London: The man who lobbied the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to give women's boxing its Games debut in has backed the 36 pioneer female fighters to impress at London 2012.

And Dr Wu Ching-Kuo, president of the International Association of Amateur Boxing (AIBA), expects them to perform so well that their numbers will be increased come the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"To include women at the very beginning was not easy as the IOC has quotas for each sport and the AIBA have been allocated 286," said the 65-year-old Taiwanese who, with the agreement of the AIBA Congress, took away 36 Olympic spots previously allocated to male boxers to create a women's tournament across three weight divisions in London.

"They (the IOC) weren't going to change so we had to adjust and our Congress came up with the allocation after we had a thorough discussion.

"How they (female boxers) perform here at the Games is very important. The IOC will also look at their performances and if they are excellent it will be my duty to ask for more (places)."

Wu, who has been in his post since 2006, said the omens for a women's boxing tournament that starts in just over a week's time were good.

"The tickets for the women's competition are sold out and television are fully committed.

"Women's boxing is not dangerous, it is full of skill and we look after their welfare.

"The IOC is fully informed and for the 2016 Games I do hope we can get more women into competition, indeed as many as possible."

Wu, who saw his influence within the IOC grow when he was elected onto the elite executive board on Thursday, said he saw an opportunity to do just that.

"The IOC is going to go through enormous changes in the next year," he explained. "The Olympic Programme Review is over the next year and we will ask for more of a (women's) quota.

"I am quite confident we will get it."

Wu, elected on the back of promising widespread reform of AIBA, said the global governing body had made huge progress in welcoming women into the sport at all levels since he had taken over.

"AIBA were the last sport to have women included," he said.

"That was very significant. You can see on Sunday there are women referees, there are female technical officials.

"Although we only have three women's categories here, this is just the beginning," he added.


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