Photos: Sumio Yamada
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is currently holding its thirty-second annual convention at the Tokyo Dome Hotel in the city of Tokyo, Japan. “The WBO has been in Japan for about 7 years,” said WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel. “We have Tomoki Kameda, who was crowned the first WBO World champion in 2013. We are doing great in Japan and as a tribute to Japan, we decided to come here to have a great convention where we’ll discuss boxers’ safety as the main issue.”
“We have been collecting data from different sources. We want to establish a research program, perhaps donating funds to a Med School so that they can work on the issue from a scientific point of view and recommend to us the steps one should follow, the protocol needed to make boxing a safer sport.
“We have other issues concerning safety, like the referees have to be better prepared in case of any emergency. We will work on seminars with the officials in this matter. We need better judging, better doctors, ringside physicians. We have to train the supervisors, the local commissions. We will touch all these issues during the convention.”
“Japan is a boxing nation, great fighters, great history in the sport. Everybody recognizes Japan as a main point of boxing for the sport in all Asia. They have champions like Naoya Inoue, Kosei Tanaka, Kasumi Saeki, Kazuto Ioka, Miyo Yoshida, Tenkai Tsunami, Mika Iwakawa, Ryota Murata.”
“Having our convention here in Japan allows the participation of more fighters from Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, China, among others, and give them the opportunity to fight for WBO titles.”