WBC’s concern for the welfare of boxing continues

WBC 11/03/2016

The WBC’s concern for the welfare of boxing around the world will continue and will not give up to the attempts by AIBA to eliminate amateur boxing. 

AIBA has a continuous program to abuse power and use the IOC grant for AIBA to organize the Olympic competition for boxing as their way to try to impose their monopolistic administration of boxing in the countries who are mislead by such pressure.

Amateur boxing exists, even when the AIBA administration has eliminated the concept of amateur, but the reality around the world is that there is urgent need to have boxing programs to develop the sport of boxing, which was a founding sport of the Olympics .

This is the letter that has been presented by the boxing community leader, Boxu Potts, to Honorable Minister of Sports, which is self-explanatory.

March 8, 2016.
The Honourable Darryl Smith
Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs
Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs
Abercromby Street,

RE: Misconduct of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA)
and the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Association (TTBA)

Dear Honourable Minister,

AIBA and the TTBA are trying to undermine the Boxing Boards around the world in order to take over professional boxing. These organizations are also using the Olympic Committee as leverage to pressure boxers to sign contracts for their professional league. Only recently the President of TTBA Mr. Cecil Forde and his Association knowingly broke the law of professional boxing in Trinidad and Tobago by allowing the use of a person who is not registered by the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago to supervise the boxers on fight nights. Further, the TTBA blatantly refused to submit the pre and post fight medicals for boxers i.e. drug tests, blood tests, pregnancy tests and brain scans.

After doing so, the TTABA then met with the Ministry of Sport complaining that the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC) was interfering in their operations.

During the period that the Association was responsible for Amateur boxing which mandated the use of headgear they were not required to test boxers for HIV and Hepatitis B & C. However, now that they have dispensed with the use of the headgear fights will now involve greater risk and exposure to cuts and the flow of blood during the said fights will heighten risk of injury and exposure to these diseases.

The state has an obligation to ensure the health and safety of all athletes. Case in point, if the athlete were to contract HIV while fighting, the state must compensate the athlete for the loss, injury and/or damage. The TTBA by failing to ensure that the requisite tests and safety measures are carried out are by these breaches creating a liability for the state and state bodies such as the TTBBC and the Ministry of Sports.

The Association is being funded by the state which said funds ought properly to be utilized for pre-fight blood tests every quarter and bi-annual brain scans.
Also, there must be random drug tests for fighters and coaches as a number of them engage in smoking marijuana. I know the Olympic Committee will not tolerate this practice and neither will the President of the Olympic Committee Mr. Brian Lewis who appears to be a man of integrity,

However, in the past year the Olympic Committee has turned a blind eye to the illegal operations of the TTBA. It is time the Minister of Sport, Olympic Committee, Sports Company and Boxing Board hold the TTBA accountable in every way i.e. financially, Iegally, socially and moreover accountable to the rules and regulations of the Trinidad and Tobago Boxing Control Act. Case in point, the TTBA must come to the state i.e. the Boxing Board to sanction all their fights.

The Association engages in unsafe practices such as unfair match fixing where a 160lb fighter is matched with a 200lb fighter knowing thereby creating a risk to the lighter boxer of serious injury. Also, they further engage in dangerous practices like matching a fighter with a record of two (2) fights against a fighter with fifty (50) fights. The fighter with more experience will usually pummel the fighter with less experience. Recently, Stacy Raymond did not train for two years prior to a fight when she was taken up on the day of the fight and thrown into the deep end against Martha Rodney. If we are to get anywhere in Amateur boxing the TTBA and their coaches should take more precaution to protect the health and safety of fighters. With irresponsible decisions like these, how can the TTBA expect the TTBBC to grant them full autonomy?

Furthermore, the conducting of pregnancy tests for female boxers is overlooked by AIBA and TTBA under the watch of the Olympic Committee and Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago. Female fighters are also being allowed to fight without taking Hepatitis B & C tests. Be it noted that the Sports Company is funding the TTBA to the tune of one million dollars and percentage of which it is envisaged will be applied to the health and safety of the athletes. Yet it is apparent that they choose not to invest the money in the conduct of proper medicals for boxers.

AIBA and TTBA by extension, if allowed to continue unchecked will ruin boxing in Trinidad and must be held accountable for their actions. The TTBA is a renegade Association that has done a lot of wrong in boxing and has broken all the laws of boxing yet the TTBA expects the government to grant them full autonomy over the sport.

I hereby this 8th day of March 2016, call on the Honourable Minister Darryl Smith, Mr. Brian Lewis and Mr. Michael Phillip to take a serious look at these unsafe irresponsible and life-threatening practices presently existing in boxing in T&T namely:

1. The conducting of pre and post medicals for boxers
2. The differentiation of Professional and Amateur Boxing
3. The rules and regulations of Professional fights as it relates to weigh-in, referee/judges and the submission of fight contracts
4. The submission of a list of all performing athletes and coaches for random drug testing
5. The issue of funding and its application to coaches, athletes and service providers.

I look forward to a response within seven (7) days of the date herein above.
Failure to do so will result in a nationwide call for the entire executive of the state funded TTBA to step down forthwith.

Further, be advised there needs to be another serious symposium once more to lay down some policies and guidelines that will protect the athletes, integrity of the sport, officers that regulate the sport and the country against this renegade Association (TTBA) under the auspices of AIBA.

These rouge organizations must adhere to the rules and regulations of the region they box under as this is the only way that we may achieve law and order in the sport and properly develop and promote this discipline in Trinidad and Tobago.

Boxu Potts

cc. Mr. Brian Lewis – President – Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee
cc. Mr, Michael Phillip – Chairman – Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago
cc. Ms. Joan Mendez – Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Sport & Youth Affairs
cc. Mr. Ian Ramdahin – Deputy Permanent Secretary – Ministry of Sport & Youth Affairs
cc. Mr. Tyrone Marcus – Senior Legal Officer – Ministry of Sport & Youth Affairs

From Newsday (Trinidad and Tobago) – March 8, 2016: POTTS WANTS ACCOUNTABILITY ON BOXING TESTS – by Joel Bailey

Veteran boxing administrator and match-maker Boxu Potts has issued a call to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) to ensure that there is a level of accountability regarding tests for local boxers.

Potts, speaking during an interview at Mas Camp Pub, Woodbrook yesterday, said, “I speak as the chairman of the WBC Central American and Caribbean (Amateur and Youth Divisions).

“The head of the Malta Boxing Commission Limited (based in London, England) has a lot of concerns, as well as myself, and the Ministry of Sport and Sports Company should have the same concern, and all boxing boards and commissioners around the world.”

Focusing on the Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Boxing Association (TTABA), the outspoken Potts said, “the Amateur Association is now calling themselves a professional boxing organization. If (so) then you must adhere to the rules and regulations of professional boxing, which is all fighters (and) the promoter of the boxing event must submit their contracts to the Boxing Board before the fight.”

He continued, “they must submit the records of the fighters; they must submit themselves to a scale 24 hours before the fight, to the board to be weighed in; they must submit a brain scan every six months, a HIV test and a Hepatitis B and C test.”

Potts asked the local association whether tests were done for a series of amateur fights held in January this year. Accusing the TTABA of not being forthcoming with information about their financial status, Potts stated, “we need the Minister of Sport and the Permanent Secretary to tell us whether they had paid for the tests, and what went wrong. Also we need to ask (TTBA president Cecil) Forde (if he) wants to abide by the rules of the Boxing board in this jurisdiction.

Forde, contacted by Newsday to respond to the query over lack of medical testing prior to the fight cards, remained mum.

“We will not be commenting on anything that Mr. Potts is saying,” was Forde’s response. “We have no comment at this time.”

Asked bluntly whether tests were carried out, he reiterated “the Boxing Board was in charge of that and I cannot comment on this.”