Ireland’s two world boxing champions Amy Broadhurst and Lisa O’Rourke have not yet received their prize money from the International Boxing Association (IBA), according to independent.ie, even though two months have passed since the World Championships.
The duo won their gold medals at Istanbul in May, in the light-welterweight and light-middleweight divisions respectively.
In response, the IBA spokesperson told independent.ie: “The payment will be released shortly and will be wired directly to the boxers’ accounts.”
The spokesperson claimed the federation was following standard procedures, and ‘upon receipt of the anti-doping testing results, IBA proceeded with all the necessary arrangement to make the payment to the boxers.’
IBA, currently bankrolled by the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom, promised huge sums of prize money last year to all medallists at the men’s and women’s world championships: gold medallists $100,000, silver medallists $50,000 and bronze medallists $25,000.
Broadhurst and O’Rourke won gold medals and are therefore entitled to $100,000 each.
This prize money would be life-changing for both boxers. Broadhurst, who will represent Northern Ireland at Birmingham 2022, is due to receive €25,000 ($25,420) in funding from Sport Ireland this year, while O’Rourke was not a funded athlete prior to her trip to Turkey.
Meanwhile, IBA faces financial challenges in the coming year. It has been stripped of the right to organise the boxing tournament at the Paris Olympics in 2024 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
IBA’s controversial sponsorship contact with Gazprom also ends on December 31 and the federation has not yet been able to attract new sponsors.
According to its recently published budgets – their financial year runs July to June – their projected revenue will drop by nearly 70 percent in the next 12 months compared to the corresponding period between June 2020 and July 2021.
In the 12-month period ending on June 30, their revenue from sponsorship and TV rights was $28.2 million. In the next 12 months it will drop to $6.3 million. As a result, a $2.54 millon grant to the IBA’s five continental federations will not be made in the next 12 months.
Ominously for boxers across the world, there is no provision in IBA’s 2022-2023 budget for any prize money.