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IBA President to help train our boxers in Russia

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IBA President Umar Kremlev ( third from left) briefing the media at Mount Lavinia Hotel. Also in the picture from left are Germany’s National Bantam weight champion Zeina Nassar, SLB President Dian Gomes and former world heavy weight champion boxer Roy Jones Jr.

International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umar Kremlev is trying to change the world of boxing by ensuring transparency, equity and women’s empowerment said Dian Gomes President of Sri Lanka Boxing at the press briefing held at Mount Lavinia Hotel last Monday. IBA President came to Sri Lanka on the invitation of SLB President Dian Gomes who is Director of IBA. The two day visit was successful while IBA President with World heavy weight champion boxer Roy Jones Jr also accompanied him and there was very successful discussion with Sports Minister and IBA President.

SLB chief further said it shows the confidence of the IBA team in our leadership in the international boxing arena. We have supported it very well bringing new reforms through Umar. A new constitution was done with the help of IBA to take this country and region forward,” added Dian Gomes.

“It is a historical time for Sri Lanka. When Sri Lanka needs support Umar Kremlev and his team has always supported me personally and Sri Lanka boxing. We have been friends for a long time,” said Sri Lanka’s boxing chief Dian Gomes

A Russian billionaire, the IBA president not only brought gifts in the form of 300 boxing gloves as a personal donation, Kremlev has triggered a chain of events that could eventually see Sri Lanka becoming the hub of international boxing in the near future.

“Actually It is a great victory for all of us today. We can be proud because there are 200 countries in boxing and for a country like Sri Lanka to be recognized and to accept a personal invitation from me to visit Sri Lanka is an honour,” Gomes added.

I know that Umar will bring the major change where the money earned from all professional boxing will go to amateur boxing athletes as prize money. For the first time in the history of boxing, athletes are taken care of. We can be very proud of that. Next year a million dollars will be offered for a gold medal.

“Meanwhile IBA without any hesitation and Umar mentioned he will support Sri Lanka by sending the youth team for training in Russia and also support athletes for training and participation in international tournaments because we just don’t have money to send a single athlete abroad. We don’t even have gloves for training,” said Gomes.

I requested help for us to train our boxers in Russia. It is with the greatest difficulty that we ran the organisation under my leadership for the last 20 years. Today we have broken through with the help of the International Boxing Association and its new leader Umar Kremlev,” Dian Gomes said.

Dian Gomes also thanked Roy Jones Jr for coming to Sri Lanka to inspire young athletes. “He became a world champion in five weight divisions after recovering from an unfair decision in 1988 (Seoul Olympics),” he said.

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