Professional boxers could compete at the Rio Olympics under new plans from the sport’s governing body. AIBA president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu wants to abolish rules stopping any fighter with 15 or more paid bouts from competing. His proposal needs to be approved by the AIBA’s executive committee, but Wu said: “We want something to change… not after four years, but now.” He added that it was “absolutely possible” to change the rules in time for August’s Olympics. The qualifying process for this year’s Games is already underway, with 60 boxers having already secured their places in Rio. Wu, who has been president for a decade, added: “When I took over the presidency in 2006, I made it very clear the term of ‘amateur’ is not really relevant because when you look now at all the Olympic sports, who is really amateur? “It is an International Olympic Commission policy to have the best athletes in the Games. Of the international federations, AIBA is probably the only one without professional athletes in the Olympics.”
Beijing has overtaken New York as the city with the highest number of billionaires for the first time, a new report by China-based firm Hurun says. A total of 100 billionaires are now living in the Chinese capital, compared to 95 in New York, the report said. Shanghai, China’s centre of commerce, came in fifth place. Hurun, which tracks wealth and luxury in China, has released a Global Rich List for the past five years measuring billionaires’ wealth in US dollars. It found that Beijing had welcomed 32 new billionaires since last year, allowing it to vault past New York which it calculated only saw four new billionaires. Overall, China has overtaken the US as the country with the most number of billionaires. However, the top 10 billionaires in Hurun’s list is still dominated by Americans.
Former France youth international striker Yassine Benzia has pledged his senior future to Algeria. The Lille striker was born in France and played for them at every youth level from under-16 but is eligible for Algeria through his parents. The Algeria Football Federation said it will immediately begin the process of registering the player with FIFA. The federation added Benzia met its president Mohamed Raouraoua this week to finalise his choice to play for the Desert Foxes. Even though FIFA is yet to receive Benzia’s request for a switch of nationality, the Algerian football authority is confident of a swift approval by the game’s governing body. Benzia has scored 26 goals in 43 appearances during his time playing for France’s youth teams. His capture will come as a morale boost for Algeria after they were snubbed by Lyon striker Nabil Fekir last year. Benzia started his career at Lyon where he progressed from the academy to the senior squad and made his senior debut against Nice in May 2012. He switched to Ligue 1 rivals Lille in August 2015 in search of regular football and has already scored five goals in 20 appearances for the club this season.