Olympic professional plan 'preposterous' - Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis at the Seoul Olympics
Lewis enjoyed success at amateur level before joining the professional ranks

The plan to bring professional boxers into the Olympics is "preposterous", says former world heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medallist Lennox Lewis.

Lewis was victorious at the Seoul Olympics, representing Canada, before turning professional as a Briton.

"I know they are doing it for other sports but I don't think it works with boxing," he told the BBC's Sportsweek.

"I think it is preposterous to a certain degree."

Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, president of world boxing's governing body AIBA, said on Wednesday he wanted to abolish rules stopping any fighter with 15 or more paid bouts from competing at the Olympics.

His proposal needs to be approved by the AIBA's executive committee but Wu believes it is "absolutely possible" to change the rules in time for August's Rio Games.

But Lewis, 50, believes the safety of inexperienced amateurs could be put in jeopardy by the move.

"Olympic boxing is built for amateurs and is the highest achievement you can get, alongside being world amateur champion," he said.

"All of a sudden you could have a scenario where someone like [former world heavyweight champion] Wladimir Klitschko, who won Olympic gold in Atlanta and has so much experience, could go up against a kid of 18 who has had just 10 fights. I don't think it is fair.

"Even the scoring systems are different. In the professional game, you score on power punches and you keep pressure on your opponent, while the amateur system is to score points."

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