Four-time heavyweight champion of the world Evander Holyfield officially opened the World Boxing Council’s 55th annual convention this week, which is being held this week in the magnificent Fairmont Flame Towers Hotel in Baku, the capitol of Azerbaijan.
In his opening speech, President 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 and Canelo Alvarez, and applauded 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.
President Sulaiman also 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. He said, “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 a Second World Summit is being arranged.
Mauricio also said that boxing is falling behind other sports with rules, initiatives, and innovations like Instant replay, Open Scoring in rounds four and eight so the fighters have the opportunity to adjust strategy, and noise-cancelling headphones for judges to eliminate distracting and potentially influencing background noise.
He also announced that boxing fundraisers will be held to provide disaster relief for Mexico, Florida, and Puerto Rico.