Sofia Tournament | Special Episode | Talkin’ Fight
IABA. IOC. Stranja, Bulgaria 72nd International Boxing Tournament. Governing bodies, and Olympic standards. Join 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 @Abroad in Japan
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Hello there talking fight fans around the world, welcome once again to another episode of olympic boxing uh, where we discuss any headline that we see relevant to the tokyo olympics that will take place in july, especially those that involve our boxing friends.
What do you got for us today? Christian uh? Well, graham, as you know, as we have been for the last little while, like everyone else, trying to make sense of what’s going on in the world of amateur boxing, we’ve talked fairly extensively at this point about the ioc’s decision to cancel the world qualifier in paris And the impact that that decision is having on the sport as a whole, with reactions ranging, obviously from confusion and frustration to relief and jubilation depending on where you fall in the world rankings at the moment uh.
You can also bet that the commonwealth games federation uh, while assembling a task force of their own to administer that tournament’s boxing tournament tournaments boxing tournament, but not only the tournament, but also the qualifiers, for that are going to be watching very closely to see what the Fallout from that decision is as a way of gauging what the feasibility of a ranking system like this is going to be so with that shift to a ranking system rather than a qualifying tournament, whether you’re for the idea or against the idea.
One thing we can all agree on is that it has put new importance on the international competitions that are still going on, as we speak, uh very something like the box guy tournament that we spoke in hungary, which we spoke with andrew toss about just uh recently.
So with that in mind as we’re talking today, many of you will already know that the stranger tournament is currently going on.
So, every year, many of the world’s top boxers gather in bulgaria for the project for the prestigious strandia cup uh having first taken place in 1950.
It is the oldest international boxing competition, that’s held in europe uh.
The tournament itself has in past been won several times by olympic gold, med people who go on to be olympic gold, medalists and cute, including roberto, camarell, dan, daniel petrov, armando martinez and alexander povetkin.
Uh there’s been other notable uh participants at the tournament include uh british lightweight, amir khan, heavyweight hitter, kubrick pulav, as well as the current asian games champion amrit pangal.
This year’s strander cup uh, which is taking place, started on the 21st and runs through the 28th of february, is being held in sofia, bulgaria’s capital uh and is going to have extra significance in the boxing calendar, as many of both the male and female.
Compare competitors have not competed in a year due to the corona virus pandemic and they’re, going to be keen to score that psychological advantage ahead of the delayed 2020 tokyo games.
Uh, the aiba president, mr umar kremlev, who we’ve also mentioned recently, opened the 72nd strandia cup uh, saying that i’m very glad that the pandemic doesn’t stop us from holding such prestigious competitions as strandia, which will open its doors for participants for the 72nd time.
The international boxing international boxing practice is more important for the athletes than ever and i am pleased to see how many strong athletes are participating in such tournaments.
I wish them all good luck and will be happy to watch spectacular fights.
Mr kremlin said uh the aiba president plans to conduct a training session with competitors who will also have the opportunity to ask questions and communicate directly with mr kremlin.
Sorry there you go.
He also went on to say that we’ve set a course for direct communication with athletes and coaches, and we will stick to it in the future.
There should be no barriers.
The aiba is home for our most important people, athletes and coaches anytime, that they can anytime.
They can contact and receive help and support.
It is our task, as sports functionaries to provide athletes and coaches with the best conditions, so grab we’re still in the preliminary rounds of this tournament um and we are going to be speaking a little bit more about it.
As we get into the quarter and semi-finals in a couple of days time, but for anyone out there who’s looking to see some world-class amateur boxing in advance of the uh olympics themselves, there’s some great bouts to watch over the course of this week.
So i definitely suggest you and anyone watching takes a little bit of time to check out what’s going on in bulgaria at the moment they are broadcast, or is it just a streaming situation? I believe the olympic channel is going to be broadcasting a fair number of the fights uh.
If you go to the olympic channel dot com, whichever it is there that uh, they should be broadcasting a few of the fights there.
I believe, as they get into the at least into the quarters and semis, you should be able to find it fairly easily through them.
Is it an invitational meet uh? Not that i believe i don’t believe so.
Well, no sounds great uh and it goes to what we’ve been saying for the past couple of weeks and that is, there will be tournaments ongoing and, yes, the qualifiers are somewhat a bit of a mess, but there are tournaments that will enable boxers to compete to Move up the rankings as the ioc wants in them.
Well, it kind of leaves egg on the face of the ioc at this point in time as they’re going.
We can’t do this.
We can’t do that and the guys that they fired are going well, that’s funny, because we’re holding tournaments in hungary we’re holding tournaments in bulgaria we’ve got tournaments upcoming in uh serbia.
