinary decision, in the face of almost universal condemnation and following the loss of high-performance director Bernard Dunne — and Billy Walsh before him — because he could no longer deal with those elements within the IABA for whom change is unacceptable, is something of a mystery.

So too is any form of reasonable explanation from the organisation as to why it has chosen this path. That they have rejected moves which would modernise their association and begin a process of gender equality at executive level, in favour of budgetary cuts and a slow mandatory count on the future of Irish boxing, is as maddening as it is inexplicable.

Instead of being on the front foot when it comes to sporting endeavour and success, of which it has seen plenty in the past, the IABA is now like an old contender trying to make a comeback against a younger, fitter, and faster opponent. It has no chance of winning, only damaging itself further.


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