The fourth Global Forum of the IBA, held in Dubai, focused its efforts and significance on the necessary mental and physical health of athletes. On the other hand, the need for financial support for boxers to enable their growth and prevent career interruptions is one of the ongoing projects within the organization.

At the Global Forum, held after the Congress, all these projects were presented, and some participating athletes shared their experiences.

Without proper mental and physical education, one cannot achieve success or maximize their potential. This variable was the common thread of the event, featuring several panelists emphasizing the importance of various factors that should not be lacking in the daily lives of individuals.

"We have to understand that the IBA is developing the legal framework for mental health, and we cannot forget about physical health. We have to go hand in hand. We have to stand against harassment, and the IBA regulates it. The regulations also address discrimination in treatments. Similarly, combating match manipulation and, if necessary, imposing sanctions is reflected in the rules. We must support athletes in safety, equity, and balance. The IBA is strict against doping, and any issues leading to discrepancies will go directly to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," it was stated.

At the Global Forum, held after the Congress, all these projects were presented, and some participating athletes shared their experiences. IBA
At the Global Forum, held after the Congress, all these projects were presented, and some participating athletes shared their experiences. IBA

"The recognition of mental health is more prevalent now. There is tremendous pressure, and psychological pressure needs to be treated and prevented. There are many sociological differences among athletes, and it is essential to analyze and study them. Based on this work, problems can be avoided, and athletes can receive proper education for both when they step into the ring and when they retire. It is increasingly common to refer to it as mental muscle because it is like any other. The mental muscle must be trained, and athletes must be aware of what is happening around them," were some of the arguments presented.

The Global Forum also addressed the financial support project for athletes, without which success would be very difficult to achieve. Without it, athletes are entirely at the mercy of whatever may happen, with no security or stability, total uncertainty.

Chris Roberts, Secretary-General of IBA and CEO, explained with a real case the task that the organization has initiated. Boxer Megan de Clerk, just 19 years old, has already achieved success, all thanks to unconditional support and guidance from the IBA: "We supported her during a difficult time in her life. We built a good relationship with the family, supported her financially, and allowed her to grow."

Megan herself admitted that "for any boxer who cannot bear the costs, walking alone becomes impossible. Thanks to the IBA, I could compete because when I was suspended by my federation, they did not allow me and did not facilitate anything. The IBA provided me with tools and opportunities." Megan would like to "participate in a European championship" and "attend the 2024 Olympic Games and aim for a medal." The young boxer was very straightforward: "My boxing career would not exist without the IBA because I would not have been able to continue."

Other key figures also participated in the forum, such as the recent president of the new USA Boxing Federation, the legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr., who took part in the discussion on the need for technology, social media, and the global nature of everything done. The importance of creating a brand, the power of the media, and the relationship with audiences were discussed. Being able to report what happens and ensuring that everyone, even in the smallest places, has access to information is what can contribute to overall development. As Katherina Mironova, Head-Media Cluster IBA Challenger, stated: "The fact that a girl or boy in a remote place can upload their videos allows any coach in the world to know if they have talent and invest in their development as soon as possible." This example summarizes the importance of all these initiatives and tasks that the IBA is putting all its effort into.

At the end of the evening, technologies took center stage for scoring, measuring, and judging each fight, and the rigor that must exist in boxing also went through the forum. Similarly, diversity in inclusion in boxing was discussed. The equal opportunities gradually being achieved are also one of the strong points. Women are encouraged to emerge, appear, increase their presence, and be seen."