The abuse of power has once again hit our sport in a dramatic way, as Orlando Salido and Micky Roman will be prevented of accomplishing their dream of winning the WBC title due to a decision taken by a man sitting on a desk mandating terms of their bout.
HBO has mandated their fight to be only for 10 rounds.
The promoters have no say in the matter, and simply take the orders from the Power force of the sport, the TV Network. Tom Loeffler, Fernando Beltran, and Oswaldo Kuchle simply have to bow down and remain quiet and accept to go against the essence of our sport. I wonder how will they look into the eyes of their fighters to explain that they will not be competing for the WBC green belt, that their fight is a simple 10-round fight with no meaning whatsoever. It will be like watching a pre-season game of the NFL.
HBO will be airing a 10 round main event next Saturday night from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay.
The WBC will not disrespect the sport and sanction a world title fight for 10 rounds. That would have been easy to do and join the bandwagon, but the WBC Board would not favor such, as there is no real explanation of the change from 12 to 10.
The WBC accepted a request for Salido to fight Miguel Berchelt in a title defense of the WBC super featherweight championship, which was accepted by HBO. Then, when Berchelt injured his hand, the WBC, supporting the card, accepted to sanction a fight for the WBC interim title between Salido and Roman.
I am very sorry for Salido, as he has expressed countless times his dream of becoming WBC champion. I am very sorry for Roman, who has done the same, and I am very sorry for boxing, as a main championship fight has been downgraded to a 10-round fight with nothing at stake.
On to a better note, to what the real world is and matters.
I am sitting in my hotel room in Chicago simply thinking of the great memories that these past four days have given me. The WBC Amateur committee supported a five-state amateur boxing tournament at Cicero Stadium in Illinois.
It was great to be with the kids and their families during this four-day event which crowned some talented boys and girls after sensational matches.
Amateur boxing is so important, and it is often ignored by most in the boxing community and supported by very few. It all starts here, at the amateur level. Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, and almost all fighters began their journey with a solid amateur career which led to glory in the Olympics and then into the professional world of boxing. They all started as young kids, hungry and dedicated. Their families following their steps day after day, going to competitions, learning, growing, dreaming.
I saw great talent this past few days and saw the reality of our sport. It is the greatest sport in the world. It was all family gathering around a boxing competition, all fair play and respect.
I had the opportunity to meet with Mike McAtee, executive director of USA Boxing and discussed the future of Amateur boxing in this great country, the USA. I am extremely happy to learn that USA Boxing, which is the entity in charge of regulations of amateur boxing in the USA, shares most of the concerns that most in the world have regarding the practices of AIBA which have hurt the sport in recent years and will not allow such practices to take place in the USA, including the rejection of professionals in the Olympics and making head gear mandatory in all amateur bouts.
WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia was here with us as “The Godfather” of the tournament, and he keeps on making me feel so proud of him every time I see him. He was there for all the fights, enjoyed every second of it, and took pictures and signed autographs with a sincere smile. Mikey is a class act, a true role model and ambassador of our sport.
The boxing commission of Illinois is a true example of excellency and support. Nancy Illg has a tremendous team with Joel Campuzano and all the members who participated in support of this event with passion for the betterment of the youth.
November is gone, so is my mustache!
The WBC dedicates the month of December to HIV/AIDS awareness and Safe Driving!