By Alan Hubbard

Barry McguiganJune 7 - The former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan has joined the chorus of disapproval at the ruling by amateur world boxing's governing body AIBA to ban professional coaches from the Olympics and World Championships.

The move will prevent Team GB's Rob McCracken from working in the corner of the boxers he has nurtured for the past two years, achieving considerable success in international tournaments.

As insidethegames has revealed, Sir Craig Reedie, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board has been pressing AIBA President Dr C K Wu to rescind a regulation curiously exhumed following an abortive attempt by former Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) chief executive Paul King to unseat him.

King has now been banned from all from all involvement with international amateur boxing for two years.

"Boxing is changing and training methods are slowly being dragged into the 21st century," argues McGuigan.

"The amateur game in particular needs professional coaches, which is why I find banning the likes of McCracken so stupid.

"Who are these people to deny young boxers the best possible expertise in their corner?

"Rob is a great coach and I don't see why his position should be made vulnerable by a bunch of blazers who have dug up a silly and archaic rule.

"What is their motive?"

It is a question which so far remains unanswered by AIBA, whose own new baby, the World Series of Boxing, is run on professional lines with prize money and pro-type rules and scoring.

It was McGuigan who helped draft the guidelines for that competition in association with marketing giants IMG.

"What AIBA are doing is hypocritical, complete and utter nonsense," he says.

You could understand it thirty or forty years ago but the amateur game has changed so much now, even though there is still a wide division between the sports because the training is so different.

"The scoring system is messed up.

"It's a quick sprint, tat–tat–tat–grab-hold–stop.

"Touching the target, getting away, it's fencing.

"When you are incalculated with that style it's nigh on impossible to get out of it.

"In the pro game the ref would say 'get on with it, son.'

"When you have to stand in the trenches and let punches whistle over your head you'll feel extremely uncomfortable.

"I'm not saying that all good amateurs don't make good pros but it's not a given anymore.

"Look at Audley Harrison.

"It is such a shame that Rob and other pro trainers are being victimised because currently Britain has so many talented kids.

"I'm very enthused about 2012 and I'll be surprised if we don't win a fistful of medals.

"But Rob needs to be there."

However, if this is to be the case then McCracken (pictured), who was in Carl Froch's corner in Atlantic City last weekend when the WBC super-middleweight champion successfully defended his title against veteran Glen Johnson, must give six months notice of terminating his working association with pro boxers.

Clearly this he will not do.

Until recently, McGuigan also schooled his own son Shane, 22, a talented amateur who has taken a sabbatical from the ring and is studying for a degree in nutrition.

"I don't think he'll box again," he said.

"He doesn't have my obsessive genes and I think he found the McGuigan name a bit oppressive.

"But he's gone into personal training.

"He'll be an amazing coach and I'm sending him over to work with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles."

Roach, of course, has been enlisted to help prepare the United States Olympic squad, begging the question of whether AIBA would have the balls to take on the US ABA and bar the world's supreme trainer, mentor of Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, should he elect to be in the corner in London.

"That could be very interesting," says McGuigan.

Britain has never produced a more lucid exponent of the dark trade than the charismatic Irishman who made hearts soar and voices sing when he won the world title on an unforgettable night at Loftus Road 26 years ago last weekend.

Moreover, the Clones Cyclone emerged with his faculties intact and his popularity undiminished, comfortably enough off to send all four of his kids to public schools, live happily ever after in a splendid Regency home in a picturesque Kent village with Sandra, the teenage sweetheart to whom he has been wed for 30 years, and remain an icon to all who seek a better life from boxing.

It has helped that McGuigan, now 50, and retired for 22 years, has always had a way with words.

Yet only now has he decided to put several thousand of them on paper, waiting until his half century to pen his biography - Cyclone: My Story, Virgin Books - bucking the fashionable trend of so many sports personalities who regale us with trite tomes of careers which have barely begun.

The result is a measured reflection of the life and times of a man, who like his own hero, Muhammad Ali, has transcend his sport through who he was and what he did out of the ring, notably fighting the corner for peace in his native Northern Ireland.

Related stories
May 2011: Exclusive - Stop picking on Britain's boxers urges London 2012 gold medal hope
May 2011: Alan Hubbard - Sir Craig Reedie pulls on the gloves to fight for Britain's boxers
April 2011: BOA and UK Sport seeking clarification on McCracken London 2012 Olympic ban
April 2011: Exclusive - GB Boxers set to fight at London 2012 Olympics without head coach McCracken in corner