IBF 38th Annual Convention Day 2 Report

Medical Seminar, Judges Seminar and Ratings Meeting

Report/Photos: Boxing Bob Newman

Day 2 of the seminars at the 38th IBF annual convention in Chicago kicked off with the medical seminar. Doctors Rick Weinstein and Massimiliano Bianco were the presenters.

Drs Bianco & Weinstein

Dr. Bianco, who practices sports medicine at Catholic University in Rome, Italy, gave a talk entitled “Sudden Death In Athletes.”

Bianco’s talk spanned multiple sports and began citing the recent case of the NFL Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin last January 2, 2023. Hamlin suffered what is known as Commotio Cordis- or sudden arrhythmic death caused by impact to the chest wall. Hamlin took a massive impact from the opposing player’s shoulder to his chest. Incredibly, Hamlin rose from the tackle he made, then collapsed within seconds. Due to quick and thorough action by the medical staff, Hamlin survived. Bianco stated that no pre-existing cardiac condition is necessary in order for Commotio Cordis to occur. The most common objects causing impact during sports which can cause Commotio Cordis are baseballs, lacrosse balls, hockey pucks or blows from a fist or kick. Video and photo examples of cases were shown. In one case, a lacrosse ball became a projectile after it was run over by a lawn mower and struck a boy in the chest. A video of a karate exhibition showed one participant return to his starting position moments after being struck in the chest with a punch, collapsing and dying. The phenomena of Commotio Cordis relies in perfect timing of the impact during a very narrow moment when the ventrical of the heart is repolarizing. Emergency medical services being on hand at sporting events is one way to improve survival chances in cases of Commotio Cordis or any other severe injuries. Improved protective equipment was also noted as a means of prevention.

Dr. Rick Weinstein delivered a talk entitled, “The Knock-out Punch.” Force is defined as mass x acceleration. The greater the force and the location to which that force is delivered improve the chances of the knockout. Statistics were shown depicting similar levels of force delivered by flyweights as there are from heavyweights. While heavyweights may have greater mass, flyweights make up for that with greater speed delivering their own mass.
Weisntein noted that he had in fact been on hand during the ill-fated 2001 fight between George Khalid Jones and Beethaeven Scottland. Scottland had been competitive in the fight and even moreso in the 8th & 9th rounds, before succumbing in the 10th. He passed six days later.
Weinstein illustrated the vasculature of the brain and explained the situations where rupture or damage to the blood vessels in the brain and the possible outcomes of such injuries.


The afternoon saw two competing sessions- the judges seminar and the ratings committee meeting.

Judges Morley & Fitzgerald

The judges seminar was co-piloted by judges Patrick Morley and Mike Fitzgerald. Scoring consistency was first and foremost the focus of the discussion. Morley and Fitzgerald alternated their delivery throughout the talk- asking for and giving input on key factors. Legendary judge Tom Kaczmarek’s book “You Be The Boxing Judge” was cited as a very spot-on book regarding the judging of boxing.

The “10-point must system” was explained (one would think this isn’t necessary for a room full of judges). The winner of a round must receive 10 points, the loser 9 or less. Morley noted one example of a world title fight in 1971 between Carmelo Bossi and Jose Hernandez, which used the 5-point must system. One judge had it 75-75, all 15 rounds even! As is the custom during judging seminars, several rounds were viewed and scored by the attendees, followed by lively discussion.


Ibf Ratings Committee

The ratings meeting started 30 minutes later at 2:00 p.m.- overseen by chairman George Martinez, as well as Carlos Ortiz, Jr., Ben Kielty and Massimiliano Bianco. The room was chock full of promoters, managers, commission members and other such representatives of fighters looking to move up or hold their positions in the rankings.

The first noteworthy development took place in the Jr. Welterweight division. #1 & #2 positions are vacant. #3 is held by Shohjahon Ergashev. Several fighters were offered an elimimnation fight with Ergashev and declined over the last six months. Therefore Ergashev will assume the mandatory challenger position.

At Jr. Featherweight, former unified (IBF/WBA) champ Murodjon Akhmadaliev was dropped from champion all the way to #7 after losing his title on a majority decision. It was noted that other recent IBF champs who lost their titles in close fashion were ranked at #3 immediately after losing their titles (Shavkat Rakhimov at Jr. Light and Mairis Briedis at Cruiser to name two). Akhmadaliev himself was in attendance and took the microphone to plead his case to be at #3 (#1 & #2 are not currently rated).

Murodjon Akhmadaliev

New ratings will come out in June and all requests will be weighed and taken into consideration.

Tonight, the annual awards cocktail hour and banquet will be held in the International Foyer and Ballroom.

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