Wladimir Klitschko has outlined his concerns about the uncertain future of boxing at the Olympic Games.
Boxing has been part of every Games since 1920, but its place at Tokyo 2020 is in doubt as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has warned the International Boxing Association (AIBA) that it must improve internal governance.
Klitschko, who won super-heavyweight gold in 1996, has thrown his support behind the World Boxing Association (WBA) as he worries for young amateurs looking to the Olympics to fulfil their sporting dreams.
"For the first time ever in boxing, the worst had happened," he said. "We need a combined effort to protect life-changing dreams of athletes who want to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games.
"In an unprecedented shift that would rock athletics and the Olympics, boxing is in danger of being halted due to current dysfunction leading to losing the Olympic licence.
Boxing is in danger of losing its license for the #Olympics in #Tokyo2020. @WBABoxing ProAm with its improvement efforts can represent the sport of #boxing for the upcoming games. I hope @iocmedia will take a look at those improvements. See my statement: https://t.co/a9h2kdXaV2 pic.twitter.com/Bh2339xHNy— Klitschko (@Klitschko) November 21, 2018
"I'm pleading with the national federations to continue signing with the pioneers of boxing, the world-renowned WBA.
"I'm also asking the IOC to consider the WBA as the organisation that will centralise the sport, while continuing to improve the protections and interests of its athletes and fans, and grant the Olympic licence to the WBA to represent the sport for the upcoming Games in Tokyo."