“For us, the Olympics are every athlete’s dream,” Wu said recently at the boxing venue in Rio. “You can’t stop them. We should open the door and make that dream come true.”
Because AIBA did not decide to admit professional fighters into the Olympics until June, only three of them qualified for the Rio Games, and all three made early exits. Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, a light heavyweight from Cameroon, lost in a unanimous decision in his first fight. Carmine Tommasone, a lightweight from Italy, was bounced in his second fight. Amnat Ruenroeng, a lightweight from Thailand, also lost his second fight, which was halted in the third round.
Wu said that the losses were proof that amateurs could hold their own against professionals and that he expected more professionals to take part in the Tokyo Games in 2020 because they would have more time to prepare. The professionals might take note, though, that the Olympics will be no cake walk.
“I consider them professional amateurs,” Tommasone told The Associated Press after his loss, referring to the nonprofessional Olympians. “They are professional players of three rounds. I tried to adapt to the three-round matches,…