Boxing News

WBA Convention: Day Two

Report and photos by Boxing Bob Newman

Day 2 of the 91st annual WBA convention in Jakarta, Indonesia got underway Tuesday morning in the Golden Ballroom at the Sultan Hotel. The first order of the day was a memorial ten count to honor the memory of trainer Emanuel Steward. WBA Vice President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza noted that Steward’s first champion was Hilmer Kenty- a WBA lightweight champion, then followed by Thomas Hearns- the WBA welterweight champion.

WBA president Gilberto Mendoza took the mic to make opening statements reviewing last year’s convention in Donetsk, Ukraine. Mendoza praised the work that was accomplished at the 90th convention, as well as the efforts made by Union Boxing Promotions head Yuriy Ruban who organized the convention. Mendoza reviewed the European organizing committee of Jesper Jensen (Denmark), Dave Roden (England), Thomas Putz (Germany), Gualtiero Bechetti (Italy), Mariana Borisova (Bulgaria), Victor Ageev/Igor Mazurov (Russia).

Carlos Chavez next reported on the WBA’s credentials committee regarding the board election process.

WBA Vice President Yang Sup Shim of Korea moved to re-elect Gilberto Mendoza Sr. to another term as president of the WBA. The motion was seconded by Aurelio Fiengo, Julio Castillo. In a overwhelmingly unanimous vote, Mendoza was elected to his tenth consecutive term after thirty years at the helm of the oldest governing body in boxing.

After a morning coffee break, WBA treasurer Alberto Sarmiento delivered his annual financial report to the delegation. 2010 was the best year in terms of the WBA working with the most promoters- 31 in all. That number is down to 21 with two months to go in 2012. Female titles also dominated the WBA activity so far this year over all other WBA activity, male, regional, unifications or otherwise, albeit with lower funds derived due to lower purses for female title fights. Europe also dominated WBA activity over North America, Asia and elsewhere, but squeaked by accounting for 42% of the income of the WBA as compared to 39% of total income from activity in North America.

WBA legal counsel Robert Mack delivered his report. There are no current pending lawsuits against the WBA. WBA president Gilberto Mendoza and George Martinez attended the ABC convention in Clearwater, FL in July, 2012. There are no current issues between the Association of Boxing Commisions and WBA.

Under the WBA rules of title vacation and/or removal of recognition, reasons include:
— Loss in a bout
— Violation of Association rules
— Suspension, charges or conviction of criminal conduct by a national, state, or provincial agency
— Failure to participate in mandatory defense may result in removal or lowering in rankings.

After a lunch break, meetings resumed with complete reports of the abridged version from day 1.

Aurelio Fiengo gave his Fedelatin regional report, with listings of upcoming fights and proportional impact of regions that held Fedelatin title fights (North America had the most).

Alan Kim presented his PABA report on the success, high quality and non-controversial nature of Pan Asian Boxing Association title fights throughout the region.

George Martinez followed yesterday’s review of NABA with notes on recent activity and movement in the rankings of the North American Boxing Association.

Stan Christodoulou expanded on his African report by introducing two South African promoters Andile Sidinile and Sipatho Handi of Mamali Productions. After Christodoulou reviewed the long history of the WBA in South Africa, reflecting on a time when the sanctioning body was the only one to rank and crown fighters from the country as champion, both promoters addressed the WBA board. Handi and Sidinile expressed a keen desire to return the WBA and South Africa to its previous glorious relationship.

Dr. Calvin Inalsingh previewed Wednesday’s upcoming Medical Seminar topics and the presenters:
— Dr. Calvin Inalsingh- Physical Fitness
— Dr. Benjamin Molina: Hearts of Athletes: Pathology & Prevention
— Dr. Michael Lee: The Effect of the Female Athlete Triad
— Dr. Joseph Eswanik: Update on New Products and Ringside Physician Focus
— Dr. Winston Grenald: Clinical Syndrome of Cerebral Lesion in Boxing
— Shivana Inalsingh: Nutrition for the Brain

After the late coffee break, Miguel Prado presented his ratings report. In it, Prado discussed inactivity of a fighter, not making weight, wins and losses, especially under special circumstances like technical decisions, and how those instances affect a fighter’s rating. Also discussed were overall record, caliber of opponents and regional titles won.

The ratings committee will be changed to meet on Wednesday as time ran out today, Tuesday. However, due to travel of Sauerland’s Chris Meyer and Vladimir Hrunov, the committee heard their respective cases for rankings and mandatories. In the case of Hrunov, his fighter Denis Lebedev is the interim WBA Cruiserweight champion to full champ Guillermo Jones of Panama. Hrunov contends every concession was made to Don King, Jones’ promoter, to make the mandatory defense fight between Jones and Lebedev and nothing has been heard from the Hall of Fame promoter. Jones also walked away from an optional defense against WBA #15 Andres Taylor in Venezuela recently as well. There is a strong possibility that Lebedev will be elevated to regular champion, Jones placed in recess status, with Lebedev inheriting his own mandatory defense. Gilberto Jesus Mendoza said Jones has had several breaks in activity and his time is running out to make a decision.

Chris Meyer is lobbying to get his fighter, regular WBA champion Alexander Povetkin his mandatory challenge to IBF/WBO/WBA Super Champion Wladimir Klitschko. WBA vice president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza declared Klitschko’s upcoming defense against Mariusz Wach on Novemer 10, to be his last allowed optional under WBA rules. The defense against Povetkin will be due by February 27, 2013.

There was a social event dubbed “Jakarta Night” at the Aerman Club in the Sultan Hotel.

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