Greece’s Ioannis Filippatos won a close election of the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC) that needed a second round of voting, after a tie with Dutch official Boris van der Vorst in the first round.
Filippatos and van der Vorst were the two remaining candidates in Saturday’s election at the EUBC Congress in Assisi, and the pair outlined their proposals in speeches to the attendees.
Ukraine’s Volodymyr Prodyvus had withdrawn from the election after describing the situation facing his country following Russia’s invasion.
In voting, Filippatos and van der Vorst were tied at 23-23 votes each, with one vote not approved by the Commission. Voting therefore had to go into an unprecedented second round.
The second round of voting saw Filippatos win 25 votes to van der Vorst’s 22 votes, giving Filippatos victory and a four-year term as EUBC president.
He succeeds the outgoing Franco Falcinelli, who led the EUBC for the past 10 years.
The EUBC Congress also elected a new Board of Directors: Zsuzsanna Toth of Hungary, Krasimir Ininski of Bulgaria, Andre Micallef of Monaco, Vasile Citea of Romania, Aleksander Klemenko of Montenegro, Ohanes Ovsepian of Armenia, Sunaid Khalidov of Russia, Felipe Martinez of Spain and Nenad Borovcanin of Serbia.
As EUBC president, Filippatos automatically becomes a member of the International Boxing Association (IBA)’s Board of Directors, which is set to be cut from 28 to 18 members at the IBA Extraordinary Congress next month.
The election for the next IBA president will also be held then, with van der Vorst challenging Russian incumbent Umar Kremlev in a contest that is seen as pivotal for boxing’s future.
The sport has been dropped from Los Angeles 2028, and its place in Paris 2024 will be decided by the IOC in 2023 only if IBA meets its criteria on refereeing and judging, financial stability and governance.
With the IOC already expressing concerns over Kremlev’s sponsorship deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom, there are real risks that IBA may find itself excluded from boxing for Paris as well, which could prove to be the death knell for the sports federation.