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Day 2 of WBC Convention



WBC Convention

Day 2 of WBC Convention – Several items on the agenda were discussed during the Tuesday morning general assembly meeting at the WBC’s 49th annual convention, led by WBC President Jose Sulaiman at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

The motion was approved to inform the fighters’ corners of the scores after the fourth and eight rounds wherever the WBC’s open scoring is not used.

The motion was approved for the use of instant replay.

Several members of the WBC Board of Governors were disappointed that no state commissioners from the United States were in attendance at the convention except Tim Lueckenhoff, the President of the Association of Boxing Commissions and head of the Missouri state commission.

There was also disappointment among Board members that many commissions in the United States not only continue to resist many positive changes that the WBC has recently implemented, but many state commissioners don’t even acknowledge – or maybe even realize – that many of the most important rules that they currently use to make boxing a better and safer sport originated with the WBC.

President Sulaiman said, “I believe that we can reach an agreement with the commissions of the United States because we are not asking to change all of the rules and constitution, we are not asking them to get out so we can be the boss. We are just asking to be accepted to apply and implement the important safety rules of the WBC. Because if they don’t, the WBC will not continue communicating with the commissions that will not accept anything.

“The United States is a country of good people, it’s a country of sensitivity to the poor. When there are disasters, they send planes full of clothes and food. It’s a different country than some of the commissions. Some of the commissions are very discriminating of foreigners, but we still hope to reach an agreement with them. Everything they have has come from the WBC. They will not even admit that we implemented them.

“One of the most important issues is the implementation of the International Visa for fighters, and I’m happy with its approval because that will eliminate the abuse of boxers. It will eliminate the pirates of the gymnasiums, taking boxers for peanuts. It will eliminate bringing them without immigration papers. And Im very happy about the announcement of the scores after the fourth and eighth rounds, because that will reduce many of the problems that we have today. Boxing is the only mysterious sport – everybody has to wait to see what three people are saying at the end of the fight without knowing what’s going to happen.

“I’m also very happy with the instant video replay, which has brought out many, many injustices of the past. Two examples are where they disqualified Humberto Soto for hitting someone on the canvas, when the replay showed that the punch went over his head. Then the Dawson-Hopkins fight – same thing.”

Regarding the International Visa, Mauricio Sulaiman, Executive of the WBC and Vice President, Mexico, of the North American Boxing Federation, said, “The NABF has been working very closely with Tim Lueckenhoff of the ABC. The problem is that in Mexico and the U.S.A. and many countries is that there are many managers or so-called promoters that steal boxers and bring them into the U.S.A. or Mexico with different names and different records. Many commissions do not have computers or even fax numbers. Their communications are not always efficient. We have had some examples of that where Mexican fighters come into the U.S.A. or American fighters come into Mexico. There is a lot of work still to be done, but I think we are going in the right direction.”

Tim Lueckenhoff addressed the assembly and said, “I have so many thoughts running through my mind when we talk about this because in the United States, when we first started I.D. cards, there was a huge problem, a huge undertaking. There were fighters fighting under fake names here all the time. Unfortunately, that was occurring in my state prior to me being here, but the I.D. card all but stopped that. I hate to say mixed martial arts, but we have a database currently that all our commissions use for mixed martial arts that has a picture of the fighter there. So whenever I’m approving fights, I can see who that fighter is, so when I go the the weigh-in I know what he looks like, so that’s another thought we might have. There has to be a database, number one, and all of the commissions have to import information to that database. I know that costs money, I realize we’re talking a world-wide situation, but it’s got to start somewhere. So I think that’s the first goal that maybe WBC should speak about – contracting with some sort of database to import this information. There’s no question that our commissions in the United States, if they had a database that they could go look at a fighter coming from outside of the country and learn about that fighter’s past, they would use it. There’s no question in my mind.

“Now of course, there’s federal law in the United States that requires us to issue an I.D. card with an I.D. number, so we’re going to have our own number regardless, because our law says that. But if there’s an international number, that’s fine, too. It’s another way to identify that fighter. By all means I support that, love to have the meeting with Joe [Dwyer] and you, Jose, along with some of our commissions.

“Working with the 78 or so commissions that are members of the Association of Boxing Commissions is like herding sheep. There’s some that, I guarantee you, unfortunately if you’d ask them what the WBC or the NABF was, they wouldn’t know what the hell you were talking about. What’s unfortunate in our country is that we have governors that are appointing commissioners or executive directors like me that don’t have a clue about boxing. They’re political people, and we stuggle with that on a daily basis.

