Photos and report by Boxing Bob Newman
Hall of famer Mike Tyson and future hall of fame lock Bernard Hopkins entered the Guinness Book of World records last night at the awards banquet of the 49th annual WBC convention in Las Vegas. Tyson was actually awarded with not one but two certificates of recognition- most flash knockouts by a heavyweight in a career (9 in less than a minute), and youngest heavyweight champion (20 years, 144 days), while Hopkins was recognized as the oldest man to win a major world boxing championship (46 years, 126 days). Fellow Guinness honoree Oscar De La Hoya presented each man their certificates along with WBC president Jose Sulaiman. De La Hoya had been honored earlier for highest career PPV sales by a boxer ($696 million).
Other honors and recognitions bestowed included a moving moment in which the family of former two-time champion Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez received a plaque and trophy commemorating his contributions to and beyond the sport of boxing. Hernandez was also honored by the World Boxing Cares arm of the WBC for his countless hours of time and contributions made to sick and under privileged children. Former ring rival Oscar De La Hoya made the presentation to Hernandez’ wife and kids. Hernandez’ family then presented the first ever Genaro Hernandez Eternal Heart award to middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.
Several female champions were recognized by the WBC female division committee as well. Among those honored were female legend Christy Martin, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Momo Koseki, Mariana Juarez, Naomi Togashi. The Japan Boxing Commission were also honored for their fine work on behalf of female boxing in Japan.
World Boxing Cares honored WBC referee and Cares member Stephen Blea as well as Elizabeth Reyes for their continued hard work and inspiration with the organization.
Native American Boxer George “Comanche Boy” Tahdooahnippah, 28-0-1, a WBC Continental Americas middleweight champion was recognized as a goodwill ambassador to the sport as a representative of all indigenous people of America and around the world. The award was presented by Oneida Nation tribe member and boxing promoter Barry Halbritter.
Journalist Araceli Martinez-Rose was recognized for her excellent book “Business of Pain” which arrived at the convention this week, in it’s first English edition. The book, whose original Spanish language title is “El Negocio Del Dolor,” chronicles the life of former WBC Super Featherweight champion Gabriel Ruelas, where boxing is merely the backdrop.
Chuck Williams received the WBC “Work Horse” award for his continued hard work and excellence in putting together yet another outstanding WBC convention, having done so for over 20 years.