U.S. will not send professional boxers to Rio Olympics

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USA Boxing will not change its Olympic team selection process for the Rio Games after the sport’s international governing body opened Olympic qualification to any professional boxer Wednesday.

“USA Boxing appreciates AIBA’s continuing efforts toward the evolution of international boxing, and we recognize that the admission of professional boxers is an inevitable development,” USA Boxing said in a statement. “However, USA Boxing’s Olympic Selection procedures, on which our amateur athletes have relied for the past two years, preclude us from making the last minute changes that would be required to invite professionals to compete.  We believe that many other countries face similar difficulties, and in fairness to our athletes who have already been selected to fulfill their Olympic dreams, we abstained from voting for the proposed change of the eligibility rules.”

The final two Olympic qualifying tournaments are later this month and in early July.

USA Boxing already had its Olympic Trials, which determined the boxers it would send to Olympic qualifying tournaments and, if they qualify in those tournaments, the Rio Games.

The U.S. sent men’s boxers to an Olympics, and they came home with zero medals for the first time in Olympic history at London 2012.

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