“I can tell you that there are people that fight in the United States on suspension. I just got emailed a little bit ago, a fighter that fought in Florida this past weeked was on the national suspension list. The bottom line with that is that a promoter submits a name at the last minute, and the commission says, ‘Aw, they’re okay, there’s no problem.’ They don’t check the database and bang, they’ve got a kid on suspension. That happens on a regular basis, we find it every day. We try to educate our members, I call everyone when there’s a problem like that.

“By all means, I want you to know that we support that and you have an open invitation to come to our meeting next summer in Clearwater, Florida, or if we could meet at another location, I’d love to do it.”

Promoter Don Majeski addressed the assembly about the necessity of having neutral officials for fights. He said, “Every other country in the world agrees to assign a neutral referee and judges for world title fights – the United States is the only country in the world that does not. Jose, one of the problems you have is that you’re 100 steps ahead of everybody else. You need to be only five steps ahead of them so they can catch up.” Mr. Majeski also referred to the recent world title fight of another organization in the U.S. where the local referee controversially penalized the champion from England two points and cost him the title.

Arif Khatib, founder and president of the Multi Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, announced his organization’s first inductees. He said, “I thank the WBC for partnering with us to give us an opportunity to induct some of these incredible fighters into the Multi Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame. We don’t look at race. We look at their accomplishments and their contributions to society.

“It is indeed my pleasure to be part of that historical process and for those of you who are here, or see it on film, be grateful because history is made today in front of you. It has not happened before and it is not likely to happen again because the WBC has gathered some of the greatest champions in the world, and they are here.”

The first inductee was trainer Eddie Futch. His award was accepted by his wife, Eva, who said, “I really appreciate this. I know Eddie would be very honored. Thank you, Mr. Sulaiman, and the whole WBC organization, especially since Eddie was part of breaking the racial barriers traveling with Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson during World War II. So we’ve come a long way, breaking down the racial barriers. We even have an African-American President now. Americans have a habit of hiding their minorities to clean up their messes. Also, it takes a team behind a great man, and there are people here today that I want to thank – Shelly Williams, who assisted us, Thell Torrance, former partner and business manager, Kenny Norton is here, sadly Joe Frazier’s lost his life. I could go on and on, but I will keep it short. Thank you, everybody.”

The second inductee was Joe Frazier. His award was accepted by his business manager Les Wolfe.

The third was Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who accepted the award himself and said, “I apologize for my voice – traveling too much – but I’m very touched and very honored. I want to thank President Sulaiman, the WBC, also the Multi Ethnic group that is acknowledging my achievements in boxing. I believe with this award, I have accomplished everything I wanted in the boxing game and I thank you for it. This convention has been very important for all us fighters, Mr. President, because we deal on the outside looking in, seeing the great work that you did in protecting us all from harm, and I appreciate it – but I still think we should have 15 rounds.”

Jeff Fenech was the fourth inductee.

The fifth was Thomas Hearns, who said, “Jose, does this mean I made it? It is an honor and pleasure to be here to accept this award and I thank the WBC. I never dreamed of this happening, I just dreamed of becoming a fighter, a boxer, and it wasn’t long after becoming a boxer that I dreamed of becoming a world champion. And from that dream, I decided that I wanted to hold more than just one title – I wanted to hold several titles, and that all came true for me. I thank God now, because it wouldn’t have been possible without his blessing. He gave me his blessings to become the man I am today. I thank God, I thank the WBC. Jose, my good friend, from day one has always treated me very nice, a very respectful man. I just thank the world for being behind me, for supporting me, for being there whenever I stepped into the ring and start to perform and look out and see all these people, it just made me want to do so much better. I would give you my best at all times. Today I’m very pleased, I’m honored to accept this award. I never thought in my wildest dreams that this would be happening to me in my life.”

Mike Tyson was the sixth inductee. He said, “I’m truly humbled by this moment right now, and happy to be here, and happy to be with my friend, Mr. Sulaiman, who I’ve known since I was a little boy. I’m just a simple guy, I’ve just been blessed with a lot of gifts and a lot of chances in life. I never had nothing. Jose Napoles, Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, all these guys, this is what I’m about. It’s so ironic, because once I stopped fighting, I didn’t know how to be anyone, I didn’t know how to be a human being because my whole life was focused on fighting. That’s all I ever wanted to be – a world champion. That’s all I knew how to be, and I’m just gifted to be here. I’m like a little girl with a crush on a bunch of football players – this is just what is it with me. This is what I’m all about. The greatest fighters in the world, and I’m in the midst of them, and they think I’m somebody special. That’s big to me!”

