UPDATE 1-Olympics-Boxing-AIBA wants women's boxing in London

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BEIJING, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The International Boxing Association (AIBA) will press for the introduction of women’s boxing at the 2012 London Olympics, AIBA president Wu Ching-Kuo said on Monday.

“We will make a proposal and submit it to the International Olympic Committee,” Wu told reporters after a meeting of the AIBA’s executive committee in Beijing.

“Boxing is the only sport in the Olympic programme without women and we believe we are ready,” he added.

The AIBA was expecting a decision by December, said Joyce Bowen, who chairs the ruling body’s women’s commission.

“Women’s boxing’s time has been there for a while and we believe 2012 is a great opportunity,” she said. “We are confident.”

There would be 11 weight classes, like in men’s boxing, and the bouts would held over four two-minute rounds, she said, with existing world and continental championships used as qualifiers.

Boxing at Games has often been marred by controversy, with its opponents saying it is too brutal to be part of the Olympics.

AIBA women’s commission vice-chairwoman Bettan Andersson said she believed having women’s boxing at Olympics would help improve the overall image of the sport.

“If women come in, people will feel the sport is more common, not so dangerous, and that would be a very good thing for the image of boxing,” she said. (Editing by Keith Weir)