Photos and report by Boxing Bob Newman
Thursday’s session of the WBA’s 89th annual convention in Managua, Nicaragua opened with the annual treasury report from WBA treasurer Alberto Sarmiento. Revenue gains and deficits from sanctioning fees, membership fees, convention registration fees, etc. were reviewed. One issue concerning international boxing commissions paying WBA membership fees is that the U.S.A. has a law disallowing boxing commission membership to sanctioning organizations. This causes a severe impact as the U.S.A. Is the biggest market for boxing. Most other countries do not have such laws in place and are allowed to have their boxing commissions be members of sanctioning organizations.
WBA Auditor Michael Welsh then delivered his report. The WBA’s 2009 tax audit report has been completed after an extension was granted. The WBA’s status as a non-profit organization was granted in 1989.
Dave Roden of England discussed the complex relationship between BBBC (British Boxing Board of Control), EBA (European Boxing Association) and WBA, the EBU (European Boxing Union) and WBC. As with the world boxing scene, there is now a growing proliferation of European boxing organizations, each affiliating with the various world boxing sanctioning bodies: WBA-EBA,
WBC-EBU, and now there are WBO-Europe and IBF-Europe titles as well. The WBA had been trying to affiliate and work with the EBU, but the doors have been closed and Roden advises the WBA to walk away and “do what you have to do.”
Ring legend Roberto Duran made special presentation to WBA President Gilberto Mendoza from his home country of Panama- a plaque bearing an original spike from the 1914 construction of the Panama Canal. Duran praised Mendoza for standing by him during the low times in his career, leading to Duran’s historic title winning effort against WBA Jr. Middleweight champion Davey Moore in Madison Square Garden on June 16, 1983.
After a coffee break, Gilberto Jesus Mendoza made a motion for approval or ex-WBA 122 lb. Champion Victor “Luvi” Callejas of Puerto Rico as a Puerto Rican representative to the WBA. Callejas had formerly been a member of the Puerto Rican Boxing Commission, but due to the laws in the U.S.A. as mentioned previously, was prevented from being affiliated with the WBA. Callejas recently stepped down from the Puerto Rican commission. The motion was unanimously approved.
A brief career hilight DVD of Callejas’ title fights, prepared by WBA judge Alfredo Polanco, was shown to the gathered delegates.
WBA Female chairman George Martinez presented his report on the female championships. Martinez noted, as is the case throughout boxing, that there is a growing proliferation of female sanctioning organizations, an the quality of the championships, especially in the limited female market is being watered down.
The medical seminar was presented by WBA Medical Advisory Chair Dr. Calvin Inal-Singh, his daughter Shivana Inal-Singh and Dr. Edmundo Quintanilla Mendieta.
Dr. Inal-Singh promoted an affiliation between the WBA and the AAPRP (American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians) and ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). Inal-Singh then went into a review of treating head cuts during a bout, Cauliflower ears, nose hemorrhaging, warming up before a bout, women competing in the ring, and diet.
Ms. Shivana Inal-Singh is a clinical Integrative reflexologist and wellness coach. Her presentation focused on fitness of mind and body to enhance performance of ringside officials. Three important skills were hilighted:
Practice techniques to improve focus and attentions
Develop objective observation skills and memory
Everything from commitment, ability, enthusiasm, emotional and physical state, psychological state, and environment are factors in enhancing the performance of a ringside official, according to Inal-Singh.
The final portion of the medical seminar was a brief introduction by Dr. Edmundo Quintanilla Mendieta of his book, “Boxing: Medical Aspects and Prevention of it’s Injuries and Disorders.” The book honors the great Nicaraguan ring legend Alexis Arguello and discusses classification of general boxing injuries, covers proper training of boxers and more. About forty copies of the tome were distributed to the attendees, and at this time, the edition is only printed in Spanish language.
After a lunch, the delegates are enjoying free time before buses leaves at 3:45 to bring them to Universidad Managua for the conferring of an honorary doctorate upon WBA President Gilberto Mendoza, after which attendees will depart for the boxing show at Casino Pharoas. Full reports of both events to follow.