By Boxing Bob Newman
Wednesday’s morning session of the WBA’s 89th annual convention in Managua, Nicaragua kicked off with a very interesting lecture on Sports Marketing given by Gerardo Molina. Several concepts including strategies, vision, branding, communication and target audience were discussed. The application of these concepts to the marketing of boxing and specifically the WBA brand were delved into. Molina noted that as far as branding is concerned, it can indeed rightfully claim that all other sanctioning bodies evolved from the WBA, which is a distinct advantage in originality and brand marketing.
After a lunch break, the delegates were treated to another episode of “Lo Mejor Del Boxeo” which featured hilights of all the Nicaraguan world champions in history- Alexis Argüello, Eddie Gazo, Rosendo Alvarez, Adonis Rivas, Ricardo Mayorga, Eduardo Marquez, Roman Gonzalez, Luis Perez, and Jose Alfaro.
The ring officials seminar was then conducted by Luis Pabon and Levi Martinez. Pabon started off by explaining the impact of the internet on the professions of individuals. Photo examples were shown of doctors who volunteered in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, but who posed both on and off duty in many inappropriate, unethical poses and situations. Those photos wound up on the internet and many of those physicians came close to losing their licenses. Pabon warned that similar conduct and misuse of the internet could result in unwanted attention, embarrassment and ridicule, and consequences to a boxing official, in this case, a WBA official.
Martinez covered and reviewed professional ethics and conduct for ring officials. The contents of the talk were broken down into subheadings of judges attire, attire for weigh-ins and rules meetings, scoring issues such as staying with the flow of the round, even rounds, knockdowns, what to do when a referee calls time out, ringside tips and scoring zones on the body. The long standing guidelines for scoring were then reviewed- effective aggression, clean punching, ring generalship and defense. Martinez finished by discussing theories on why there are bad decisions in boxing. Lack of concentration was first and foremost seen as the main culprit. Confusion on a knockdown, lack of proper rest and preparation, being swayed by the crowd, who the promoter is and remembering to deduct a point when a referee deems necessary after a foul. Ring official Raul Caiz Sr. then passed out and administered to the attending judges. The test was then reviewed en mass and certificates were presented to all who took and passed the test.
Gustavo Padilla and George Martinez presented some real case scenarios concerning interpretation of the regulations of the WBA in fights in which events not specifically covered occur. Some cases debated included the infamous Marlon Starling – Tomas Molinares knockout at/after the bell fight, the Greg Page – Gerrie Coetzee knockout at 3:48 of the eighth round.
Luis Pabon then reviewed statistics concerning effectiveness, quality control and consistency. A spreadsheet was displayed showing a cross reference between WBA fights, the officials for those fights, their country of origin, whee the fight was held and the consistency in scoring between the officials for each fight.
A surprise birthday was then thrown for WBA International Coordinator Renzo Bagnariol who turns…?
Tonight’s dinner will be held at the Mejia Godoy Restaurant.