Ray Leonard, the seventh inductee, said, “I can’t put into words how incredibly happy I feel being a part of such an incredible organization, team, family like the WBC. Jose, always – God bless you. You know, I have so many fond memories of trying to be somebody. To reiterate on what Mike was saying, I could never envision myself being in this position. All I knew in life as a kid was that I wanted to be special and if I had a chance, I would work hard to be that individual. Of all the sports that I could have participated in, boxing became a part of my life. I was a poor kid, I was a sad kid, introverted, but boxing was my safe haven. And in boxing, I could control the surroundings. So much has happened in my life, good, bad, ugly and indifferent, but you know what? When I’m with my boxing family, I feel at home. So thank you so much – God bless you all, and congratulations to all the champions.”

President Sulaiman said, “When Mike Tyson was a kid, he won his first title and I gave him his first championship belt. This is the first one – it had only two circles of flags. When he won it, he wore it the whole night going around the hotel, and the rest of the week. Somebody stole the belt from him, so on behalf of the WBC, I’m very proud to give it back. This represents the glories of your lifetime – you have it back.”

World champions and contenders in attendance at Monday morning’s opening ceremonies, in alphabetical order:

Rosendo Alvarez, Saul Alvarez, Vito Antuofermo, Takahiro Aoh, Paul Banke, Iran Barkley, Sharif Bogere, Francois Botha, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Livingstone Bramble, Celestino Caballero, Randy Caballero, Miguel Callist, Hector Camacho, Francisco Javier Castillejo, Ruben Castillo, Jorge Castro, Isaac Chilemba, Miguel Cotto, Pipino Cuevas, Oscar de la Hoya, Tony DeMarco, Alexander Dimitrenko, Roberto Duran, Jeff Fenech, B.J. Flores, George Foreman, Giacobbe Fragomeni, Naoko Fujioka, Humberto Gonzalez, Jhonny Gonzalez, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Ricky Hatton, Thomas Hearns, Joe Hipp, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Julian Jackson, Roy Jones Jr., Mariana Juarez, Zab Judah, Tomoki Kameda, Momo Koseki, Juan LaPorte, Donny Lalonde, Oscar Larios, James Leija, David Lemieux, Ray Leonard, Rafael Marquez, Christy Martin, Floyd Mayweather Sr., Mike McCallum, Milton McCrory, Wayne McCullough, Manuel Medina, Ray Mercer, Erik Morales, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Jose Napoles, Jackie Nava, Azumah Nelson, Toshiaki Nishioka, Terry Norris, Ken Norton, Ajose Olusegun, Carlos Ortiz, Carlos Palomino, Jean Pascal, Vinny Pazienza, Edwin Rodriguez, Marco Antonio Rubio, Salvador Sanchez II, Laura Serrano, Earnie Shavers, Humberto Soto, Leon Spinks, Mia St. John, John Stracey, Ismayl Sillakh, George Tahdooahnippah, Naomi Togashi, Scott Welch, Chauncey Welliver, Krzystof Wlodcarczyk, Winky Wright, Shinsuke Yamanaka, Daniel Zaragoza, Carlos Zarate.

Day 2 of WBC Convention / Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.


Three Punch Combo: What’s in the Cards for Spence, Kell Brook, and Cotto?



 THREE PUNCH COMBO: Errol Spence Jr. scored an impressive knockout victory against Kell Brook on Saturday to take Brook’s IBF welterweight title. Both fighters now face interesting possibilities as they move forward in their respective careers.

Spence, who entered the fight with a lot of questions, not only showcased his tremendous skills but proved he has a very good chin as well as the willingness to dig deep when needed. He is without a doubt a future superstar in this sport. With momentum strong right now, he would be wise to be as active as possible even if not landing one of the big names his next time out.

I sense that Spence’s advisor, Al Haymon, will in fact get him back in the ring this summer. One name I would speculate as an opponent is Adrian Granados. Coming off a debatable loss to Adrien Broner, Granados has earned another shot at a top fighter. Granados is not a big puncher, but will put forth a good effort. The translation here is that he is someone that can be sold to the public as an opponent for Spence while bigger names are lined up, and also someone against whom Spence can in all likelihood look impressive once again.

After a summer tilt, I would expect to see Spence back in action towards the end of the year in a more substantial fight. Keith Thurman will still be on the mend at this point, recovering from elbow surgery, so that fight is out until next year. But Haymon has plenty of other welterweights and one that I suspect he steers toward Spence will be Lamont Peterson. Peterson is a name and has a belt. He also has a stated desire to want one of the big names next along with the payday that it would command. With Thurman out, this would seem the likely immediate path for Spence as such a fight would draw plenty of attention and be easy to sell.

