Can this Ballina man end 33-year stoush in Aussie boxing?
BALLINA'S Denis Magnay says it's time to end a 33-year stoush so Australia can be sure the best boxers will be representing the country at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
Mr Magnay is the technical director of the Australian Amateur Boxing League and was an instigator of a split from what is now Boxing Australia back in 1986.
But in what Mr Magnay described as "punishment", League boxers have been unable to trial for Olympic or Commonwealth Games selection since the bust-up.
Boxing Australia, the affiliate of AIBA, the International Boxing Federation, quickly established rules preventing fighters from the breakaway group to step in the ring for trials.
However, in June this year, the International Olympic Committee officially took over the boxing qualification and competition for the Tokyo Games from AIBA because, The Independent reported, there were issues "surrounding its (AIBA's) finances and governance."
While Boxing Australia is not connected to those issues, Mr Magnay claims the breakaway League was formed due to what he described as "governance issues" in boxing administration and claimed "favouritism in selections" back in the 1980s.
Mr Magnay said the changes at the international level inspired the League to again fight for its boxers.
He said the League now has about 5000 amateur boxers on its books, and claims that is "half of all the amateur boxers in Australia."
That, he said, justified giving those boxers a go at Olympic selection to ensure Australia is sending its best fighters to the international competition.
He said there was little chance Boxing Australia would come to the table with the Australian Amateur Boxing League to call a truce.
But he has called on the Australian Olympic Committee to step in and end the bout to give League boxers the chance to trial for Olympic and Commonwealth Games selection.
"That's all we want," he said.
However, a spokespseron for the Australian Olympic Committee said "the AOC believes that Boxing Australia is the only Australian body that satisfies all the criteria to ensure the best Australian team is ultimately selected for the Games."
"Boxing Australia is recognised as the national governing body for the sport in Australia by the Australian Olympic Committee," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the IOC decision in June this year to proceed with a boxing program for Tokyo, with AIBA remaining suspended, will not impact on the AOC's ongoing role to select a boxing team for the Olympic Games and Boxing Australia's role in selecting teams for qualifying events.