Boxing World Qualifiers | Special Episode | Talkin’ Fight
EPISODE: Episode 3
Joining us on our on-going exploration of the Olympics, to be held in Tokyo 2021, featuring Christian from the Friday Night Panel, and the route to the ring. Watch TalkinFight weekdays at 12, 4, 7, and 8:30pm EST on YouTube or LIVE at talkinfight.com/live @Olympic @IOC Media
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Hello there once again welcome to another edition of talking fight and our ongoing series involving the olympics to be held in tokyo.
We hope in 2021 [ Music ].
We laugh because we’ve just heard some interesting news: that’s gon na effect affect the uh the qualifying structure.
What have you heard christian? Well, absolutely, unfortunately, um a bunch of boxers went to bed last night on the other side of the world as olympic hopefuls and woke up this morning only to find out that that is no longer the case.
Um, the global boxing qualifying tournament for tokyo 2020, again 2020 uh, which we’ve mentioned on more than one occasion here on this uh program.
Uh scheduled for paris in june, has been cancelled.
The european qualifiers we’ve also mentioned from time to time here, has been postponed now from april to june.
So the international olympic committee said today that plans were changed because quote uh current challenges to the internet to international travel and related restrictions in many countries during the corona virus pandemic.
So boxers worldwide were set to compete for 53 spots in the tokyo lineup at the tournament in paris in june, so these places now are going to be allocated equally across the continents by a world ranking system based on rankings held going back to 2017.
So olympic entries from africa and the asia oceana region will now be allocated by rankings alone, whereas boxers in the americas and as well as europe can still earn a qualifying place in the ring.
So the americas tournament is currently scheduled for may 10th to the 16th.
It’S back in buenos aires, argentina, uh and the european european qualifiers are slated for june at a venue yet to be determined uh.
So the ioc, as well as the boxing task force attached to the ioc, said that the changes to the qualification system are to ensure that athletes from all regions have equal opportunity to qualify for the games.
Athlete recovery times are also being increased thanks to updated qualification system.
To quote reinforce the boxing task force focus on medical and safety considerations.
End quote the task force, also added that it’s protecting both its rankings and the tokyo 2020 seating system.
So the discourse rankings at the conclusion of each continental event are going to be used as part of that information to distribute the 53 additional quota places for tokyo, 32 of them going to the men and 21 of them for the women.
They went on to add that the rankings have been reviewed by an external auditor to ensure they the integrity and openness and fairness of their ranking system, but at the end of the day, the uh you know getting rid of the global qualifier.
This is going to be a huge blow to especially the boxers, as i said, from uh africa and the asia oceana region, whose fate, in so far as a spot of the olympics, is now completely out of their hands.
At this point, we’re just we’re working on math, graham, so these guys, if this is great news, if you’re sitting at the top of your weight class right now, if you’re been doing performing consistently well since 2017, that’s great you’ve basically just got an automatic birth into The olympics, but if you were hoping for your cinderella story or your underdog victory, was going to be.
You know your last chance was going to be april in our sorry june in paris for a lot of fighters that just went up in smoke uh.
Anyone who has already uh competed at the asia oceana or the africa tournament specifically, she throws a bit of a wrench into what we’re going to be seeing here.
So once again, the entire card for what we’re going to be seeing in tokyo is up in the air.
I actually think they’re doing that right, uh, i’m kind of happy uh.
It means to me that there won’t be any surprises.
If you ask me like we’ll, only get the best of the best competing well, i mean, theoretically it’s the olympics.
We are only getting the best of the best anyway uh, but i see i see your point.
It’S it at least gives us a bit of a road map on how we can expect to move forward, especially if these tournaments are unable to go forward.
The other qualifiers as well, they may may have to revert to a ranking system for the remainder of the european and american americas qualifiers as well.
It’S really hard to say at this point in time again if you’ve been performing consistently well, because it’s not just these olympic qualifiers that they’ll be taking into account.
It’S all the ranks going back to 2017, that’s going to involve continental championships as well as internationals as well over the last few years.
So if you’ve been performing well up to this point great news, but as i said at the beginning of this year, a bunch of people went to bed last night olympic hopefuls and woke up this morning with that kind of being snatched away from them.
Yeah when we say olympic hopefuls, you’re talking eddie the eagle scenario, no, not necessarily just people who didn’t who failed to qualify at their continental either in africa or the asia oceania event.
Who still had the option to go and compete at the world qualifier to still grab one of those 53 births? So now they still have that option yesterday now it’s if you didn’t qualify in your continental, it’s based entirely on that ranking system.
