By Boxing Bob Newman
Day two of the IBF’s 28th annual convention opened at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Champagne Room of the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The opening session commenced with a brief talk by Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on professionalism among ring officials. Introductions of every delegate in attendance were then exchanged, followed by Board of directors reports encompassed the morning session.
President Peoples opened with an explanation of the overhaul that the organization has undertaken over the last year from changing physical addresses, to compliance with governmental regulations concerning non-profit organizations.
Peoples then moved on to discussing the IBF’s efforts to re-expand throughout the globe as a world sanctioning body. Trips to Dominican Republic, Costa Rica have sparked those efforts. Delegates from Africa, Thailand, and Australia have boosted IBF activity in those parts of the world as well, with Australia producing Daniel Geale, the first IBF champion in Australia since Kostya Tszyu lost his IBF title exactly six years ago on June 4, 2005.
The IBF is working on redesigning their championship bouts score cards, to make them more user friendly and comparable to the score cards veteran ring officials are used to working with in non-IBF title fights.
IBF Vice President Ray Wheatley reported on the state of affairs in Australia and all over Asia. There has been activity in South Korea, China, Thailand as well as Australia which now boasts two women’s champions for the IBF as well as Middleweight champion Daniel Geale.
Ratings chairman William James briefly spoke on some female ratings issues that have arisen in 2010/2011. The IBF maintains a minimum ten fight criteria for females to be eligible for it’s title fights. In several cases during the last year, title fights for other organizations paired female fighter in which one boxer had maybe one loss on an otherwise perfect record, and the other boxer either had 0-4, 0-1, or was making her pro debut! James expressed that IBF Championships Chairman Lindsey Tucker would never have approved such mismatches.
IBF Board and founding member Hiawatha Knight reported on the IBF/USBA college scholarship program which has so far has issued approximately 40 college scholarships. Knight expressed her pride with that program and hopes for its continued success.
After a brief coffee break, President Peoples announced the the terms of three board members- Himself, Vaugh LaPrade and Hiawatha Knight had reached their three year term limits. Having had no written intentions from any applicants for those board positions, President Peoples asked for a motion from the assembly regarding those three positions. A motion was made to have those three board members continue in those positions. That motion was unanimously approved based on the fine and improved performance of the IBF as an organization under the present administration.
A very interesting talk was given by Edward Majian and his wife Hasmig of Sartonk Designs, makers of all the major boxing organizations’ world championship belts. The beautiful IBF belt was on display.
Prior to lunch, two breakout sessions occurred simultaneously- one on the aforementioned scorecard revisions for IBF title fights, and the other headed up by IBF legal counsel Linda Torres regarding rules of championship bouts. A boxer data base is being constructed for fighters who are registered with the IBF in the top 15 ratings. The data base would include pertinent contact information so a fighter can be reached if the need arises on issues pertaining to their status, and upcoming IBF title fight, etc.
The afternoon session wrapped up with ratings meeting between the IBF ratings committee and the various promoters in attendance. Each promoters’ various fighter in weight classes from heavyweight down to straw weight were lobbied for in regards to their rankings, either being entered into or moved up in the top 15.
Finally, Mexican journalist Araceli Martinez-Rose presented an excellent talk promoting her boxing themed book, “El Negocio Del Dolor” or “The Business of Pain.” The book gains insights from over fifty boxers, former champions and contenders- their struggles in and out of the ring, and how the sport of boxing was their vehicle riding through life. Martinez-Rose will also be in Canastota, New York next week during the International Boxing Hall of Fame festivities discussing and promoting her book. IT is now out in Spanish and will be released next month in English.