By Boxing Bob Newman
Day 2 of the 51st annual WBC convention in Bangkok, Thailand commenced with simultaneous day long ratings session and referees seminar.
Presiding over the ratings session, WBC executive secretary Mauricio Sulaiman opened with a few impromptu recognitions.
-After current WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez recently presented Pope Francis with a commemorative WBC belt at The Vatican, the WBC decided to declare His Holiness as “WBC Man of the Year.”
-Upon shattering all existing PPV records and the highest purse record for his fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was given the honorary title of “WBC Supreme Champion.”
-William Boodhoo was honored as WBC Committee chairman of the year.
-WBC legal staff of Robert Lenhardt and Alberto Leon were presented with the “Mister WBC” honor.
Mauricio Sulaiman then introduced a short video featuring former boxing contender and wrongfully imprisoned inmate, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. In the video, Carter was lobbying on behalf the Japanese version of himself, former boxer Iwao Hakamada, who was imprisoned in 1966 for an arson that caused the death of a family of four. Hakamada’s death sentence has never been carried out and he is asserted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest imprisoned death row inmate. The WBC is staunchly supportive of the freeing of Mr. Hakamada and has organized a petition for convention attendees to sign, which his legal and support team will present to the court system upon their return to Japan from the convention.
The ratings meeting went unusually smooth, albeit long. Many of the promoters and members of the WBC ratings committee greeted promoter Sampson Lewkowicz as he arrived from New York with a heavy heart. Lewkowicz was the guiding force behind stricken heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov, who suffered severe injuries on this past Saturday’s Madison Square Garden card against Mike Perez.
Notable movement in the ratings went as follows:
Heavyweights: Mike Perez to #5, Manual Charr to #6
Cruiserweights: Mateusz Masternak to #9, Ola Afolabi to #10
Light Heavyweights: Joey Vegas to #7, Eduard Gutknecht to #8
Super Middleweights: N/A
Middleweights: Daniel Geale to #4, Brian Vera to #6
Super Welterweights: Saul Alvarez to #2, Miguel Cotto to #3 (both swapped places)
Welterweights: Paulie Malignaggi to #14
Super Lightweights: Lucas Matthysse to #3, Roberto Ortiz to #4, Pablo Cesar Cano to #10
Lightweights: Rustam Nugaev to #6, Dejan Zlaticanin to #5. Mauricio Sulaiman initially declared that Omar Figueroa has now been elevated to full lightweight champion from interim champion status since former champ Adrien Broner successfully annexed and will now defend the WBA welterweight belt. Golden Boy’s Raul Jaimes disputed the move on the basis that Broner had requested extra time to decide his future weight class. Sulaiman countered that since Broner signed to defend his new title of the WBA, it seems he made his decision. Sulaiman then offered to allow Jaimes to produce evidence to that Broner may still return to lightweight before the WBC will make any further decisions.
Super Featherweights: Fernando Saucedo to #4, Daniel Ponce De Leon to #7, Jose Pedraza to #8, Gamaliel to # 10.
Super Bantamweights: Shingo Wake to #8, Luis Orlando Del Valle to #10, Hugo Ruiz to #12, Fernando Montiel to #15.
Bantamweights: Julio Ceja to #4, Zhanat Zhanakiyanov to #6, Petch Sor Chipattan to #10.
Super Flyweights: Jose Salgado to #3. A motion was made for former legendary WBC flyweight champ Pongsaklek Wongjongkam to be ranked among the Super Flyweights. The motion was abruptly cut off by Sulaiman who explained, “Pongsaklek has been a great champion and a very dear fighter to my father Don Jose. Pongsaklek’s health has suffered to the point that he should immediately retire.”
Flyweights: Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai to #5, Giovani Segura was placed on the “Not Available” list as he just defeated Tyson Marquez in a final WBO eliminator.
Light Flyweights: Jonathan Inquito Taconing to #3, Nkosinathi Joyi to #7
Final renderings of the ratings changes will be released before the end of the convention. Mandatory defenses and championship status will be discussed in Wednesday’s session.