C K Wu

Week 60 (8 - 14 November 2014)

It should be no surprise that the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), Dr Ching-Kuo (C K) Wu, is an expert communicator, as boxing is a sport which trades off what's said just as much what's done.

The undefeated American boxer (47 fights, 47 wins) Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is perhaps the best exponent of combining words and deeds to devastating sporting, and financial, effect.

Mayweather's nickname "Money" is well earned: he banked a $32 million purse from his last fight in 2013.

But Mayweather's brand of communication is very different to that of C K Wu, who was this week re-elected for a third four-year term as AIBA's President.

Wu's rhetoric is humble but assertive and passionate, yet with carefully chosen words.

"This is a very touching moment." Wu told delegates at the Congress. "You have all expressed your support for my candidature.

"With the confidence and trust you have given me, I can carry out the promises I made to you.

"And you know that I always keep my promises.

"Eight years ago, I promised I would carry out reforms and I have done so.

"For the next four years there is still a lot of work ahead of us."

That work involves the introduction of a revolutionary new concept: the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) competition which will allow boxers to compete professionally whilst still retaining their Olympic eligibility.

The thinking behind this event is to take control of the sport back from boxers like Floyd Mayweather and re-position the sport in every way as a "noble art".

At the Congress, Wu explained his vision further:

"For many decades, the sport of boxing, especially professional boxing which was not controlled by AIBA, had been seen as badly managed and benefiting only a very few people, who were exploiting the sport to enrich themselves.

"AIBA decided to take action to rescue our beloved sport from its decline.

"To do this, we first amended our statutes so that now they can clearly proclaim our mission, 'To govern the sport of boxing worldwide in all of its forms'.

"We always have the welfare of boxers at the heart of everything we do.

"This is why we have now put in place the final pieces of our long-term strategy and vision for the future of boxing.

"The next 12 months are going to see one of the biggest transformations of our sport in its history, with the launch of APB."

Wu's words leave little doubt about what image and values the sport of boxing is aspiring to achieve. The conviction to his narrative is also attractive given the sometimes disparate appearance of boxing's structure, between amateur and professional, between associations as well as the ambiguity between weight categories.

Thanks to Wu, AIBA is successfully projecting an International Federation with the brains to get where it wants and the stomach for a fight if anything stands in its way.

Photo: What's On Xiamen