The marathon WBC Referees Seminar at the Cyber Convention, dealt in depth with the complexities of the toughest job in the Hardest Sport.
Split second decisions for the referee who’s the third part of the fight triangle, the ability to keep a cool head in order to prevent everyone else around you losing theirs`
Yet avoiding rush to swift snap decisions. Rather to gain the wisdom and maturity to reach, make and take the time to make the correct decision, using wit, common sense, experience and true caring for the well being of fighters. One punch too soon. Rather than one punch too late.
The WBC University presented the ultra high quality panel of Frank Gaza, Ed Collantes, Jay Nady and Héctor Afu. The platform through which they are working is the WBC University. A key enabling tool for generic in depth training, which aims to professionalize those involved in boxing. It helps train, referees, judges, trainers and supervisors. This particular session included a selection of fight films edited for presentation by Pepe Sulaiman.
The number one priority of referees is as Jay says, to protect fighters so they don’t get hurt, affecting the rest of their lives.
Inspecting the fight site, meeting with the supervisor, inspecting the level and the condition of the ring. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said: “A top referee has to be able to perform tasks that they don’t normally do at home.”
Vital to immediately identify and talk with ring officials the ring doctor and the paramedics. And if…as in one case the paramedics went off to help a fan who had suffered a heart attack, it might be necessary to stop the fight, because of the lack of this essential cover.
Basic instructions backed up by clarifying hand and arm movements to make it crystal clear. The Green and Red card in case the ring doctor and referee speak different languages. The doctor recommends a stoppage, but the final decision and other aspects like points deductions are the discretion of the referee. But as Frank said: “It is the responsibility of the referee to have everything in order. Take the responsibility and don’t take it lightly.”
Also the WBC’s zero tolerance to rabbit punches. Ed`s pre fight advice to the fighters about this in the changing room is the first warning, and it’s a hard warning.
In case of a foul and the hurt fighter going down the ten Nady rules include: direct the uninjured fighter to a neutral corner, don’t start the count, call for the doctor, call time out, a point or points may need to be taken away, consult with the doctor, the commissioner and supervisor. Then decide if the fighter can continue without diminished capacity.
Héctor also stressed it’s important to maintain the integrity of the fighter, follow the rules of boxing and concentration.
Ed said: “We are all in the sport where people are excited because the unpredictable can happen.”