Since the very beginning of Mauricio Sulaimán’s term as President of the World Boxing Council, the odious crime of glove tampering has been vigorously combatted.
For this reason, in a historic meeting held in 2014 with specialists on the matter, the World Boxing Council started a campaign against gloves tampering, considering it as a “Criminal act.”
This campaign had the mission of raising awareness among trainers, boxers, managers, promoters, matchmakers and the entire boxing family about the risk involved in trying to take advantage of using a tampered glove, whether it has little padding or has been in use for a long time, loosened by hitting the walls, among other appalling and illegal actions.
Through a comprehensive presentation about the different ways the gloves could be tampered, the then director of the Cleto Reyes company, Alberto Reyes (RIP) explained the terrible damage it can cause to the boxer. He also defined the techniques that the company implemented in the production of the glove to avoid as much as possible to be subject to underhand maneuvers. He assured that a professional glove should not be used for more than 30 rounds, so a label system was created that shows the use that the glove has had.
In addition to awareness campaigns around the world, explanatory posters were created and delivered to hundreds of boxing gyms in the WBC affiliated countries.
Although this campaign was extremely successful and managed to dramatically reduce this terrible crime, the World Boxing Council continues to highlight this campaign as an utmost priority and since 2014 has maintained active prevention and research actions to combat and stamp out Glove Tampering.
Picasso vs. Vargas CASE
Recently, in a fight held on October 6, 2023 in Sonora, Hermosillo, between David Picasso and Jeyson Vargas, a controversial case arose to which the WBC paid undivided attention.
That night Picasso defeated his rival by landing a left hook to the body, followed by a left hook to the head that sent Vargas to the canvas. Vargas beat the count, but could not continue, and the fight was stopped at 2:19 of the second round.
What was supposed to be a night of celebration for the Mexican, was overshadowed by the statements of Jeyson Vargas’ manager, Angel David Villegas, who through a video published on Social Networks accused David Picasso and his team of committing “Glove Tampering.”
Although the fight was not a WBC title battle, it involved the silver champion David Picasso, who is prominently ranked. For this reason and because it was a very serious accusation, prompt and unequivocal action was taken on the matter; among them: starting an thorough investigation by speaking with the local commission, with witnesses, with David Picasso and many others involved to find the truth.
We share with you this video, which will allow you to have a greater perspective about the foundations, the timing of the case and the contradictions found in this investigation that is still ongoing.
Social Networks are a very useful tool that can be used for good and for bad. The accusations surrounding this practice must be responsible and above all true, as by considering the tampering of gloves as a cowardly and criminal act, not only the quality of Cleto Reyes was questioned, but also the moral integrity of a young fighter who always has distinguished himself for his honor and spotless decency.
In conclusion, the WBC will continue working to ensure the safety of fighters, inside and outside the ring. We will forever fight against any practice that threatens the well-being of our sport and its hands on participants. Glove Tampering is a horrendous, cowardly act and as such, the abolition of this practice will always be a paramount priority for the WBC; However, unfounded statements, such as those of Mr. Villegas, that only have extortion purposes, must be strongly sanctioned.
*Cleto Reyes’ Official Position.
“As always, we join in fully respecting the procedures and regulations of the authorities that regulate boxing and contact sports; We join the promotion of good practices that honors absolute respect for boxers, fans and all those involved in boxing.
“We have carefully reviewed the video circulating on social networks published by Mr. Ángel David Villegas Rosado where he shows one of the two pairs of gloves that were customized for David Picasso; We clearly see the manipulation of the gloves, where he is intentionally observed squeezing and stretching them, trying to show a very thin padding that does not correspond to our gloves. We know that this video was made after the fight, showing the gloves that were not used in the fight, which Mr. Ángel Villegas took without authorization, violating the instructions of the Boxing, Wrestling and Professional MMA Commission of the State of Sonora when the gloves were under their protection.
“Furthermore, we note that in that and another video published on networks in “Boxeo de Colombia” it is shown how the padding is lowered, significantly altering the original structure of the gloves, to show the hitting area without the original padding, leaving only the polyurethane layer.
“We frequently customize gloves for boxers, brand ambassadors, personalities, and media authorities; but we clarify that these customizations solely and exclusively consist of combinations of special colors, as well as designs and printing of names on the leather. Each and every one of our gloves is manufactured with the same characteristics authorized by the organizations in charge of regulating professional boxing and with strict quality control. The padding of the glove model used by David Picasso; lasts 30 rounds in optimal conditions for the protection of both fighters.
“It has a label on the inside of the glove with the “round control” as established by the World Boxing Council; where each boxing supervisor or commissioner is responsible for marking the gloves with the number of rounds they were used. However, if the glove is deliberately exposed to an alteration in its original composition; like the one seen in the video; cushioning may lose resilience; but never to the degree shown in the video. Hence the importance that the gloves that will be used in combat are always under the protection of the authorities, to prevent them from being manipulated by third parties.
“We appreciate your attention to this and reiterate our permanent commitment to providing boxers with the best quality in each of our products.”