Joe Ward may yet go to the Olympics

The IABA have written to the AIBA President, Taiwan’s Dr Ching-Kuo Wu seeking his assistance in the hope that Joe Ward can still be invited to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The IABA has always enjoyed excellent relations with the AIBA since Dr Wu was appointed and there has always been an acknowledgment from the IABA that he has done much to help Amateur Boxing regaining much of the respect it lost during his predecessor’s reign.
In the process though Dr Wu has upset many of the boxing associations, including the United Kingdom and Romania, to name but two but he has always,thus far, had good relations with the IABA and indeed reconfirmed that during his last year’s visit on the occasion of the IABA’s centenary celebrations.

Today’s ‘Irish Examiner’ says that in the letter – from IABA Chair , Dr John Lynch, the association expressed its surprise at the decision against Ward on Monday in his fight against Turkey’s Bahram Muzaffer . The Moate teenager as the records will show was judged to have lost 18-15 in Trabzon.

“As a result we appealed the decision as per AIBA rules, it was rejected,” Dr Lynch said in his letter. “This means that Joe Ward is now the highest ranking boxer at 81 kilos not to qualify. We should point out that in our 100 years’ existence our association has always accepted the rules as set out by AIBA and will continue to do so.
“However we would ask that Mr Ward be considered for inclusion in the Olympics in 2012 under the tripartite selection quota or any other avenue.”

The IABA’s ‘appeal’ on behalf of Ward came soon after IABA President, Tommy Murphy raised the matter, with his French counterpart, Dr Humbert Furgoni, in the latter’s capacity as President of the European association (EUBC). The latter indicated that he would have a look at the fight. It must be said though that Dr Furgoni has no authority to intervene in this matter albeit he would be able to express his own views to the AIBA IF – and it is a big if – he does feel that there was anything to be concerned about re how the final verdict was arrived at.

There is little doubt but that there is no further ‘appeal’ that can be heard by anyone, even the President though there remains the ‘possibility’ that Ward could still appear at the London Games IF indeed the AIBA President does feel after his own enquiries that a place could be found for Ward on the basis that he is the highest ranked boxer (at least from the 1 April ranking list) who has not qualified for London.

What are YOUR views? Do you think that it is right that the IABA should pursue this with the President of the AIBA? Or do you believe that it was simply a case of a very close fight which could have gone either way and that Irish sports fans should accept the decision and ‘move on’ taking into consideration that this was the second Olympic qualifier that Ward had failed to reach the heights that most fans of the sport in Ireland had predicted? Are we ‘bad losers’? Will the IABA’s reputation suffer due to this latest intervention if the ‘Examiner’ quotes are accurate. Your thoughts welcome,as always.


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