By Boxing Bob Newman
The NABF 51st convention got down to business with the opening session at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning. Not only were NABF members present, but also 19 countries of the WBC were represented as well, as a WBC Board of Governors meeting was held earlier in the week here in Honolulu. NABF vice president Joanna Aguilar emceed the event.
Aguilar introduced NABF ring officials chairman and local boy Hubert Minn. Minn followed Hawai’ian tradition in presenting traditional leis to NABF member Oksana Semenishina, CSAC chairperson Martha Shen-Urquidez, and NABF VP Joanna Aguilar, while NABF member Marcie Morrow presented leis to NABF president Craig Hubble, former president Duane Ford and NABF VP/WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.
President Craig Hubble took the microphone and introduced the dais including the children of the late Alberto Reyes- Elizabeth and Beto Reyes and Elizabeth’s husband Guillermo “Memo” Moreno, Hubert Minn, CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster, WBC president and NABF VP Mauricio Sulaiman, former NABF president Duane Ford, NABF VP Joanna Aguilar, ABC president Mike Mazzulli, former NABF president Rex Walker, NABF VP Gaby Mancini, Mike George and Michele Ponich.
Hubble revealed the worst kept secret of the convention, that he will not be able to continue as NABF president due to professional commitments with his partner at his day job as an attorney. In fact, Hubble has already resigned and former president Duane Ford is interim president for the moment.
A memorial ten count for those members of the NABF and boxing was then tolled.
Duane Ford reflected on the conventions being family reunions. He also thanked Barry Lindenman for his continued excellent research and writing of the content in the NABF convention programs.
Mauricio Sulaiman discussed the importance of the NABF as an affiliate member of the WBC, as well as in the world of boxing. He discussed WBC officials appointments and the criteria used in making those assignments. Sulaiman announced that the WBC convention will take place in Cancun during the fourth week of October.
Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) president Mike Mazzulli spoke on ring officials and their expected code of conduct at ringside and away from ringside. Mazzulli focused on an ongoing phenomenon that is social media and it’s often ill effect among ring officials. Posting photos taken with fighters and promoters for example, will result in loss of assignments. Mazzulli’s presentation included a slide of the huge words, “Not A Fan.” Those words echo the code of conduct of ring officials – they are not fans, they are judges and referees.
Next up to speak was LA Times writer Lance Pugmire. Long an investigative reporter, Pugmire has been focused on boxing for the past decade. The theme of his talk focused on the “Truth being revealed.” Pugmire quipped, “Was I blacklisted by Canelo for staying on the Clenbuterol case? Yes!” With the investigative blood still running in his veins, Pugmire not only covers the fights and fighters, but he continues to search for the truth behind the scenes- often a difficult, if not impossible task.
CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster gave a talk entitled “Weight Cutting & Dehydration In Boxing.” Concussions, traumatic brain injury and susceptibility to knockouts are related to dehydration. Foster displayed some study results regarding world title fights where participants showed a greater than 10% weight gain after the official weigh in. Recently IBF Jr. Bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas put on 15.8 lbs., after weighing in at 114.2 lbs., an increase of nearly 14%, up to 130 lbs.!
Foster asserts that the weight gain issues have become a culture attributed to inaction by regulators of the sport. This is a medical problem, a fairness problem and a competition problem. Foster concluded in thanking the sanctioning bodies for their attention to this issues but maintained, “Our work is far from over.”
Duane Ford posed a few questions for Foster regarding weight loss. His first was: What methods fighters are using to cut weight to the extreme? Foster mentioned steam and a method known as water loading- a technique where a fighter ingests huge amounts of water the week prior to the weigh-ins, which causes the kidneys to flush so many electrolytes as well as fluid from the body, after which weight is then easily put back on.
Foster also agreed that there is definitely a correlation between a fighter consistently cutting weight and their trainer/manager. Foster feels it may be “getting to the point where we have to start fining the trainers and the managers.”
After a delicious lunch break, the board elections were held as mentioned earlier, Craig Hubble stepped down and will not be seeking re-election. In a unanimous vote, Duane Ford was re-elected as president, with the board of Joanna Aguilar, Gaby Mancini and Mauricio Sulaiman also re-elected to their VP positions.