Japan's Olympic bronze medal winner Satoshi Shimizu has agreed terms to join the APB (AIBA Pro Boxing) competition effectively making him a professional.
The APB is AIBA's take on professional boxing. It's idea is to take the elite from amateur boxing and have them fight in bouts that resemble the professional boxing that we all know and love. The advantage to those taking part in the APB is that they will be allowed to continue to compete in the Olympics whilst also getting paid to fight. This allows Shimizu to continue his dream of competing at the Rio 2016 Olympics whilst also being paid to box.
As well as fighters being paid to take part in the APB they will be competing in bouts that go up to the full 12 rounds.
The whole APB idea is a controversial one that sees the current line between amateur boxing and professional blurred massively, even more so than the current WSB series. The fact Shimzu has agreed to take part perhaps suggest that the APB has a foot hold in Japan especially considering how well liked and respected Shimizu is in his homeland.
The competition will start in the coming summer and hopefully it does do something new. Our guess however is that it feels a bit like a gimmick and like AIBA is trying take over the sport, something that we can't really support. It's great that someone is trying to shake up professional boxing but this feels like the wrong way to do it.
(Picture courtesy of http://boxingnews.jp)
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!