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

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own