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Professional boxers to be allowed to compete in Rio 2016 Olympics

The move means Indian pro Vijender Singh could compete at Rio.

Vijender Singh Pro boxing olympics
Indian boxer Vijender Singh, who turned pro in 2015, could compete in the Olympics this year

AIBA, the international governing body for boxing, has declared that professional boxers may now compete in the Olympic Games. 84 of 88 participating nations on the federation voted in favour of the decision, with four choosing to abstain from voting. There were no votes against.

It has been revealed that a total of 26 places will be available to athletes to participate in the Games, with boxers to take part in a qualifying event in Venezuela next month.

The move means that amateur boxers and professionals will compete against each other, in what could potentially be unfair competition. Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, the president of the association, said that the AIBA “was the only (association) without professional athletes in the Olympics,” and that AIBA wanted to make sure its best talent was showcased at the Olympics.

Indian boxer Vijender Singh turned pro in late 2015, and has taken victory in each of his six professional bouts so far.

Most recently, the 30-year-old defeated Poland’s Andrezj Solda in Bolton by total knockout and should he participate in the qualifier in Venezuela will have a shot at the Olympics this year. He has previously been a part of the Olympics in Athens, Beijing and London.

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