Dutch boxer goes against national federation, competes at Women’s World C’ships despite boycott

New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Dutch boxer Megan de Cler has gone against her national federation to become the lone pugilist from 11 boycotting nations to compete in the ongoing Women’s World Championships here.

The International Boxing Association’s (IBA) decision to lift the ban on Russian and Belarusian pugilists, allowing them to compete under their own flag, against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recommendations due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, led several countries to boycott the marquee event.

As many as 11 countries are giving the tournament a miss including USA, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Switzerland and Norway.

Several of them are also skipping the men’s World Championship, slated to be held in Tashkent in May.

USA Boxing was the first federation to announce it will not participate in the two events.

However, de Cler (63kg) competed under a neutral banner in the light welterweight category on Friday defeating Nilufar Boboyorova of Tajikistan.

“I am not playing for the Netherlands, I am here by my own. I don’t do politics, I do boxing that’s why I’m here. I’m here for my own,” de Cler told PTI.

Asked if she expects any sanctions from her federation, de Cler, who had held the IBA flag at the opening ceremony said, “I don’t know yet.” Earlier this month, the IBA opened disciplinary proceedings against five officials for “inciting a boycott” of the Women’s and Men’s World Championship.

The officials include Executive Director/CEO of USA Boxing Mike McAtee, President of Boxing Canada Ryan O’Shea, Czech Boxing Association President Marek Šimák, Swedish Boxing Association Chairman Per-Axel Sjöholm, and Boxing New Zealand President Steve Hartley.

Interestingly, Boxing New Zealand did not boycott the event. In a statement it said it would prefer that the athletes do not attend the Women’s World Championships but left the decision to the boxers.

Six pugilist from New Zealand are participating in the New Delhi event.

Source: PTI News


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