By Mauricio Sulaiman
WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son
The NABF celebrated its 49th annual convention in San Diego, California, with the presence of members from most of the states in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The NABF was founded in 1968 with the goal to serve as a Continental Federation affiliated with the World Boxing Council. It was formed by the affiliation of individuals representing their states in the three countries mentioned above. These individuals were boxing commissioners – most, if not all, were the chairmen of their state boxing commission. It was through the NABF that the administration of boxing and implementation of rules to make boxing safer was a great success.
The Muhammad Ali Act came to the USA and became a law, and it includes a clause prohibiting boxing commissioners from being members of a governing body. This measure has hurt the sport in a tremendous way, as there is limited or no reciprocity agreements between the boxing jurisdictions, and it is basically impossible to implement new rules in the USA, which is the greatest country in boxing in the world.
Instant Replay, 4th and 8th Round Open Scoring, Point Deduction to Uncut Boxer, 30 Second Signal, etc. These rules are used in most countries with the exception of the USA and the UK.
This year, two legendary champions have lost their world titles in close, controversial fights. Chocolatito and Pacquiao lost their world titles in split decisions. Both champions suffered from one thing in common – huge cuts coming from accidental headbutts. Blood came down their face, limiting their vision, taking an effect on their strength, and of probably making an impact in the judges on close rounds.
Had the WBC accidental headbutt rule been in place, both would have retained their titles by majority draw.
The WBC implemented this rule many years ago in which a point is deducted from the uncut boxer on an accidental headbutt. Even when questioned at times, it has proven to be a very good rule to balance the extreme difficulties that a cut brings to a fighter.
The NABF has a new President – Craig Hubble was elected by acclamation, and his term of two years has begun. Outgoing President Duane Ford enjoyed several standing ovation moments during the convention, and will be remembered as a true leader who fought tirelessly to bring the NABF champions their due value. During his term, 50 NABF champions challenged for world titles!
I am honored to continue to serve as Vice President in the NAB, as I was reelected to the post I have held since 1994.
There were so many magic moments during this annual gathering. I would like to share them through these pictures:
Ray Beltran was awarded by the NABF and gave a speech that brought everyone to tears. Ray shared his difficulties through life, even days which he had no food and no hope to survive. Boxing has given him a life and might soon give him his much-needed green card to continue with his quest to become world champion.
Hope for Henry Foundation has become the NABF’s beneficiary with its great inspiration and cause. Chuck Williams stood up and offered a $4000 donation for this poster to continue traveling the world to be auctioned in a rotation basis. This year’s auction and voluntary donations raised close to $15,000.
NABF Executive Committee: The Reyes Family, Deborah Hawkins, Alberto Reyes, Gaby Mancini, Rex Walker, Mike George, Jill Diamond, Sammy Macias, Craig Hubble, Mauricio Sulaiman, Joanna Aguilar, Duane Ford, Travis Ford, and Misty.
WBC lightweight world champion Mikey Garcia receives his Green and Gold belt at Petco Park.
The honor to throw the first pitch before the Padres vs. Dodgers game!
The youngest member of the NABF family with his dad, former NABF flyweight and super flyweight champion Oscar Cantu.
Thank you, my President Duane Ford.
I want to wish you all a happy Fourth of July!