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

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: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £26,000+

£16000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map