The 12th Round: Trainers – Where it all begins

By Mauricio Sulaiman
WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

As we begin a new year, and prepare for tremendous action around the world, I would like to acknowledge a few good men who have gone onto the path of no return during the recent holidays. The WBC lost another Board of Governors member, Edward Thangarajah, who peacefully died in the company of his family in England, closing an era which opened the doors of professional boxing to the country of Thailand through his hard work and dedication. The WBC and EBU lost another dear person, Willibald Pallatin, the head of boxing in Austria who lost the battle against cancer. The WBO lost its ratings committee chairman also to cancer. Mr. Luis Perez passed away in Puerto Rico and just a few days ago, boxing lost a very dear ring official, Gale Van Hoy, who died from respiratory complications. May they all rest in peace.

During the WBC annual convention held last December at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood Florida, a panel of trainers was formed and eventually led to the creation of a committee which will be administered under the WBC technical committee with the intentions to gather important information regarding life at the gym and implement common practices and procedures which will lead to safety and prevention for fighters regardless whether they are amateur, four-rounders or world champions. The panel, which was supposed to have a twenty-minute discussion, went on for a full hour and had to be cut short as there were so many topics that were of interest.

The committee is in the process to be formed, some have accepted to be part, including Joe Gallagher from UK, Stacey McKinley from USA, Eddie Mustafa USA, Abel Sanchez USA-Mexico ….. Paulie Malignaggi was the moderator and did a sensational job. Some of the topics that are already in the works are:

MWM – Monthly Weight Monitoring: Weight has, is and will always be the most difficult enemy of boxers. All fighters must learn the importance of controlling their weight in between fights for various reasons. A system to monitor the weight of each fighter from each gym once a month is in the process of being implemented. A complete program is being completed to be introduced throughout the gyms of the world.

MSM – Monthly Sparring Monitoring: Sparring is not monitored at all and there are so many different elements which need to be considered. It is a fact that many injuries come from sparring and during the fights become dangerous. The idea is to have every fighter registering the amount of rounds that he or she sparred each month.

Nutrition: To eat properly, to rehydrate properly, to eat the right foods after the official weigh-in. This is such an important matter which is generally unknown to all.

Antidoping Awareness: Fighters must learn and study constantly the dangers of drugs and PEDS. There is so much to learn about substances and procedures which will lead to safety.

Fathers as chief second and cornermen: The influence that the trainer and chief second have on the boxer is tremendous. During 2017, a study will be performed to address the specific matter of having the father as chief second. It is known that the additional extreme pressure which by nature a father adds over the fighter has been shown to be dangerous. There are some fathers currently working the corners of their sons as chief second, those cases will not be affected as it could create problems to those active fighters, but it will certainly be a topic to be agressively researched.

When to stop a fight: It was a very hot topic during the dicussion, so there will be some elements developed through the committee in order to have parameters and some sort of guidelines to aid cornermen in this difficult decision.

Handwrapping, mouthpiece, training drills and many other matters will be developed and addressed from the Trainers Committee to benefit the gyms of the world and specially in search of safety for the fighters.

* * *

The WBC starts the 2017 activity with a BANG! This coming Saturday, WBC supermiddle champion Badeu Jack fights IBF champion James DeGale in a highly anticipated unification bout with the winner to face mandatory contender Callum Smith. On the same card, women’s boxing makes a huge statement as Amanda Serrano fights Yasmin Rivas for the WBC diamond and the fight being aired in the USA by Showtime. Female boxing will finally making it big in the USA market in 2017.

On January 24 minimumweight champion Menayothin defends his title in Thailand and then on the 28th one of the greatest days of boxing as three different cards will feature tremendous action. In Norway Cecilia Braekhus, women’s boxing P4P #1 fights Klara Svenssen, in California Vargas fights Berchelt and Miura vs Roman in a WBC doubleheader which will have both winners face each other in the summer, and in Las Vegas Richard Schaefer returns to boxing with RingStars Promotions putting Mickey Garcia fighting Dejan Zlaticanin foe the WBC lightweight title and Leo Santa Cruz battles Carl Frampton in a great rematch with the winner taking home the WBC Diamond !!!!!!

Thank you and I welcome any comments, suggestions or recommendations at

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