Inside Lines: Nicola Adams may missing from Commonwealth Games as blazers fall out

 

Organisers of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, already alarmed at the possibility of losing stellar athletic attractions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, admit “serious concern” that they may be robbed of another Olympic gold medallist.

Nicola Adams, along with England’s other top boxers, male and female, faces being banned from the event and all other major international tournaments, including the World Championships and Rio Olympics. Such catastrophe is imminent if the in-house aggravation between the sport’s blazers – first revealed in this column – is not finally sorted today. The future of amateur boxing in England hangs on the outcome of an extraordinary general meeting in Sheffield of the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) which is the culmination of the continuing punch-up between a reform group and the sport’s old guard. Unless their spat is resolved, which seems unlikely, it will bring about the immediate suspension of English boxers by the global governing body, AIBA, and the loss of £5 million of Sport England funding.

The mess stems from the establishment of a new board of directors summarily assembled by the former sports minister Richard Caborn, who was subsequently deposed as ABAE chairman at last month’s annual meeting. Several members of the discarded old board felt sufficiently aggrieved to form a protest group, backed by most of the 12 affiliated associations. They are demanding a fresh recruitment process. But AIBA, backed by Sport England, are insisting on the endorsement of the new board, while ABAE have been instructed they must accept a “package of compliance” which includes the scrapping of headguards and other moves towards professionalism. The word “amateur” ultimately will cease to exist as far as boxing is concerned. A rejection of the new “modernising” board and/or AIBA’s other proposals will see English boxers expelled from future tournaments worldwide. Representatives of both AIBA and Sport England will attend today’s meeting, described by ABAE as “a critical moment for boxing in England which could result in the destruction of the sport at grassroots level”.

It has become a club v country issue, with the rebels, led by the powerful London ABA and derided as “dinosaurs” by Caborn, insisting that while they would reluctantly accept the new regulations, they will vote against the necessary ratification of the new board, believing it will strip the regional associations of any power. They also maintain that any international ban could be legally overturned, and that only £250,000 a year of Sport England cash filters down to the 900 clubs. All combatants admit the outcome is “on a knife edge”. Another of boxing’s infamous split decisions looms. Seconds out! But let’s hope the boxers aren’t.

Advantage murray

Nothing provokes healthier debate around this time than the annual argument over the Sports Personality of the Year. My view that Mo Farah doesn’t deserve the accolade over his reluctance to appear in the Commonwealth Games – apparently he prefers a nice little earner in the London Marathon – brought a sharp rebuke from the athletics world. My preference for Andy Murray now incurs the displeasure of yachties and punters. True, Sir Ben Ainslie engineered a comeback of Lazarus proportions in the America’s Cup, while Tony McCoy’s 4,000th National Hunt victory was a phenomenal achievement. But, for me, Murray not only won Wimbledon but finally discovered something the award should be about: personality.

Not the retiring sort

Boxing and conspiracy theories go hand in glove, but I believe David Haye’s latest injury is genuine while doubting we have seen the last of him. Like most fighters, he is in no sense the retiring sort. The erudite former world light-heavy champion Nathan Cleverly admits he seriously considered quitting last summer after being brutally rolled over, but he is back topping the BoxNation-televised Copperbox bill next Saturday, moving up to meet Australia’s Daniel Ammann for the Commonwealth cruiser crown, declaring: “I can’t end my career as a loser”. They never can.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas