Tashkent, Uzbekistan (May 1, 2023) – A spectacular show of the opening ceremony has preceded 14 days of elite action at the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In total 538 boxers from 107 countries arrived to take part in the pinnacle IBA tournament.
A parade of flags with an Uzbekistan one at the very end caused a raucous round of applause at the fully packed Humo Arena that saw a history of boxing intertwined with Uzbekistan’s ancient culture. A mythical bird Humo, which is a part of the emblem of Uzbekistan and symbolizes happiness and kindness, showed up as a good sign for the participants of the World Championships.
In his speech, IBA President Umar Kremlev welcomed all participants, officials, organizers, and guests to the “incredible event” he declared open.
“It’s a testimony of the growing popularity of boxing that more and more countries send their athletes to compete at the World Championships. The IBA doubled the prize money fund because boxing should be a tool of upward mobility for people. We have to create favorable conditions for our athlete’s future, so IBA provided assistance through its Financial Support Program to 50 nations to make their dreams come true,” President Kremlev said.
“We need to remember past heroes of boxing to create the future of our sport. One of these outstanding personalities was Andrey Borzenko, a Soviet boxer, a two-time champion of the Uzbek SSR, a master of sports, an Honored Coach of Uzbekistan, and a referee. He went through an incredibly difficult life path. He was held captive in the Buchenwald concentration camp, where he had more than 80 fights without a single defeat. Borzenko was forced to enter the ring to protect his comrades. Boxing gave him strength and forged his strong character’, he continued.
“The story of such a person will serve as an example and inspire every athlete to win. We admire his achievements and strength similar to this Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones Jr had to find their path to victory and courage,” Kremlev added.
“Therefore, IBA would like to honor the memory of great boxer Borzenko, and especially for the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships, the special award “For the Will to Win” was developed, which will be awarded to 25 boxers at the end of the World Championships.”
“Similar to IBA, which will always defend its interests, advocating honesty and transparency, finding independence along this way,” President concluded.
The opening ceremony was concluded by a top performance of the legendary group Boney M with Liz Mitchell. A company that staged the ceremony, Dreamlaser, is one of the world leaders in the field of multimedia technologies, developing and applying technological and creative solutions in media art since 2005.