The International Boxing Association (AIBA) have announced they have agreed in principle to establish a joint venture with Alisports to help increase global awareness of boxing.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between AIBA and Alisports, the sport division of Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba, was signed in January to study the development of several specific projects.

The two organisations looked into raising awareness of boxing and the value of AIBA competitions, with their analysis leading them to agreeing to establish the joint venture.

Under the terms of the agreement, they will work together in key areas such as commercial development rights, operational funds, internet technology and big data mining and applications.

A focus will also be placed upon delivering exclusive matches and events, as well as working on producing massive platform membership services and extended e-commerce product lines.

“AIBA has made remarkable progress in evolving our sport recently,” said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu.

“This future joint venture with a major player in the digital world will bring efficient synergies and provide the perfect platform for the promotion of our sport and our boxers.”

A key recent decision from AIBA, passed at the body’s Congress last month, saw professionals granted the opportunity to participate at the Olympics for the first time.

Former International Boxing Federation flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand and Cameroon’s Hassan N’Dam were the first two professionals to clinch places at the Games, with Italy’s Carmine Tommasone then becoming the third to qualify.

A total of 79 boxers competed at the final Olympic qualifying event, with four having come from non-AIBA organisations.

Alisports chief executive Dazhong Zhang claimed their joint venture with AIBA will help to develop boxing, using their internet and e-commerce expertise.

“The creation of this Joint Venture aims to support the continuous development of AIBA and its competitions by bringing in our extensive expertise in internet and e-commerce.

“Our proven capacity to target hundreds of millions of clients represents an immense opportunity to promote boxing.

“We are confident we can achieve global progress and advancement of the sport of boxing in the world through this unparalleled collaboration.”

Credit: Michael Pavitt of “Inside the Games”