You know: that’s it’s all over the place, so there’s got to be definitely some egg on their face at this point in time, yeah because i think the two major qualifiers that still need to take place so the one in america, the one in europe.
If i’m not mistaken, so it’s not so ironic that these other tournaments are taking place in europe at the moment, and you know international, so we have people coming in from all over the world.
I know that uh, the indians definitely sent a contingent to this uh tournament as well as the americans.
We’Ve got them coming from both sides of the pond they’re not coming from just europe alone.
These fights it’s funny.
You mentioned the indians.
I was just reading how they were somewhat content uh to send their team of nine boxers to the olympics at that cutoff point where there would be no world qualifier taking place in paris.
So it’s interesting to see that they’re still uh well competing.
Yes, of course, of course, content, but you know you want to keep your guys sharp as well right.
So you know the run-up for this tournament is a great chance just to stay sharp.
You know, maybe are you going to leave it all in the ring if you’ve already qualified for the olympics, you know maybe maybe not hard to say, but you know it, you got to compete.
You got to stay fresh, absolutely without a doubt.
So this is.
Is proof in the pudding? If you ask me uh it’s what we were talking about yesterday and last week, uh there’s more enough people with interest in boxing at a professional level.
Uh who can get these things organized? You can see, there’s a need if you will, for the boxes to participate and compete uh before the olympics actually take place.
So this this is exactly what we’ve been saying.
So i’m curious to see what’s going to happen with with regards to the commonwealth games, whether they’re gon na be looking at this because again, it’s a year away still in birmingham uh almost a year exactly after the olympics, so i’m curious to see.
Are they gon na be looking at this whole system going? Oh wow, this is just a dumpster fire and you know, is crazy.
Um kremlov gon na get a phone call going uh from the commonwealth games going hey! Remember that conversation yeah! We have we’re sorry about that.
If you you wouldn’t mind, if you wouldn’t mind, that’d be great thanks, you know, because obviously these guys are having success with with regulating these tournaments.
I haven’t heard.
I don’t know if you’ve read anything, but i haven’t heard any crazy stories about mass covet outbreaks or anything like that as a result of the recent tournament, hungary, no nothing so you know fingers crossed that this one goes just as smoothly.
Of course, you know.
Obviously we want uh athletes, coaches, everybody involved with these tournaments to be healthy and safe first, because, obviously, if they’re not around, then we can’t watch them fight so thus far, though limited success, but success nonetheless, so they’re showing that this can still be done.
So i’m curious to see whether or not the commonwealth federation says not we’re going to go with with proven.
You know proofs in the pudding, as you said, we’re going to go with the proven method versus kind of trying to throw together their own task force and hope that it goes better than the tokyo one has yeah.
I think i think, as we discussed i mean yesterday, i mean as there’s people who can put these things on.
You don’t need huge bureaucratic organizations.
Uh now granted it’s somewhat well.
The aipa is still a large bureaucratic organization and of itself, i’m not saying not.
I’M saying is is as opposed to their type of organization.
You do have uh corporations in place that can put together events and do so successfully and in other words, keeping the boxes and all participants safe and healthy, and – and you know, maintain that regularity.
If you will, as opposed to wait, we’ve got to put a put the brakes on everything.
We’Ve got to see how this thing pans out: no, no, no, not only in the professional world, but also the amateur world.
These events are continuing they’re ongoing and i think it’s somewhat premature that the qualifiers got postponed and cancelled.
Don’T know about the postponement, i mean some places.
Obviously you know you had a city like paris.
I think they should have not necessarily postponed, but they should have moved it from paris.
If you say we have a city of you know, i actually don’t even know what the population of paris is.
Let’S call it 10 million people, the daytime population, maybe of 10 million people, move it move it outside.
The city move the tournament itself outside the city.
How much room do you really need for for a boxing ring? You can’t have fans anyway, so there’s nothing, stopping them from taking these tournaments and simply moving it to uh to a facility just outside the city, keeping it separate from the main population of the city in major metropolitan centers or i’m sure, there’s some smaller cities around The world some great european cities that would just absolutely love to host an international boxing event.
It doesn’t have to be paris.
Absolutely i mean when, when you’re, when you’re 2.
1 million people um, there’s absolutely no reason why the boxing community at large can’t take a lesson learned from the professional sporting community and hold these tournaments within bubbles and that bubble could be held anywhere in the world.
It doesn’t have to be geographically located in the center of europe in this case in paris.
I absolutely agree with you: they could have held those tournaments, even if they divide divided them up into smaller segments per weight class and offered up a weight, class fight per different city.
I just had a quick look there and paris is only about two and a half million uh city proper.
But when you look at like the what we would call the gta, the greater toronto area, if you look at the greater paris area it shoots to about 10 million for the daytime population.
Well, yeah! Sorry! I just had to check my own numbers.
I threw a number out there.
I was moderately confident with i had to check it.
Super nice city been there quite a lot but uh, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and for a sporting event.
You know it doesn’t need to be it doesn’t, have it anywhere exactly you, don’t you don’t need the you, don’t need the city infrastructure to get people around because we’re not talking about.
You know 100 000 fans going to see a massive football game or something like that.
That’S happening over there we’re talking about coaches, cut men athletes.
You know the bare minimum in a gym somewhere turn the lights down, put the lights on the on the on the ring itself.
And let’s and let’s see some fights, we don’t need the added infrastructure, which means we don’t need paris.
That’S what i’m saying you know you take a look at the professional fights they’ve taken on in the past few uh weeks.
Even you know, one was in the casino the other was in there.
There were there were halls rented halls, whether in a casino or the uh shrine center.
In la you know these their halls, so they’re taking out a few thousand square feet of space.
Yes, they’ve got uh green rooms and dressing rooms and various other office facilities that are required, but at the end of the day, the actual boxing ring is what 22 foot by 22 foot or 20 feet by 20, depending who you ask.
But anyway, the point is: is you don’t need that amount that huge amount of space, as you would, if you had 14 000 people or 20 000 people filling an arena not to mention a hundred thousand people might fill an arena, but would that happen for a Boxing event, even at the olympics, the answer is no.
No, no, but i mean just for larger.
You know for larger sporting events.
It’S the emphasis.
The reason you need large cities is the infrastructure and the infrastructure is for the fans, not the athletes.
So i’m going to be curious to see what the actual attendance is at the last olympics for a boxing event, even a gold medal, i’m curious! Well, i mean i mean i know that everything was sold.
I mean they were all sold out it.
Really it’s going to be, it would have been a capacity crowd at whatever capacity of the arena was.
Is it like the velodrome for the cycling events? Is it like a limited? You know there’s 10 000 people just saying it doesn’t have to be even even the biggest fight in the olympics is probably not that big from a from a population perspective.
So well, let’s see uh i’ve got it here.
Did they have to have any paris answers? No, no so in rio the capacity was 6 500 people.
There you go at the rio.
Centro pavilion 6 is where it was held and there was a capacity of 6, 500.
largest capacity that we’ve seen, and i don’t i couldn’t tell you if it was sold out or not.
The largest capacity we’ve seen would have been beijing in 2008, and that was the the workers.
Indoor arena had a capacity of 13, 000.
and i’ll bet.
Multiple rings uh with multiple events going on simultaneously so tokyo by uh comparison is going to have.
They would have had a capacity of 10 000 people for that venue, yeah and i’ll bet, uh the streaming audience will be 20 times that size.
Oh, absolutely, absolutely so do they really need to anyway i mean that’s where the money is is to put together something where you can stream buy specific sport and say i want to watch every single fight that happens in boxing at the olympics.
I i don’t care about the marathons, i’m not interested in watching someone long distance cycle for the next four hours um, but i want to be able to see every fight that happens.
You know that’s where the money is going to be for this olympics.
It’S going to be in streaming services.
We’Ve talked before about the hundreds of millions of dollars that the us olympic committee brings in annually, based on tv, broadcast rights alone, right right, and i think a lot of that’s going to be shifting to on-demand streaming.
As we go forward, people are not going to be interested in sitting through the commercials and you know maybe i want to watch boxing, but right now all they’re showing is you know the slalom canoe.
Okay, that’s an interesting sport to watch.
It’S high paced there.
You know every now and again you see some guy get chucked right out of a canoe, it’s great, but it’s not boxing.
It’S not what i’m not what i’m here for right.
So i think the streaming is going to be the way to go and they’re going to see they’re going to figure out very quickly how to make money on that model and they’re going to implement it very quickly, yeah, absolutely all righty christian good discussion and uh.
I will keep you updated as we get a little as we get a little closer to the end of this tournament, because i said right now: it’s still the preliminaries so as we get into those quarter, semi-finals and obviously the finals themselves, we’ll be talking a little Bit about more about what’s going on in bulgaria this week, yeah, let’s poke around the world and see if there’s other tournaments going on i’m curious.
Now i’m sure, if you’re sure, if you scroll past the first page in google, maybe skip into the tenth page there’ll, be other events going on around the world a faster way to do.
That would probably be to take a look at the aiba’s website.
Uh, as the upcoming events would probably be a little faster than uh sifting through once again the dumpster fire that is past page three or four of google.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, all right! Thanks! Very much uh remember to like share subscribe and if you’re subscribing ring that bell, if you notifications and uh we’ll see you tomorrow see you tomorrow, graham