AIBA Pro Boxing is still in its beginning stages, but the newly formed professional boxing organization crowned its first world champions on Friday in the middleweight and super heavyweight classes, with the welterweight title to be awarded Saturday.
In Istanbul, Turkey, hometown fighter Adem Kilicci (4-0) defeated the top seeded Russian Artem Chebotarev (2-2) by eight round unanimous decision; it was the second time these two have faced off under the AIBA Pro banner. Scores of the contest were 80:72, 78:74, and 78:73. The 28 year old champ was a gold medalist in the 2013 Mediterranean Games and a silver medalist in the European Boxing Championships in 2011. Chebotarev was 3-0 in his World Series of Boxing contests, and is 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medalist.
The super heavyweight title was decided in Baku, Azerbaijan, with Erik Pfeifer (4-0) of Germany defeating Morocco’s Mohammed Arjaoui (3-1) by scores of 78:74 across the board. Pfeifer is a two time bronze medal winner in the AIBA World Boxing Championships. Arjaoui is a former World Series of Boxing competitor and a 2008 Beijing Olympian where he was defeated by American Deontay Wilder.
Taking the next step up from the World Series of Boxing, AIBA Pro (APB) is a relatively new professional boxing organization that allows it’s fighters to remain eligible for Olympic competition. In its own words, it’s run on a “merit-based ranking system” and will “provide a platform for a clear and transparent judging system to be practiced, with the employment of full-time Referees and Judges introduced to the competition” Rankings are decided by the seven members of the APB Boxers’ Selection and Ranking Committee. The competition also serves as a as a qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
UPDATE: In Baku, Azerbaijan on Saturday, Onur Sipal (4-0) became the AIBA Pro welterweight champion (the second Turkish fighter in two days to win a title) when he defeated Rayton Okwiri (2-2) of Kenya by eight round decision. Scores were 78:74, 78:74, and 77-75 for the new title holder. This is the second time Sipal has beaten Okwiri.
Sipla is a 2008 Olympian and a 2013 bronze medal winner at the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia. Okwiri won gold in the international tournament the Lion’s Cup 2014 and a bronze medal at the 2011 All-Africa Games.