Defending champion Sofiane Oumiha of France, right, will be looking to add another world title to his name ©Getty Images

International Boxing Association (IBA) President Umar Kremlev has claimed that this year's Men's World Boxing Championships here will be "historic" as a record 538 boxers and 107 National Federations have registered for the event.

Tashkent is preparing to host IBA's flagship event which is due to run from tomorrow to May 14 at the Humo Arena.

Similar to the Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, the men's event has been affected by a series of boycotts and the formation of a new governing body - World Boxing - due to the involvement of Russian and Belarusian boxers.

Countries including Britain, the United States, Ireland, Czech Republic, Canada, and New Zealand will be missing the event in Tashkent, with the US withdrawing its IBA membership on Wednesday (April 26).

Russia and Belarus had been banned in response to the war in Ukraine until the IBA decided to lift it, allowing them to compete under their national flag, contrary to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) recommendations.

Russia have sent a 13-strong squad to Tashkent, including including Tokyo 2020 light-heavyweight bronze medallist Imam Khataev while Belarus’ eight-member team has former World Championships medallists Alexey Alferov and Evgeny Karmilchik.

Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete under their national flag in Tashkent ©IBA
Russia and Belarus are allowed to compete under their national flag in Tashkent ©IBA

Several defending champions such as Sofiane Oumiha from France, Tomoya Tsuboi and Sewonrets Okazawa from Japan, Loren Alfonso from Azerbaijan, Saken Bibossinov from Kazakhstan and Julio La Cruz from Cuba have also registered in the Uzbek capital.

Kremlev, who spoke during the Opening Ceremony, said he wants to "remember history" and boxers like Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones Jr. who "always defended the independence of athletes and coaches", as he declared the World Championships open.

"The World Championships is the competition that the whole world is waiting for," the Russian official said.

"I wish the athletes good luck and victories.

"This is a historic World Championships, a record number of participants.

"But I want to always remember history, Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones Jr. always defended the independence of athletes and coaches.

"I declare the World Championships."

Competition is set to take place at the Humo Arena ©IBA
Competition is set to take place at the Humo Arena ©IBA

The IBA has been suspended by the IOC since 2019 because governance issues, lack of financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.

The governing body was not involved in the running of the boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020 and has been stripped of the rights for Paris 2024 as well, while boxing remains off the initial programme for Los Angeles 2028.

The IOC has said that IBA will have no role in Paris 2024 qualifying events as well.

World Boxing was established after the Women's World Championships this year.

It aims to secure the sport's future in the Olympic Games.

The body is led by an Interim Executive Board comprised of representatives from Germany, Britain, The Netherlands, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States.

Dutch Boxing Federation President Boris van der Vorst, who leads the Common Cause Alliance, is part of the Board

The Tashkent tournament will see preliminary rounds go on until May 9, with the quarter-finals on May 10, followed by semi-finals and finals from May 12 to 14.  

May 11 is a rest day.

Gold medallists in each of the 13 weight categories will earn $200,000 (£159,172/€ 179,740), with silver and bronze medallists bagging $100,000 (£79,586/€89,870) and £50,000 (£39,793/€44,935), respectively.