The World Boxing Council along with the Games and Amusement Board of the Philippines, hosted the 3rd Annual WBC Women’s Convention and WBC Asia Summit last week in Manila from November 16-20, 2018.
Fighters in attendance included, Former World Champion Alicia Ashley, Former World Champion Martha Salazar, Current WBC World Female Featherweight Champion Jelena Mrdjenovich, WBC Silver Champion Raja Amasheh, Former Champion Mia St, John, Current WBC World Female Super Middleweight Champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn, Current Interim WBC World Female Light Flyweight Champion Kenia Enriquez, Former World Champion Erica Farias, Top Prospect Sulem Urbina, Current WBC World Female Atomweight Champion Fabiana Bytyqi, WBC International Champion Ikymiky Kerwat.
Chairman of the Games and Amusement Board and International Secretary, Abraham Kahlil B. Mitra along with his team, did an amazing job planning this Combination convention in a matter of 5 weeks.
With that short amount of time to plan such a huge event, it turned out to be an amazing experience to all in attendance. Representing the World Boxing Council was WBC Women’s Championship committee Chairperson, Malte Mueller-Michaelis, Co-Chair of WBC Women’s Championship Committee, WBC International Secretary and Chairperson for WBC Cares Jill Diamond, WBC Cares Mexico Chairperson and wife of WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, Christiane Manzur, Head of Ratings for WBC Women and WBC Cares Secretary, Mo Noor, WBC Silver Chairman, Michael George and WBC Team from Mexico and Los Angeles. The Convention kicked off with an inauguration ceremony where all in attendance dressed in white bringing in all positive energy as Don Jose Sulaiman loved kicking off conventions.
The Champions entered the ceremony accompanied by children who later sang the traditional Convention song, “We Are The World” always a song which gives us hope and brings happiness to our hearts. After the inauguration ceremony, WBC hosted a panel dialogue session starting off with Ring TV’s Cynthia Conte, Top Prospect Sulem Urbina, Beautiful Brawlers, Blanca Gutierrez, WBC Silver Champion Raja Amasheh, WBC’s Jill Diamond, Malte Mueller and Mo Noor.
This session brought on a lot of emotions and fighters opened up to the mic to speak out about their experiences in Boxing. A very healthy, well received dialogue by all. Following that night, was the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony where many fighters and members of the Boxing Community received awards as well as performances by Filipino Traditional dancers.
The following day, WBC held its first mandatories session for women, led by Malte Mueller, Jill Diamond and Mo Noor. Fighters in attendance got the opportunity to speak up and ask for the fights they feel they deserve. One fighter who stood out was Interim WBC World Female Light Flyweight Champion Kenia Enriquez who says she has been waiting over a year to fight for the absolute title and would like to have the opportunity to fight current Champion Yesenia Gomez.
After mandatories we had WBC’s Mo Noor speak about the Clean Boxing Program which will soon be mandatory for women as well. We also had Brenda Andress Founder of SheIS (sheissport.com) give an inspiring, motivating presentation about women empowerment which left fighters and Boxing community in attendance inspired and anxious to join the SheIs movement. Our last speaker was WBC’s Christiane Manzur, wife of WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, who introduced a new program and source of income for all women in Boxing. WBC will provide their first $1,000 of wholesale merchandise which they then sell themselves as official WBC merchandise in their countries to provide extra income. This program is available immediately. Women interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Following the meetings WBC Cares visited Father Rocky’s Tuloy sa Don Bosco Street Children Village, this was definitely one of the most memorable moments for all the Champions and those in attendance. The children touched our hearts forever, Champions had tears, smiles and were full of hugs and gifts for the children. WBC Cares donated 100,000 pesos in gifts for the Center as well as gifts for the youth. Father Rocky recently received the Humanitarian of the Year Award for changing the lives of thousands of children for the las thirty five years. Educating then, showing them trades of jobs, but most importantly showing them love and kindness can change the world.
That evening WBC held its traditional talent show where we saw amazing skills from fighters and so many in attendance. One fighter who stood out with her amazing voice was WBC World Female Super Middleweight Champion, Franchon Crews-Dezurn who called out World Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter who recently showed his singing skills in Ukraine. Hopefully next year we can have a sing off between the Champions!
On the last day of the convention, we took a trip down to Corregidor Island, a National Shrine in the Philippines where we learned so much history about the Filipinos in World War II. It was a full day of companionship and learning for all.
Lastly that night was the Luau and Awards. A beautiful dinner at the Sofitel Hotel right on the beach, with great music and beautiful words by many, ending in a great Fireworks Show.
Overall, this convention showed us all Women in Boxing are making moves forward, gradually but firm. Women empowering other women is what the sport of Boxing needs. Another thing is even if people are from different countries and culture, when we are together for a great cause, we are one family.
I leave you with these words from WBC’s Jill Diamond and we hope to see you all at the next convention.
” This inclusive convention was beyond expectations. The graciousness of the Games and Amusement Board and the Philippines won our hearts. This is just the beginning of a long journey and the time is right. It’s about people. All people. And our pledge to rise together, not just for our WBC women athletes, but for all athletes who have earned the privilege of respect and fairness in their lives and careers. They give so much. Now its time for us to give back. ” – Jill Diamond, WBC Women’s Championship Committee Co-Chair, WBC Cares Chairperson, WBC International Secretary