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AIBA president touts its upcoming event as the epitome of boxing

TAIPEI--The president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) said recently that the body's first professional event will epitomize the sport of boxing.

“The very first AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) tournament, scheduled for Oct. 24, will be another milestone in the development of boxing,” Wu Ching-kuo told CNA in an interview Thursday.

“Only the very best boxers in the world will compete against each other in a merit-based and comprehensive ranking system, with transparent and fair judging,” he said.

Describing the APB as revolutionary, the 67-year-old Wu said the tournament is aimed at bringing back boxing as mainstream sport by taking into account the expectations of its fans.

Setting up the APB has been part of Wu's efforts to revive and reform the sport since he took over as president of the 197-member body in 2006, becoming the first Taiwanese to head an international sports federation.

He was re-elected in 2010 and has made over 50 major changes in the sports body during the 2007-2012 period, in the areas that include marketing and promotion, women's boxing, setting up a boxing academy and adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward any form of corruption or dishonesty.

His successful reform efforts have prompted many AIBA members to ask him to stay longer, saying “nobody can replace Wu.”

Wu, who is also the only Taiwanese on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board, said he is “still considering” the request and will make a decision soon.

He said that if he is re-elected as president at the 2014 AIBA Congress in November in Jeju Island, South Korea, he will do his utmost to find a successor during his next four-year term.

Before Wu changed the AIBA Charter in 2007, there were no term limits on the presidency of the body. His predecessor Anwar Chowdhry of Pakistan held the position from 1986 to 2006.

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