The ‘Fair Chance Team’ at the opening of the Men’s World Boxing Championships (Photo: AIBA)
The newly-created ‘Fair Chance Team’, competing for the first time at AIBA’s Men’s World Boxing Championships, has got off to a winning start, with Abdul Fawaz winning his first bout.
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) created the ‘Fair Chance Team’ to give every boxer a fair chance following the growing displacement and humanitarian crisis worldwide.
The initiative aims to support talented boxers who may have left their native countries due to humanitarian reasons. For the first time in an AIBA competition, these boxers walked alongside the competing countries as part of the athletes’ parade at the Men’s World Championships in Belgrade.
The Fair Chance Team consists of 14 boxers from different continents, given the opportunity to compete under the AIBA flag.
Afghanistan-born boxer Tawfiqullah said: “My dream is to win the Boxing World Championships. My favourite time is when I stay in the ring and fight.
“A few members of my family are boxers and because of their examples I also started to train. My brother took me to a boxing gym seven years ago when I was 15 years old.
“Together with others from my team we went through many difficulties to come here and I am very thankful to AIBA for such a great opportunity,” he said.
Abdul Fawaz, also known as Floyd, won his first bout in the World Championships. The 19-year-old boxer was born in Nigeria, but now lives and trains in Scotland at the Byron Amateur Boxing Club. He won his first silver medal in the Scottish National Championships in 2018.
Despite his low number of bouts in Scotland, Abdul Fawaz won his first bout against Trinidad & Tobago’s Anthony Joseph, surprising Joseph with his terrific work rate and changing his tactics a few times as the bout progressed. He won the contest by a split decision, getting the first win for the Fair Chance Team.
AIBA has announced that it would implement the initiative at the Women’s World Championships in Istanbul and at other international tournaments in the future.