Story and photos by Boxing Bob Newman
WBC president Jose Sulaiman officially closed the 50th anniversary convention this afternoon in Cancun, Mexico after the final morning meeting session. More topics, champion introductions, recognitions and awards were undertaken.
A hot topic close to Sulaiman’s heart is the ongoing AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association) controversy that still rages on. Robert Lenhardt, WBC legal counsel read the report compiled by a task force which was formed to look into AIBA’s tactics within amateur boxing and entry into professional boxing.
In part, Lenhardt read, “it’s not that the WBC has a quarrel that AIBA wants to enter into professional boxing, but that AIBA is damaging amateur boxing. AIBA is paying salaries to amateur boxers. They are exercising anti-competitive and monopolistic behavior in forcing potential Olympians to sign professional contracts to fight exclusively for AIBA.
Rudel Obreja, former Romanian amateur boxing federation president also took the floor in support of the WBC’s stance against AIBA. As Olympic boxing supervisor at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Obreja had witnessed first hand, cheating by changing names and scores and held a press conference to exposed the corruption. He was banned by AIBA. “I fought Mark Breland in the 1984 Olympics. I was president of the Romanian Amateur Boxing Federation. I know boxing. What AIBA is doing is wrong.”
Sulaiman reiterated, “We don’t want a fight, we want justice.” The WBC will set up a meeting with Jacques Rogge of IOC to see where the IOC stands in terms of the AIBA’s handling of amateur boxing.
The WBC plans to go forward in early 2013 with the WBC World Cup of Boxing, in which the champions of the various WBC affiliated federations shall fight each other.
Hubert Minn presented the report of the ring officials seminars, both referees and judges, giving it a positive .
WBC #1 featherweight Celestino Caballero and WBC champion Daniel Ponce De Leon met again on the convention floor after Ponce De Leon was recognized by the WBC. Caballero won an IBF eliminator over seven years ago and is keen to do so again, with Ponce De Leon’s WBC belt on the line this time. As #1 contender, he’ll soon get his chance.
Ruben Olmos, CEO of the Gran Oasis hotel was awarded a WBC 50th anniversary plaque for the fantastic job hosting the convention done by the hotel and it’s staff.
The 2013 WBC convention will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, possibly in early November. The site looks to be the Centara Hotel, which WBC convention organizer. South Africa and Dubai are on board as potential sites for the 2014 convention.