So you don’t have the option to come in and maybe have a really good couple of fights at the world qualifier and find yourself on your way to tokyo yeah.
I still i’m still hedging my bets and saying that these guys were just crossing their fingers, hoping for some guy to slip in front of them and knock them out on the way down.
Absolutely uh absolutely, but i mean that’s.
The qualifiers are still like that, anyway yeah, but now you’re saying the qualifiers won’t happen, much of the detriment of someone who might have won well.
The one qualifier has been canceled.
That’S the world qualifier we’re still hoping to have the americas and phase two of the european, so the continentals are still slated to finish off how they have almost said on schedule that went out the window a long time ago, but those are still slated to take Place it was just for anyone who didn’t make it through their particular continental qualifier.
There were still 53 spots available 32 for the men 21 for the women available.
They were up for grabs for the tokyo tournament yeah.
That’S all i’m saying so.
The guys who didn’t qualify, probably don’t deserve to be in the olympics to begin with, and so the world qualifiers were giving them that second chance.
So i’m still sticking to my guns here, i’m saying you know they didn’t qualify.
I didn’t qualify for a reason.
They may have been injured or playing with an injury and therefore deserved a second chance.
But i’m not saying this is a bad thing at all for boxing, but also you might have seen talking about fighters who don’t necessarily have the backing of a national committee.
A national olympic committee too, you may have been seeing independent fighters who are no longer going to be having that backing and that opportunity to jump into an olympic spot as well it’s hard to say at the end of the day.
I i’m not pleased because anytime you’re canceling, a tournament just means hey, it’s less boxing that we get to see uh, it’s less! It’S it’s less of a preview of the talent pool that we’re going to be seeing at tokyo when we take these tournaments away.
So i mean i would love love to have seen them find a way that they can still go forward with this.
But i understand that, especially with europe right now, it’s and with various countries being at different phases of uh coronarized virus vaccine rollouts, as well as different national lockdowns, and things like that.
It’S hard to bring that many people into anywhere.
So, for a just a boxing tournament, the size of the world qualifier, that’s a lot of moving parts where you’re not necessarily going to have the same infrastructure and the same backing that you are for something as big as the olympics themselves.
So a qualifying event that just might be too many moving parts to bring everyone from all over the world hoping to get into one into one place.
At the same time, it’s rather idealistic for an organization like the olympics to think to be fair in the representation of a global community and say yes, we’re going to have one boxer from at least every single weight division going to the olympics from every single country And that’s unreal idealistic but unrealistic.
So is i mean you’re not gon na you’re, not gon na get one boxer from from each in every weight.
Class that’ll never happen.
If you look at buenos aires on a series, um rio.
Sorry had me a moment there uh.
We only had four, we uh canada only sent four boxers qualified for real yeah.
We weren’t we weren’t, we weren’t putting boxes for where we didn’t qualify boxers in every weight class.
Most countries don’t qualify, someone in every single weight class right.
So, oh, that’s why i’m saying i don’t.
I don’t think this is a bad thing.
I think we’re going to have the best fighters from the best represented countries in the world fighting for medals, as opposed to some yes underdog, who might have a chance, uh and and who might get lucky uh with that chance uh.
You know what it’s like.
I said it’s the eddy, the eagles scenario that some people like to cheer for the underdog and see the underdog compete, but at the end of the day, it’s not truly fair to the actual top ranked amateur.
Well, i’m just slash professional boxers who go to the olympics uh fully expecting to win medals uh because they’ve been competing against the best of the best in these qualifiers.
Up to this point you know and to have someone just show up out of the blue, shall we say anyway, i i’m digressing, i think, uh, but i don’t think it’s such a bad thing.
I really don’t well insofar as the quality of boxers that we’re gon na get at the end of the day.
You may have a point there.
I will concede that, but i stick to my guns on this one that anytime they cancel a tournament.
That just means one less tournament we get to watch so not thrilled.
Not thrilled would like to have seen again a bit more of a preview.
What we can expect in tokyo, but we’re going to work with what we’ve got we’re going to hope.
We don’t see anything else canceled between now and july, fingers crossed that we’re still going to be able to go forward as more things fall off the calendar.
It obviously gets a little bit more tenuous and makes me at least a little bit more nervous, but fingers crossed.
I think people who have a lot more information at their disposal have made these decisions with fairness in mind, and i think i’m going to weigh on their side and say yeah.
They probably made the right decision in this regard.
Well, hopefully, i’m sure it’s going to be again.
They’Ve said that they have had their rankings.
