Pro boxing returns to Sweden

After a 26 year wait professional boxing is back on the bill in Sweden.

The new national Martial Arts Delegation has given a pro boxing gala in Gothenburg the go-ahead. On January 27th next year two combatants will fight for the honour of winning the country’s first pro boxing match for over a quarter of a century.

The event organisers, New Sweden Boxning Promotion AB, were primarily granted permission because they agreed to adapt the rules to correspond to the stringent safety requirements of amateur boxing.

The bouts may not last longer than 12 minutes and ringside doctors can stop a fight at any time. Protective headgear will not however be necessary.

Swedish boxer Armand Krajnc may be nearing the end of his career but he is delighted to be involved in the Gothenburg gala.

“It’s so nice that there are still sensible people in Sweden. But it has taken far too long.

“It’s great to get the chance to finish off in my own country,” Krajnc told Dagens Nyheter.

Speaking to the same newspaper, Sweden’s most famous boxer, Paolo Roberto, is ecstatic.

“Freedom at last!” said Roberto, who has long campaigned for the legalisation of pro boxing.

Only four other countries have banned professional boxing. Neighbouring Norway is one. The others are Iran, Cuba and North Korea.

“Such wonderful company we keep,” Roberto told Aftonbladet.

A promoter seeking permission to stage a potential World Boxing Association title fight in Stockholm’s Globen arena had his application turned down.

“The reason is that they wanted to box over twelve rounds,” Roberto told Aftonbladet.

While Sweden today put its pro gloves back on it is not quite ready for an immediate return to professional boxing as regulated by the world federations.