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IBF will ban ranked fighters that participate in the Olympics

Following suit of the WBC, the IBF will also ban fighters from their rankings (and strip champions) who participate in the Olympic games.

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Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Although AIBA has issued a ruling that will allow professional fighters to compete in the Olympic games, sanctioning bodies are pushing back by threatening to strip and ban fighters from their rankings should they choose to participate. Like the WBC, the IBF has expressed concerns about the dangers of professionals being allowed to compete against amateurs. Of course arguments about this topic has gone both ways given the amateur format of Olympic boxing.

For instance, proponents of pros in the Olympics downplay the danger by citing that any one significant blow landed merits a standing eight-count, which in turn prevents an onslaught of punishment from occurring. Whether or not you agree with this sentiment is up to you, but the battle lines are being drawn between amateur and professional organizations on the subject.

So while the IBF doesn't specifically have rules preventing pros from competing in the Olympics, the IBF will apply rules 5 and 14 in response to any champion or rated contender who opts to participate in the games. Here are those respective rules.

Rule 5 of the IBF/USBA Rules Governing Championship Contest cites:

"A Champion and Challenger must at all times set high ideals and act in a sportsmanlike manner. Any action by a Champion, Challenger promoter, manager or cornerman which reflects poorly on the IBF/USBA or the sport of boxing will subject the contestant to the imposition of discipline and penalties. The provisions of Rule 14 will be applied to any such situation."

Rule 14 of the IBF/USBA Rules Governing Championship Contest cites:

"Should any Champion or Challenger be found in violation of any of the rules of the IBF/USBA, he may be removed from the rankings for a period of not less than one (1) year. Should any Champion, Challenger, promoter, cornerman or manager be found to have acted in an unsportsmanlike or unprofessional manner as provided in Rule 5 (IBF and USBA championship, elimination and unification bouts) by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, the Champion or the Challenger may be subject to fine, forfeiture of monies, vacation of title, lowering or removal from the ratings or any other discipline directed by the Board of Directors. Any boxer, promoter, cornerman or manager subjected to discipline under this rule has a right to appeal the finding of a violation or the imposition of discipline, or both, under Rule 12, Appeal Procedure."

In a nutshell, any IBF champion or rated fighter will be considered to have engaged in unsportsmanlike behavior by competing against amateur fighters. If this occurs, any IBF champion will be stripped of their title and banned from their ratings for one year. Any other rated fight will also be banned from the IBF ratings for one year. This move, in conjunction with the WBC, will likely dissuade most top fighters from participating in the Olympics, and IBF president Daryl Peoples says it was an easy decision for the sanctioning body to make:

"Making this decision was not difficult for us. We felt it was important for the IBF to get involved and take a stance against professional boxers competing against amateurs due to safety concerns as part of our commitment to this sport is to promote the health and well-being of the boxers," noted IBF President Daryl Peoples.

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