By Mauricio Sulaimán
President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán
We had a very sad week, because three very dear people departed ahead us on the path of no return.
- Dr. Manuel Mondragón’s beloved wife, Martha, is resting in peace.
- Lennox Lewis’ Mum, Violet, has passed away.
- Gloria Mercante, wife of the legendary referee, Arthur Mercante, is also now resting in peace.
May God comfort these three unforgettable ladies in His Holy Glory.
Our annual Convention in Uzbekistan was a resounding success, and ongoing work is being done on the action plan to circulate to all WBC members from the 176 affiliated countries.
BoxMed is an application developed by Conexión Fácil, and that will be one of the top priorities. Weight is the boxer’s greatest enemy, but thanks to technology, we now have a way to monitor the weight of the champions and the top 15 of each division. This will be mandatory starting in 2024. BoxMed app will begin enrollment in January 2024, and will have a six-month grace period for all eligible boxers to be active in the app with a simple step once a month, uploading a video of their current weight.
One of the oldest rules in boxing has disappeared. A phrase that is used every day around the world, “don’t throw in the towel,” is no longer the way the corner requests the referee to stop the fight. Currently, many boxing commissions ask that the corner inform the inspector, and he gets into the ring to inform the referee. However, we have seen with concern how, on many occasions, the fighters receive further stunning blows while the inspector tries to gain communication with the referee. For this reason, we have introduced the red towel, so that the fight can be stopped in his corner. Prompt and timely clarification innovation.
Another of the new measures that will be remembered in years to come as historic is the financial education and savings program, in which we managed to design a financial product with GBM offering individual accounts for boxers without risk and with various distinct advantages. For this reason, the WBC will ask, encourage, and recommend the fighter to prudently retain a percentage from his fight purses as a great incentive to save for the future. The WBC will return to the fighter the percentage that such decides to save from their purse as an incentive to save for the future.
In addition, the presentation of the Undisputed video game was made, which will be available on different consoles in 2024. It is the first boxing game that has been made in 12 years, and excellent comprehensive work has been done for three long years to reach the edition which, without a doubt, will revolutionize our sport as it will reach millions of fans and will give great popularity to legendary boxers as well as current ones.
Intensive work was done on training and certification of judges and referees, with implementations of great interest, in addition to standardizing some practical mechanics for referees worldwide.
We will also seek to penalize the infamous holding when it is excessive and interferes with the fight, as there is a distinct difference between the clinch and deliberate holding.
The latter is used as a strategy and disruption of combat, which is illegal and will be penalized. There will also continue to be zero tolerance for rabbit punches, which are highly dangerous, and some other mechanics that will continue to be implemented.
Regarding the judging, it is confirmed that the mandatory qualification for a round, with a fall to the canvas, is 10-8, understanding that these are exceptional actions, including a touchdown on the canvas and a three-point basket, and must receive their due value.
One of the big topics was also women’s boxing, and the presentation that the Medical Committee presented at the plenary session. It was unanimously recommended to the Governing Board of our organization to maintain the two-minute rounds and the fights to a maximum of 10 rounds.
The physiognomic differences, science and distinctions between men and women were reviewed, considered, and contemplated in detail, and with compelling information to maintain maximum protection for women. It is not about discrimination, inequality, or sexism. It is all about imminent protection and minimizing the risks of accidents for women. A female fighter has never suffered slurred speech problems, as we unfortunately see in some men who fought so long and hard. That, and many other things, show that you cannot play boxing. It is a contact sport in which you must be very careful, as well as vigilant and watchful.
Regarding transgender boxing, there is great controversy in the world of this sport. The firm policy of the WBC was ratified:
- Man vs. man: yes.
- Woman vs. woman: yes.
- Man vs. woman: no.
Medically illustrated like this:
- XY vs. XY: yes.
- XX vs. XX: yes.
- XY vs. XX: no.
The most complicated sessions were, without a doubt, the ratings and the mandatory sessions for each division. The WBC rates 40 boxers per division and promoters and managers, even boxers, take the microphone to present their case, and thus the official ratings are obtained that will be used in the mandatory session.
For world champions there are two types of fights: a voluntary defense, which means that the champion chooses any of the first 15 ranked, and mandatory fights, which are against the official challenger, if in which if there is no agreement in the negotiations, it goes to purse offer procedures, and any promoter can win the rights to promote it via purse bids.
So, we have a wonderful conclusion to this wonderful 2023. On Saturday, Ryan García returned with a victory by KO against a brave Mexican, Oscar Duarte, who came out to give his all, and it proved a worthy contest in the face of the social media phenomenon. Duarte was coming off 11 wins by knockout, and is one of the brightest and most promising prospects of the Ring Telmex Telcel team.
Next weekend, Devin Haney will seek the WBC super lightweight title against champion Regis Prograis. Mexican Julio Cesar Martínez defends his WBC flyweight title on December 16 against Angelino Córdoba.
On December 23, one of the most spectacular shows will take place by having six heavyweight fights. Nine of the 12 fighters are rated in the WBC top 15, including the top four: Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Arslanbek Makhmudov, and Frank Sánchez. This will happen in Riyadh, via the promotion of His Excellency Turki Al-Sheikh, and the final fight of the year will be in Japan, when Naoya Inoue faces Marlon Tapales, in which the four belts will be contested.
DID YOU KNOW…?
December 16 will be Showtime’s last broadcast, after 37 years of being one of the main boxing networks.
When my dad passed away, we received a lot of expressions of affection. I will never forget how Showtime performed a tribute on that weekend’s broadcast, ringing the 10 bells in his honor while displaying his photo on the screens, while incredibly, HBO refused to play any tribute for some unknown reason.
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