Seating systems reviewed independently uh just to ensure that there is a certain amount of fairness going on here and transparency, but i am sure you’re going to hear from the international community over the next couple of days.
There’Ll be complaints that you know it’s only fair.
If you come from these countries or you know, we’ve been snubbed or we’ve been ignored, or we should get more births than these people, or things like that are going to be cropping up.
So it’ll be interesting to see what the arguments against are, but as far as a road map insofar as giving us a way to actually get boxers to the games.
I think this is probably best case scenario right now, yeah.
I still think uh.
As i said, uh yesterday, you know you’re going to have the americans the cubans, several european countries, whether it be poland, hungary, france, germany, you know competing for medals and [ Music ].
You know underdogs might be from england, ireland, potentially mexico.
You know things like that, but i mean vast majority, these medals you’re going to go to a very specific number of countries easily identified, and i don’t think these qualifiers are going to the non-qualifier or they then cancel qualifiers are going going to the world qualifier yeah.
That’S my opinion.
I’M sticking to it uh.
You know what i’m just looking forward to the olympics taking place and uh.
You know yeah, i don’t mind an upset, but i mean an upset with respect to say an unknown polish fighter as opposed to someone from some country i’ve never heard of which is unlikely, but some some far just because they’re entitled to go to the olympics.
Just because of this equal distribution, idealistic notion of the olympics embodying a global community.
Well, you still have to qualify, though i mean nobody’s getting these eddie.
The eagle numbers anymore nobody’s just going.
Oh, we don’t have someone from enter name of country here then no, you get an automatic pass into the olympics.
That doesn’t happen anymore, uh, yeah, well yeah, but the world qualifiers.
You might have had that scenario where someone from a far off distant country, but they’ve, got to win their fight.
They still got to win their fights at that time and what i’m saying is they might get lucky in? That decision is all i’m saying they might not be truly better than their opponent, they might just get lucky well, i mean, i think, that’s true.
That is a possibility and we see differences in things like access to opportunity and access to different, trainings and stuff.
Like that, as we go across different platforms, different countries are going to have different different amounts of funds, as well as training available to them different systems that they’ve been developing over the years.
So countries, obviously like cuba, where there’s been a very strong uh boxing presence for a lot of years.
They’Ve spent a lot of time.
You know boxing and baseball as those are kind of that’s how the cubans spend their time.
That, then, you know that’s the sport and that’s the past time right there i think, do they do well yeah.
Well, so you know we made a few uh on this, but you know how are they going to do it hockey? Not great? Is it because they don’t have great athletes? No, it’s because you know the access to opportunity for a training program is not going to be anything like what we have here in canada, for example.
So when we get some of these smaller countries, where they’re not necessarily known for boxing, it’s not that they don’t have these great fighters, it’s that they’re they’re lacking access to opportunity in a lot of cases, and sometimes that’s going to be socioeconomic among a slew of Other reasons uh, we, you know – we’ve covered some of this on the show in the past.
How these guys pay to get to these places so tournaments, like the world qualifier, may have been a chance where we see a previously yes unknown fighter from a smaller nation that doesn’t normally um.
We don’t normally think of as meddling in the olympics for boxing, but we might see you know a rising star come out of that which we might miss out on now.
Okay, you and i are gon na – have to agree to disagree on this one.
I think no, that last point was valve there, maybe that there may have been that one guy or gal that’s true.
I have been generally saying guy the whole time.
Yep could have female fighters as well all right, well, yeah, we’ll leave it up to our viewers to shoot us a comment if they have an opinion in this regard and uh, you know, keep just keep tabs on this um moving target and uh.
You know, let’s, let’s see, i’m curious whether there are uh, whether the olympic committees have a ranking system, that we can have a look at right now like who are the top ranked men and women.
Oh i’m sure now now that they’ve made this announcement now you’re we’re going to be able to already see within the next couple of days.
I think exactly who’s going to be coming from at least the africa and asia oceana regions uh, just because those qualifiers have taken place and since it’s just down to the math now those fighters will be announced in short order.
I have to assume we’re going to be waiting, obviously, though, for uh the european and the americas fighters, but we should be able to get a fairly a fairly straightforward picture of uh, the other side of the globe, at least within the next day, or so i’m Sure people will be analyzing it and putting out uh predictions and everything else and vegas will get to work on the odds right on.
Okay, thanks christian appreciate it i’ll keep you updated.
Thank you very much uh.
Hopefully, uh viewers out there will give us a like uh, throw some comments subscribe to our channel and by the way, if you do subscribe, make sure that uh to ring that bell to receive our notifications and we’ll see you tomorrow christian.
Thank you very much.
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