David Haye slams "insane" plans to allow professional boxers into Olympics

David Haye celebrates knocking out Mark De Mori inside one on January 16, 2016
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Former world heavyweight champion David Haye describes plans to allow professional boxers into the Olympics as "insane".

Former world heavyweight champion David Haye has described plans to allow professional boxers to compete at the Olympics as "insane".

AIBA president Wu Ching-Kuo last month outlined plans to allow pro boxers to enter the qualifying process for the 2016 Rio Olympics this summer.

The proposal has been criticised by many in the sport, and Haye argued that it would not only endanger the safety of amateur boxers, but would also stunt their development.

"You get these young kids who are training their whole life to go to the Olympics. To go there and not fight someone else like them but fight someone who has maybe won an Olympics before, been a world champion and is just coming back to fight some kids, I think is insane. I think you're going to get some young kids hurt and you're definitely going to stunt the growth of these young kids," Haye told reporters.

"Some kids may be able to handle it, but a lot of them won't. How would you feel if your 17-year-old son was playing on a rugby team and all of a sudden he was playing Harlequins? The kid would get absolutely mullered, completely smashed to bits. Then they would think 'rugby's not for me'. They'll never become a professional because they've been so badly injured by these big, strong guys.

"Or a college American football team playing a professional NFL team - it's just not fair. One is men, one is kids. It just makes zero sense. To go back from [making it as a professional], it just seems like a cheat.

"All it's going to take is one 17-year-old kid from Sweden fighting an American 30-year-old current world champion, puts the poor kid into a coma and then everyone will go 'why did you allow that to happen?' Obviously it is a contact sport so why would you allow that 17-year-old boy to fight this 30-year-old man who has already won the Olympics 10 years ago? What's the point?"

Sports Mole spoke to five members of Team GB about the plans, all of whom were opposed to it.

Lucas Browne celebrates after he defeated James Toney in the WBC Super Heavyweight bout on April 28, 2013
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