Four times heavyweight champion of the World Evander Holyfield officially opened the World Boxing Council’s fifty fifth Convention, which is this year being held in the magnificent Fairmont Flame Towers Hotel, in Baku. The Capitol of Azerbaijan.
It’s Sports Minister Mr Azad Rahimov was presented by an honorary WBC belt. World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman explains the color green represents peace hope and glory. While gold is what we want to reach out for.
In his speech Mr Rahimov welcomed the WBC to “The Land of Fire.” He said this Convention will be remembered and will benefit boxing. And although Azerbaijan is only aged twenty five years as a nation, it’s had some notable sports triumphs, with a growing tally of Olympic medals. It’s held the World Games, a formula one race, and has 41 Olympic centers. With a sincere commitment to sports.
Sitting beside the Minister, Vitali Klitschko stressed that it’s very important to Show a good example for the new generation, with the most precious green and gold belt. He said he would be very happy to welcome the WBC Convention to Kiev next year. He’s the Mayor of the City.
Middleweight great Champion Bernard Hopkins thanked the Sulaiman family for enabling him to become part of history.
In his speech World Boxing Council,President Mauricio Sulaiman thanked Azerbaijan for its hospitality and friendship. He said the array of champions are his personal heroes and that the aim is to make boxing ever better and safer.
He announced the Board of Governors’ decision to order an immediate rematch for WBC middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin vs Saúl Canelo Alvarez, and the success of the Super series in the super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions, with promoters working together and boxers competing for the prestigious Muhammad Ali Trophy.
The WBC took time, to remember members of the Boxing Family, who’ve passed away, during the last year. WBC Vice President Rex Walker said: “We remember each one of these individuals, what they contributed to our family and how we will miss them.”
Local children received standing ovations for their harmonious singing of the National Anthem and the Boxing Council theme: “We are the World.”
Mauricio mentioned the Clean Boxing Program, which has carried out random tests on more than four hundred boxers during the last two years, with only eight adverse findings, declaring: “Safety must be the top priority. Safety has no compromise”
He said seminars for ring officials are a special protocol for the future and that ax second world summit is being arranged.
Mauricio said boxing is falling behind other sports with rules initiatives and innovations. Instant replay, open scoring in rounds four and eight, so fighters have the opportunity to adjust strategy, headphones for judges to eliminate distracting and potentially influencing background noise.
Also in due course, boxing galas in Mexico, Miami and Puerto Rico to help provide disaster relief.
Aptly Mauricio said: “My Father believed in mediation and opportunities for all.”