DON KING STATEMENT ON AIBA/IOC ABOUT PRO FIGHTERS VS. AMATEUR FIGHTERS
Don King is a proud American and the people’s promoter. “I am a promoter of the people, by the people, and for the people; and my magic lies in my people ties.”
“In the interests of the people, I totally reject the notion of pitting professional fighters against amateur fighters. I am frightened, shocked and appalled that the AIBA and the IOC could support such a harmful policy against human interest and public interest. I strongly advise that the AIBA and the IOC dismiss their efforts to emasculate the boxers in their monopolistic practices and circumnavigate the boxing organizations and the professional promoters, giving the AIBA and the IOC veiled control over the sport of boxing, competitive wise, as well as business wise, under the so called auspices of ‘we are doing the best thing for the athlete (boxer).’ I am prayerful and hopeful that they change their minds.”
Why should the AIBA and the IOC, who have done such magnificent work on behalf of amateur athletes, subject themselves to the villainy associated with monopolistic practices? (i.e. corruption, political influence, economical exploitations, restraint of trade, usurpation of freedom of choice, health endangerment, public scandal, and embarrassment).
The first item in their Mission Statement reads:
· To encourage and support the promotion of ethics in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned. And continues with: · To encourage and support measures protecting the health of athletes; · To oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes; · To encourage and support the efforts of sports organizations and public authorities to provide for the social and professional future [EMPHASIS ADDED] of athletes; This humanly sensitive, and fundamentally supportive statement, dedicated to encouragement, education, health, and the spirit of fair play in our youth, which is the essence of the Olympic goal, is completely contradicted and violated by this egregious policy.
“I am extremely concerned by the commandeering of those participating in the Olympics by the AIBA. Their policy demanding that participants sign exclusive PROFESSIONAL contracts with AIBA in order to participate in the Olympics is tantamount to monopoly, coercion and restraint of trade. Where is the equity in taking away the fundamental right of choice and mandating that in order to participate in the Olympics the participants must sign an EXCLUSIVE LIFETIME CONTRACT with the AIBA as opposed to exploring any and all available opportunities?”
Olympic participation is a dream come true for so many young amateur talented athletes, from around the world, who don’t have the ability or maturity to make adult decisions regarding their professional careers at their tender age. They aspire to represent their country, mounting the Olympic podium, and receiving an Honorable Olympic Medal to bring home.
The AIBA and the IOC, for the past century, have had a mission overseeing amateur boxers for safety, ethics, honor, and the spirit of fair play; banning violence. Now, today, unfortunately, AIBA’s new policy runs completely counter to the integrity of the past century’s mission. While it is accepted in team sports such as basketball and football, professionals and amateurs competing together and against other teams, at best, it can result in an upset, amateurs beating the professionals; or at worst, it can result in an embarrassing score by the professionals over the amateurs. But in boxing, it is man to man. There is no upside; and the downside has GRAVE implications: a professional boxer fighting an amateur boxer removes all safety, and absolutely contradicts your edict of banning violence by promoting violence, which could result in a career ending injury, paralysis, or death.
Don King is not alone in his position. According to Dr. Allan Fields, who is a leading ringside physician and one of the most highly recognized certified ringside physicians in the world, “This is ludicrous! By definition alone, an amateur is one who engages in a pursuit, or a study, or a science for a sport, as a past time rather than a profession. On the other hand, a professional, by definition, is a highly talented experienced expert, who receives money, and does this for a living.” Dr. Fields continues, “You’re upsetting the balance if you let a highly experienced person fight against an amateur who is certainly not a professional and is lacking experience. Therefore, the IOC’s first rule is broken, which is the safety of the fighters. No safety of a fighter can be guaranteed when you place a professional fighter in the ring with an amateur fighter. In order for them to try to equal the scales, it should be one professional vs. another professional in the Olympics. Even so, it’s no longer the Olympics; instead, it’s just another boxing show.” Dr. Fields is also the Vice Chairman of the Association of Professional Ring Side Physicians and one of its founders, a member and a Medical Advisor of Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, the former Chairman of Medical Advisory Council of the Florida Athletic Commission, the Chief Physician of the International Kickboxing Federation, and the Chief Physician of Florida Gold Coast Boxing and Martial Arts.
Don King concludes, “Again, I strongly urge the AIBA and the IOC to take heed to the wisdom of the Honorable Lord Acton, ‘Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely!’ This policy is not only implausible; it is immoral, harmful and highly dangerous!”