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

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

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee