The 12th round – From Azerbaijan to the World

By Mauricio Sulaiman
WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

I would like to begin by expressing our deepest condolences to USA, Nevada and Las Vegas for the tragic terrorist attack which has shaken the world. The boxing world united expressed deep concern and solidarity as we all empathize as most have been in Las Vegas many times as it is and will always be one of the most important cities in the world for boxing. A minute of silence took place and three days of mourning ordered in honor of the victims and their families.

We have finished our 55th annual convention. All those fortunate to have experienced this event have returned home with a warm heart and plenty of memories from what has been one of the best conventions in our history since 1963. The city of Baku in Azerbaijan was shown to the boxing world. It was simply incredible to see its architecture, its cleanliness, modern buildings and rich history all in a land of smiles. It was simply magical, everyone was marveled and the passion and drive was notorious at all times, having accomplished with great success all the meetings and goals set forth during the planning of this convention.

The presence of legendary champions, current one and future stars was spectacular. Vitaly Klishtko was responsible to make this convention a reality and was present to open the convention, Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins, Kotza Tszyu, Azumah Nelson, Nino Benvennutti, Michael Spinks, Prince Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales, Carlos Zarate, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Viktol Postol, Regis Prograis, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Paulie Malignani, Cristina Hammer, Yuri Arvachakov, Raja, Lince Castillejos and many other fighters.

The WBC paid tribute to 150 year Anniversary of the Marquee of Queensberry rules. Boxing was structured with a simple set of guidelines which have eventually been comprehensibly modified and structured into full rules and regulations and with the WBC proudly introducing many of the rules in use of todays boxing world.

All divisions ratings were discussed in the open forum with all having an opportunity to discuss any specific case. The mandatory defenses of all divisions were voted as well and the participation from managers and promoters from all over the world was very important. In this picture Leon Margules from USA with Andrew Wasileski from Poland and Nisse Sauerland from Germany / UK

The ring officials seminar and certification was conducted in a two day format with 115 ring officials participating from all affiliated continental federations. Several priority items were discussed at length, including the Instant Replay procedure, The 4 and 8 round open scoring, the use of noise reduction headphones for judges and a variety of officiating techniques and mechanics with the search of finding uniformity among officials.

The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Honorable Ilham Aliyev, received the WBC Board of Governors and legendary champions in a memorable gathering in which he shared his passion for sports and as per his instructions to the minister of sports a professional boxing federation has been formed and Azerbaijan is now officially affiliated to the WBC as country #166.

It was a very successful convention. The review of 2017 and the action plan for 2018 through the presentations of the special committees with the open discussions and agreements for a diversity of specific actions to be performed.
Some committee reports which were :

*Medical Committee – Chairman Dr Paul Wallace with a special presentation by Dr Chris Giza from UCLA.
*Clean Boxing Program – Chairman Luis Escalona
*Ring Officials Committee – Chairman Hubert Minn
*Jose Sulaiman Champion’s fund – Chairman Alberto Leon
*Mismatch Prevention System – Chairman Dean Louis who also presented the Affiliated titles committee report. A full presentation and working plan with BoxRec was another highlight.
*Glove Certification program – Chairman Bob Yalen
*WBC Cares program – Chairwoman Jill Diamond
*Safety Compliance (30/7 day weighing and medicals) – Chairman william Boodhoo
*Amateur Committee – regional representatives

We will be constantly communicating specific actions and results derived from this historic event. Mayor of the city of Kiev, Dr Vitali Klishtko has confirmed hosting the WBC annual convention in 2018 and preparations have already begun !

Thank you and I welcome any comments, ideas or suggestions at

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