As for Brook, he is going to need an extensive rest before restarting his career. He suffered a beating as well as an eye injury in September against Gennady Golovkin and then suffered another beating as well as injuring his other eye against Spence. After a rest, expect to see a tune- up bout followed by a massive fight in the UK against Amir Khan. The Khan fight has always been big and one of the reasons it has not been made is that it could frankly be made anytime with it still being a very significant event. Considering where both fighters are presently in their respective careers, the timing seems right for it to happen sooner rather than later. They both get a big payday and the winner gets well positioned for another big payday in what is a loaded territory at welterweight and junior middleweight.

Errol Spence Jr. and Kell Brook gave us a great fight on Saturday. While their career paths will head in different directions, expect to see both involved in big events once again down the road.

 Miguel Cotto’s Future

 Miguel Cotto announced this week that he would be returning to the ring on August 26th to face Japanese brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight championship. Cotto, who split from his promoter Roc Nation last week, will work with Golden Boy Promotions for this fight which will be televised by HBO.

This is an interesting development in the career of Cotto. Reportedly HBO had not been interested in televising the proposed Kamegai fight unless it received assurances from Cotto that it would lead to a bigger fight to be televised by the network. Also, Golden Boy’s involvement in the promotion signals that they could be involved in Cotto’s future. Obviously, this would mean the opponent for a big fight for Cotto would come from under the Golden Boy banner.

The obvious choice for Cotto’s big fight opponent is David Lemieux. Lemieux has been chasing a fight with Canelo Alvarez. However, with Alvarez deciding to go after Gennady Golovkin, Lemieux gets left on the outside looking in. In need of a big fight for Lemieux, Golden Boy saw an opportunity with Cotto having been previously negotiating the Kamegai fight with Roc Nation. A fight between Cotto and Lemieux makes sense for both as Cotto wants a name who isn’t a slick boxer and Lemieux wants a big fight with the payday it commands as well as the opportunity to put a signature win on his resume to bolster his future ambitions.

But I also think Golden Boy has another potential plan for Cotto. Golden Boy’s main cash cow, Canelo Alvarez, is in a high risk, high reward fight with Golovkin in September. There is no rematch clause if Alvarez wins and, of course, a win by Alvarez cements him as a mega star in the sport. He will be eyeing a return in May 2018 during Cinco de Mayo weekend. With momentum behind him, Alvarez would be wise to seek a name opponent to further boost the event. A rematch with Cotto would not only do huge business but keep the momentum going. For Cotto, it would be a chance to avenge the loss from 2015 to Alvarez and give him one massive payday as his career nears a conclusion.

Miguel Cotto is determined to close his career out with something big and it appears likely he will get his wish.

Kudos to Golden Boy

 When Golden Boy announced its new series on ESPN this winter, I was cautiously optimistic in the fights they would produce. I must say that the matchmaking thus far on this series has been superb and is getting even better with some recently announced cards. These are the types of televised shows the sport needs to generate some badly needed positive buzz.

On June 17th, Pablo Cesar Cano takes on Fidel Maldonado in a junior welterweight contest. This fight is not only very evenly matched but can’t be anything except a slugfest given the styles of the two fighters. Cano is a high pressure fighter who is willing to exchange to get his own punches home. Maldonado has the ability to box, but often gets drawn willingly into wars. In 2015, he had a back and forth shootout with Amir Iman in a fight that got some talk in fight of the year chatter. As a matter of fact, round three was probably round of the year that year. Maldonado has a tendency to fire back when he gets hit and with Cano’s style Maldonado is going to get hit a lot. This one is guaranteed action and a perfect fight for television.

About two weeks later, Golden Boy returns with another ESPN card featuring a high stakes junior featherweight contest between Randy Caballero and Oscar Negrete. Caballero is an undefeated former bantamweight belt holder and is a very skilled boxer puncher. Negrete, also undefeated, has shown much improvement inside the ring in his last few contests. The styles of these two should mix well to provide an entertaining fight. It is also evenly matched, and with so much at stake we should see the best of both men inside the ring.

One point I harp on a lot is the importance of good matchmaking, especially in televised fights. Golden Boy is doing an excellent job so far with their new ESPN series providing high quality, well-matched fights. The boxing public is taking notice and Golden Boy deserves much praise in delivering excellent events for the fans.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

IBF welterweight title

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Canada & Usa

George Foreman Youth Center in Houston Hosts Amateur Event



George Foreman Youth Center

George Foreman Youth Center –  -Starting with the ring of the bell on October 22nd, local area boxers will be fighting for a spot to represent the Gulf Coast Region at the USA Boxing National Championships & in International Travel.

Weight categories will include: Pee Wee 8-9, Bantam 10-11, Intermediate 12-13, Juniors 14-15, Youth 15-16, & Elite 18-40 in both Open and Novice divisions. Winners will represent the Gulf area at the 2016 USA Boxing Elite, Youth and Junior National Championships to be held in Kansas City Missouri December 4-10, 2016. This tournament is a sanctioned event through USA Boxing the National Governing Body of Amateur Boxing and is a feeder to National and Olympic recognition.

The George Foreman Youth and Community Center was founded 32 years ago in 1984 by Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-time heavy weight champion George Foreman. The GFYCC is dedicated to providing a safe and secure location for youth to participate in sports and after school activities.

“This year for the first time in Houston boxing history, we are developing an elite international youth boxing team,” said George Foreman, IV. “The team will be selected for the sole purpose of training and traveling to other countries to gain experience on an international platform and promote cultural diplomacy! Utilizing grant and donor funding this team will be representing the George Foreman Youth and Community Center and will be announced Saturday October 22, at the Gulf Region’s Boxing Championship. The team will be reviewed by my father, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-Time Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman Sr. The first international trip for this new Houston team is scheduled for Jan. 2017.”

Doors open for the Gulf Gloves Championships on Saturday October 22nd at 11:00 am with announcements and the presentation of the colors by the United States Army Houston Recruiting Command Baytown Beaumont Company at 12:45 pm. The national anthem will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Houston Brass Quintet! Boxing will begin at 1:00 pm. Championship finals will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday October 23rd.

Media open workouts for Houston amateur standout boxers will be held Wednesday October 19th at the George Foreman Youth and Community Center at 2202 Lone Oak Road Houston, Texas 77093 at 4:00 pm.

Confirmed attendees for interviews will be:

George Edward Foreman IV: Son of 2 Time Heavy Weight Champion, President of Foreman Public Relations

Marlen Esparza: 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist, 2014 Amateur World Champion, 2006 & 2016 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, Nine-Time USA Boxing National Champion.

Rocky Juarez: 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, 1999 Amateur World Champion, WBC Silver Featherweight World Champion.

Raul Marquez: 1988 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, 1992 Olympic Games Quarter-finalist, IBF Light Middleweight World Champion.

Frank Tate: 1984 Olympic Games Gold Medalist, IBF Middleweight World Champion, NABF Light Heavyweight Champion.

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz: WBA Lightweight World Champion, WBO Lightweight World Champion, WBA Super-Lightweight World Champion, IBF Lightweight World Champion.

“Sweet” Reggie Johnson: WBA Middleweight World Champion, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion.

In addition to many Houston area professional boxers and Gulf Boxing Association alumni. Event is sanctioned by USA Boxing – Gulf LBC: 16-25-14268

George Foreman Youth Center / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.

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Press Releases

Michelle Corrales-Lewis Named New CEO of NV Boxing Hall of Fame



Michelle Corrales-Lewis

LAS VEGAS, NV (October 5, 2016) – The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) a non-profit charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes, is happy to announce Michelle Corrales-Lewis as its new CEO/President. Respected boxing announcer, Rich Marotta, who founded the NVBHOF in 2012, steps down after devoting years of his life to get the organization off the ground.

With a number of boxing greats already inducted, which include world champion fighters, judges, coaches and promoters, the NVBHOF has rapidly established itself as prestigious group not only here in Las Vegas, but around the world. The NVBHOF has multiple fundraising events throughout the year, helping local boxing organizations fulfill their goals to keep boxing alive within the community.

“I took this organization as far as I could and I’m very comfortable where it is at today,” said Rich Marotta. “Michelle is on the scene in Las Vegas, has a myriad of contacts, both in business and with the boxing community, especially the fighters, and is more than ready to completely run the company. She is incredibly capable and has been an indefatigable agent for growth of the NVBHOF the past three years, taking on additional responsibilities each and every year. It brings me great pleasure to announce her as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the NVBHOF Chief Operating Officer for many years, Michelle Corrales-Lewis, is thrilled at her new position within the organization.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, widow of former multiple world champion and 2013 NVBHOF inductee, Diego Corrales. “Rich Marotta did a fantastic job building the organization from ground up. His immense work ethic is a great example of how I plan to continue the vision he set forth. My goal is to find a home for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, one where fans from all around the world can visit on regular basis. The boxing community is filled with wonderful people that we will honor as inductees each year. I’m truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to me by my dear friend Rich Marotta.”

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