By Boxing Bob Newman
Day 4 of the 56th annual WBC convention opened a tad after the scheduled 9:00 a.m. start time as many attendees were still recovering from the talent show “Good Time Blues” the night before! Suffice it to say, reports were given, recognitions were bestowed and plans were made…
Due to his pending departure, WBC Female division president Malte Müller reported on some developments in the female ranks. The long awaited fight between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer will be rescheduled due to a digestive ailment suffered by Hammer, making her medically unfit to box for the foreseeable future. She will be named “champion in recess” while Shields will fight for the vacant title on the 17th of November on Showtime against an opponent to be named. Müller also announced the third female convention slated for November 16-20 in Manila, Philippines.
Marcos Arienti presented a brief video on is program Boxeo Sin Cadenas, Boxing Without Chains, a program for incarcerated prisoners.
Reza Djabbarpo of Iran Professional Boxing presented a slide show on the growth of Iranian boxing.
The WBC donated $10,000 to the Ukrainian orphanage which has been sponsored by the Franco family.
In January, the final results of the Best of 2018 in the WBC will be released. Categories include:
Champion of the Year
Comeback of the Year
Dramatic Fight of the Year
Event of the Year
Fight of the Year
KO of the Year
The WBC Boxing University is being established in association with University LiberQuaré in Spain. The online courses focus on Judges, Referees, Trainers, Supervisors and Nutrition. More information can be gathered at www.wbcuniversity.com.
Mauricio Sulaiman reviewed the WBC’s stance on several of its pilot programs including- noise reducing headphones for judges, the use of instant replay, open scoring after the 4th and 8th rounds. Boxing MVP Don Majeski chimed in with support, especially for the instant replay. One recent case was shown on video where a cut fighter, Pablo Cesar Cano lost via TKO because the ref thought the horrible cut was caused by a punch. The decision was eventually reversed after video replay showed clearly that the cut was caused by an accidental clash of heads. The decision then went to the score cards and Cano was in fact leading at the time of the stoppage. He was fairly awarded a technical decision.
Hubert Minn, Frank Garza and Ed Collantes combined to comment on the ring officials seminars which focused on fundamentals and a special focus on “rabbit punching.”
Regarding officiating from a different perspective, Don Majeski again chimed in citing newly appointed Florida Athletic Chairman as an example that other athletic chairpersons should follow. Patrick Cunningham has appointed four non-American ring officials, one ref and three judges, for the upcoming IBF bantamweight title fight between Champion Emmanuel Rodriguez and challenger Jason Moloney. U.S. commissions traditionally do not appoint foreign, neutral officials. This fight is part of the second season of the World Boxing Super Series.
WBC Los Angeles Office
Pepe Sulaiman and Nancy Rodriguez for the WBC Los Angeles office reported on their continuing work with amateurs, local promotions in the LA area and free photographs of any boxer who walks into the office.
Former champ Erik Morales, now Senator Morales, was cited for the work in his Tijuana community, especially with youth, inspiring them to stay out of gangs and focus on their dreams. Morales quipped the age old mantra for many boxers- “If it weren’t for boxing, I would be either dead or in jail.”
In an ironic twist, Mauricio Sulaiman reflected on the re-emergence of the WBC after the lawsuit filed by boxer Graciano Rocchigiani. Rocchigiani tragically died earlier this week in Italy after being hit by a car while on vacation. Sulaiman made note that while they were legal foes, Rocchigiani was a boxer and a human being first.
“The WBC deeply regrets the passing of Graciano Rocchigiani, we are all part of the same big family. We wish his family a soon resignation”.
Possibilities for the next two years’ conventions include China, Las Vegas, Croatia and India. President Mauricio Sulaiman hopes to have an announcement for the 2019 site by December.
The official meetings are concluded for this convention. Tonight will see the closing banquet at Kyiv City Hall, hosted by Mayor Vitali Klitschko. Friday will have several options for city tours including a visit to the Klitschko boxing museum exhibit and the Ukranian Boxing Hall of Fame.