By Boxing Bob Newman
The boxing world will descend on the unlikely locale of Baku, Azerbaijan this weekend to attend the 55th annual WBC Convention. Many delegates have already begun their journey to Azerbaijan’s capital city which lies on the west coast of the Caspian Sea. No stranger to boxing, Baku hosted the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships.
The host hotel is the Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers. The unique complex is highlighted by three flame-shaped spiral buildings outfitted with LED screens from top to bottom. While modern in many respects, Baku features many links to an ancient past in both architecture and culture. Mixing Middle Eastern and Eastern European cultures, along with Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths, Baku is truly a regional melting pot and one of the most unique locales ever to host a boxing convention of this magnitude. Some 800 delegates are expected to make the journey to be on hand for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
A full slate of business and pleasure is on tap for the week starting Sunday, October 1st and ending Friday, October 6th. The usual fare of ratings, mandatory defenses, organizational meetings (NABF, EBU, etc.) will occur along with such highlights as the WBC Cares visit, talent show, opening gala and awards, tours and much more. Several champs past and present are also expected to attend, including Naseem Hamed, Amir Khan, Vitali Klitschko, Erik Morales, Lupe Pintor, Nino Benvenuti, Carlos Zarate, Azumah Nelson, Gennady Golovkin, Catherine Phiri, Mairis Briedis and many more.