International Boxing Day Date in the current year: July 22, 2019

International Boxing Day On July 22, boxing enthusiasts around the world celebrate International Boxing Day (not to be confused with Boxing Day). This international observance was inaugurated in 2018 by the International Boxing Association.

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, usually wearing cushioned gloves, throw punches at each other for a predetermined amount of time in a boxing ring. Various types of boxing existed in the ancient world (in Ancient Greece it was even an Olympic sport), but modern boxing is believed to have evolved in Great Britain.

Today, there are two main variants of boxing: amateur boxing and professional boxing. There are certain differences in the rules, but the main difference between amateur and professional boxing is that professional boxers fight for prize money, while for most amateur boxers, it is about the sport itself (and about developing skills and gaining experience to participate in professional bouts). It is amateur boxers who participate in the Olympic Games.

The International Amateur Boxing Federation (FIBA) was established by the national boxing associations of England, France, Belgium, Brazil and the Netherlands during the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1946, it was dissolved due to losing credibility because of some of its leading officials’ behavior during World War II. To replace it, the boxing associations of France and England established the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA). The word “amateur” was dropped from the name in 2007 but the acronym remained the same.

The AIBA unites 195 national boxing associations from all inhabited continents. It organizes the AIBA World Boxing Championships, boxing tournaments at the Olympic Games, Youth Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games, and the World Series of Boxing, an international tournament that allows amateur boxers to compete professionally without losing their amateur status.

Originally, July 22 was celebrated by the Russian Federation of Boxing as National Boxing Day. The Federation organized celebratory events and activities (mass boxing practices, boxing competitions) in many cities and towns across the country, and the main event took place in the Russian capital of Moscow.

A particularly big celebration took place in 2017, when 3,000 people gathered in Red Square and established a new Guinness World Record for the number of people practicing boxing at the same time. The training session was led by double Olympic champions Aleksei Tishchenko and Oleg Saitov. Across Russia, 50,000 people came together to celebrate the sport of boxing.

AIBA president Wu Ching-kuo was so impressed by the event and its impact on the promotion of boxing that he suggested July 22 be celebrated as International Boxing Day from 2018 onward. The celebration aims to encourage athletes, boxing fans and relevant organizations to celebrate boxing and promote the sport. Naturally, the biggest International Boxing Day celebrations are held in Russia, the country where it all began.

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Category

International Observances

Tags

International Boxing Day, international observances, International Boxing Association, AIBA