|Dr Ching-Kuo Wu-President, AIBA|
|Profile of the week|
Monday, 23 April 2012 19:33
AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, an architect and former Taiwanese basketball player, is an IOC member since 1988 and served as Executive Member of the International Boxing Association before his Presidency.
Dr Wu was elected on 6 November 2006 during the Congress held in Santo Domingo with high hopes of reforming AIBA into a transparent, trustable and professionally operated governing body. He has successfully brought about a new era of boxing with his determination and devotion launching the one of a kind World Series of Boxing in 2010 and the AIBA Professional Boxing a year later.
AIBA has become a respected and model organisation where efficiency, honesty and equality are ever present. President Wu continues to build on the qualities of AIBA and reach for higher, bolder goals that will bring boxing into a category of its own.
More about Dr.Wu’s career can be read here:
By Marc Sibbons
As the President of the AIBA, what would consider the most challenging aspect of your current role? Greatest achievement?
When I took over the Presidency of the AIBA in 2006, I thought the overall condition of boxing was in a very bad shape. The main problem was that the International Olympic Committee’s all had a different opinion on the management of the AIBA, so my first role was to clean up the reputation of the organisation. This was arguably the most challenging aspect of my role, particularly when I first started. We immediately decided to set up a reform as if it was strongly required at that time. I knew the business problems that the sport was going through, as I was an Executive Committee member of the AIBA from 1982 to 1998, so the idea of a reform to rejuvenate the AIBA was a step in the right direction in my opinion.
We also declared a mission statement that we would work towards, which still exists today. We aim to keep the AIBA clean, honest, and a transparent organisation whilst retaining a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of corruption and dishonesty.
Although I think we still have to work hard in order to achieve more accomplishments, I am very pleased with how we have improved the condition of the AIBA since I was elected as President. We can be very proud of that. The whole structure of the organisation is much more united, reliable, and transparent which makes our goals appear clearer and everything runs more smoothly.
Seeing as you were a keen basketball player in your youth, how and why did your attentions start focusing more towards boxing?
I started playing basketball in primary school when I was around eight years old, and have maintained a keen interest in the sport ever since. Even now, I still enjoy shooting a few hoops in my spare time! In terms of boxing, I began learning about the sport in my secondary school years, where I was intrigued about the physical and mental aspects required to be a boxer. I turned this interest into participating in low-level boxing events and practicing martial arts which both helped me build my charisma, confidence and courage. I count the sport as helping me progress as a person in all walks of life and it certainly moulded my goal into becoming involved in the sport as part of my long-term career plan.
How did you make the transition from being an architect to becoming involved in sports business?
An architect is a very skilled profession and requires extensive training in order to be fully prepared for the role. My training in architecture was pivotal in teaching me a rational approach to solve many problems because it helps build your imagination and decision-making. These skills can prove very useful in many professions, and is not something to be taken for granted. This methodology gave me the inspiration to pursue my passion of boxing, and gave me the ambition to become the President of the AIBA.
The AIBA is aiming to unveil a new business model that involves a new marketing company called the Boxing Marketing Arm. How is this model going to plan a major reform of the sport?
The business plan for the BMA has been approved very recently and we are very happy with how things are progressing in this sector. Suitable planning is very important to any new business module as it is acts as the foundation of the project, and can determine whether it will be a success in the short/long term. The mission is to stabilise the marketing success of continual growth of the AIBA and the sport of boxing in general. The BMA’s roles will be to improve television revenue, sponsorship, marketing development and merchandising whilst acting as the professional boxing promoter. I have high hopes for this model, as I believe this reform will vastly benefit the marketing of the sport and provide a platform for success in the long-term.
When serving as AIBA committee chairman, you proposed a reform that included the installation of scoreboards to allow fans to see how judges score fights in real time. What was your thinking behind this reform? How did you make the transition of being committee chairman to becoming president of the AIBA?
In every sporting competition, I think fans watching the event want to know what’s going on at all times. I feel boxing has lost the trust of it’s supporters in recent times so we needed to come up with an idea in restoring confidence in the points system in particular.
If we have the open scoring boards, the fans will see the progression of the event they are witnessing and will have a more clear idea of the sport. With judges and referees making decisions in a short pace of time, it is hard for the viewers to fully understand how the scoring system is taking place. This is very evident in boxing, as the fans have no idea who is winning at any moment in time.
The scoring boards will allow the spectators in the stands, or watching on TV, to see what scores the five judges are awarding during the course of the fight. Boxing is a very subjective judging sport, so this reform would be very important in keeping the sport open and make the audience feel more part of the action.
As mentioned before, I was an AIBA executive committee member from 1982 to 1998 whilst being the chairman of three different commissions, so it was a very busy time. During these experiences, I learnt many positive and negative aspects about the organisation that aided my development into becoming the President of the AIBA. I challenged the existing administration about the structure of the AIBA and allegations of cheating as the organisation was crying out for change. Without these reforms, the sport would have gone into decline, when the only way was to move forward. I stood for the Presidency in 1998, but was not successful on this occasion. However, I vowed to return and was eventually installed into the role eight years later in 2006.
The AIBA professional boxing action is set to begin in early 2013, what impact do you think this will have on the boxing world?
The most important aspect of this is to protect the best interests of the boxers involved. In the past, the best boxers from the Olympic Games and World Championships were wasted by the professional bodies. Let’s just say there were many talented boxers who were entered into the wrong competitions/weights by the bodies and were not successful. From this, they couldn’t return to amateur boxing, and ultimately disappeared from the boxing world. This simply cannot happen again. We aim to utilise talent and not waste it.
The professional boxing action will start in September 2013, which I’m really looking forward too. Preparations have been under way for over a year now, so we are now at the advanced stages of implementing the project. The BMA and are supporting the event and I am very confident the impact will be very significant indeed.