Inside Lines: Blazers square up to each other in the Olympic ring

 

A bitter "battle of the blazers" is seriously endangering the future of Britain's highly successful Olympic boxing set-up, with the former Labour sports minister Richard Caborn threatening to resign as chairman of the Amateur Boxing Association of England following a move to depose his close friend and one-time political ally Derek Mapp as head of umbrella body the British Amateur Boxing Association.

The infighting centres around a bid by the home boxing associations to have a greater say in the governance of the sport which Mapp, a former Sport England chair, helped revolutionise at elite level when founding BABA after the Beijing Olympics. The domestic associations claim their role, and that of constituent clubs, has been diminished by the advent of BABA and want more control over the sport and its funding.

Led by ABA Scotland, they have called an extraordinary general meeting for 28 May, when it seems certain Mapp will be forced out. His removal will surely have ramifications at GB Boxing's headquarters in Sheffield where, under Mapp's stewardship, the state-of-the-art training and accommodation facilities and record medal haul at London 2012 are the envy of world boxing.

Any major upheaval might even lead to the departure of the well-regarded professional head coach, Rob McCracken, whom Mapp appointed. It could also affect GB's preparations for this year's European and World Championships and future participation in the World Series of Boxing tournament, which rewards boxers with substantial prize money.

Mapp tells us: "They are hell-bent on removing me as chairman and a break-up of the BABA structure, and it looks as if they are going to win. It is the old story of the blazers wanting more power, but there are a few more episodes of this story to come yet." A millionaire businessman and restaurateur, Mapp made his money in the brewery industry, and was recently appointed High Sheriff of Derbyshire. His critics allege he is "too autocratic".

The ABA Scotland chair, Richard Thomas, says: "While I have a lot of respect for Derek this has always been about boxing people taking ownership of the sport. The sport has to modernise, but you must not leave behind the people who have been running it. All the home nations want is a genuine engagement with the performance pathway."

But Mapp is firmly backed by Caborn, despite ABA England being one of the "anti" associations. Caborn walked out of a formal meeting of the associations last week when denied a vote, and admits: "I am considering my position. If the future is decided as one of modernisation, I am part of it. If it means going back to the past, I am not."

Stakeholders UK Sport and Sport England, who between them have invested a total of £20 million in amateur boxing and have concerns about its administration, are keeping a watching brief on the situation and could now intervene, as they have in other sporting squabbles.

Hoops to conquer?

Croquet hasn't been an Olympic sport since its one and only appearance in the 1900 Games in Paris, when the French swept the board – or rather, the lawn. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that it is the beneficiary of Olympic Legacy funding, the local croquet club in Swindon landing a £42,622 windfall for a new clubhouse.

Said club spokesperson Mary Bedells: "It is so nice to be able make a cup of tea, sit inside if it rains and look out to see if people are still playing – because we do play when it rains." How lovely.

Quiller Barrett, president of the Croquet Association, formally cut the ribbon last weekend and, who knows, perhaps set the ball rolling for an Olympic comeback. But genteel croquet may well have competition from cricket, also last played in the Olympics of 1900 but revived as part of Danny Boyle's 2012 opening ceremony. The International Cricket Council are considering a bid for 2024. Wouldn't 2020 have been more appropriate?

Wembley full up for teutonic night

Wembley announce there are no more seats available for the all-German Champions' League final on 25 May. They all have towels on them.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower