I have just returned to Mexico after spending one week in Las Vegas, where I was present for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame 4th Induction Ceremony, as well as for the annual Convention of the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions of the USA).
I also had the opportunity to spend three days with my wife and three kids, and it was awesome to relive the experience of Las Vegas. I took my family to “Mystere” and “Michael Jackson” shows, walked the strip entering every single hotel – which is like touring the world – went up the Stratosphere and rode the game (and survived!) and of course, dining and shopping.
I am very grateful to the NVBHF, as I was awarded the “Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award,” which I accepted with honor, but only on behalf of the so many persons in boxing and the WBC family which make the difference in this world with their passion and compassion and willingness to serve others. “One action will not change the world, but the continuous actions of many does make our world better.”
Rich Marotta and Michelle Corrales did a formidable job in preparing the weekend´s activities and all of the inductions were highly emotional. The Muhammad Ali memorial was special, as Pernell Whitaker asked all to rise, close our eyes, and just think about Ali for 10 seconds. Lonnie Ali was recognized for her exemplary life and was represented by Ali´s family long time friend John Ramsey, who shared great stories about the King of Boxing, The Greatest of All Time.
The Association of Boxing Commissions met at the Monte Carlo Hotel, and I was personally very impressed to see so many commissions attending the works under the leadership of ABC President Mike Mazzulli. There was extensive training for ring officials, doctors and inspectors, and many subjects were discussed throughout the week. If the ABC is successful in finding unity, uniformity and reciprocity, boxing will find a way to grow and make some of the much needed changes in our sport.
I was given the opportunity to present some of the WBC´s priorities on the open floor. The WBC is an organization which is formed by boxing commissioners from all over the world, just as the ABC is formed by boxing commissioners of different states. When the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act was implemented in the United States, boxing suffered a tremendous fracture and setback as all U.S. boxing commissioners became ineligible to be part or belong to any boxing governing organization, often referred to as “sanctioning body.” It was in the 1990s that the world of boxing lost so many valuable commissioners who could no longer interact with the boxing community. The ideal world would be to have boxing organizations work in harmony and reciprocity, with amicable agreements with the local boxing jurisdictions.
I presented some of the current priorities for the WBC, among others:
WBC/VADA CBP – The Clean Boxing Program. Each WBC champion and every fighter ranked in the Top 15 by the WBC is eligible for random out-of-competition antidoping testing. The final date for enrollment is September 9, 2016, and this is mandatory. The webinar and all documents are available on the WBC web page .
MONTHLY MONITORING OF FIGHTERS – A form is being distributed to gymnasiums around the world which has a monthly track record for each fighter in order to monitor their weight and the amount of rounds that fighter sparred.
INSTANT REPLAY – The experience using this rule has been great in the WBC for eight years, and it is a must for our sport in cases where justice can be made.
4/8 ROUND OPEN SCORING – To bring transparency to our sport and, most importantly, to allow each corner to adjust tactics and strategy during the fight.
HEADPHONES FOR JUDGES – Noise cancelling devices provide judges the optimum setting for concentration, and avoid the influence of noise and crowds.
The Olympic games have begun. Three professional fighters finally entered the competition, no headgear and the 10-point Must system is in place. Let’s hope the sport of boxing comes out with positive balance. The unity that our sport showed was exemplary to prevent the so dangerous practice of having matches between experienced pros against amateurs, but the threat will continue until AIBA changes their action plan, which is exclusively with commercial intentions as a for profit promotional company.
I am flying to New York to be present in the Sports Summit “Beyond Sports” at Barclays Center, and then on to Washington for the yearly North American Boxing Federation (NABF) convention.