McGuigan rejects idea of pro boxers fighting at Olympics

Former world champion Barry McGuigan is opposed to professional boxers competing at the Olympic Games, labelling the idea a “publicity stunt”.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has put forward the radical proposal, which would allow full-time fighters to feature at the Olympics, as soon as this year’s Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It would mean the likes of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, Wladimir Klitschko and Amir Khan would be eligible to compete at the iconic sporting event.

However, Irishman and Hall of Famer McGuigan – a gold medallist at the 1978 Commonwealth Games – has dismissed AIBA’s idea.

“It just seems like a publicity stunt. I don’t quite understand it because of the practicalities,” McGuigan told Sky Sports News HQ.

“How can you possibly have a 12 three-minute-round fighter, who is an elite championship fighter, coming in and boxing over three three-minute rounds, which is a sprint?

“It just seems crazy, it seems bizarre and it almost seems like a publicity stunt. I just don’t see how it can practically work.

“It takes you three or four years to learn to fight over 12 three-minute rounds, then you have to bring it back down again and go in.

“It takes months to get used to doing that again, then you’re putting your title and reputation on the line, and all the money you’d lose, for nothing.”

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