ALL FOR ONE: Robert Coorey of the Ballina Island Amateur Boxing Club shapes up as one who could benefit from the end to the split in amateur boxing administration. Coorey, 24, holds the Amatuer Boxing League North Coast light middleweight (71kg) title belt and was second in the State championships.
ALL FOR ONE: Robert Coorey of the Ballina Island Amateur Boxing Club shapes up as one who could benefit from the end to the split in amateur boxing administration. Coorey, 24, holds the Amatuer Boxing League North Coast light middleweight (71kg) title belt and was second in the State championships. DAVID NIELSEN

Boxing’s bitter war of ring may soon be over

AMATEUR boxing’s warring factions are within sight of a peace deal that would clear the way for fighters competing under the Australian Amateur Boxing League (AABL) banner to compete for Australia at world championships as well as Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.

Representatives of Boxing Australia and the AABL held talks in Sydney before Christmas and there’s a good chance a deal could be brokered to unify the groups.

For Ballina-based AABL secretary Denis Magnay, it would mean an end to a stoush that has seen
amateur boxing in this country split for 22 years.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Magnay said of the talks. “The talks were peaceful and the outlook for us looks quite good.

“The main idea for doing this is to make sure that every boxer in Australia has a fair opportunity to represent their country if they are good enough.”

Further talks between the two bodies have been planned for next month, and if both memberships agree, there could be a merger sooner rather than later.

“This is the best is has looked in 22 years,” Magnay said.

“We are hoping that under the new structure, league personnel would have just as much say as what
the present people do in Boxing Australia.

“We hope to become an integral part of it, and for our people to be put up for elections, just like everyone else.”

Boxing Australia chairman and president Ted Tanner was a young man when the two amateur boxing factions split in the 1980s and for him it’s time to start the healing process.

“I was just a young fellow when this dispute erupted,” he said. “It was very disappointing that it happened and should have been nipped in the bud back then.

“We could attribute reasons why the league was formed, but that would serve no useful purpose – we’ve always known they are good blokes and we’d like them back.”

Tanner said it may take some time to bring the league’s athletes and officials into line with Boxing Australia’s standards, but he was confident they would be up to speed within a year.

“The main difference is we compete under amateur rules and their’s is a more professional style of (amateur) boxing,” he said.


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