WBC News: Vitali Klitschko has until November 30th to confirm fight plans
The mandatory title defense of heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko of Ukraine was not addressed during the mandatory meetings on Wednesday because mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne and his promoter, Camille Estephan, both of Canada, did not arrive until today.
K2 Promotion’s Tom Loeffler of the U.S., said that Klitschko requested the WBC to wait until November 30 for his confirmation that he’s ready for his mandatory defense. Estephan accepted and replied, “We are willing to wait to make this fight happen, and we are looking forward to making this fight happen.”
Mauricio Sulaiman proposed a heavyweight tournament of the top five or six contenders to determine the next mandatory world title challenger, which was approved by the Board.
A video was shown illustrating the success of the WBC’s instant replay rule, which has been used in fights, whenever possible, for five years, and the WBC’s open scoring rule that has been used in fights, whenever possible, for six years. The Continental Federations were urged to continue to increase their use in their areas.
Ring Officials Board Chairman Hubert Minn of the U.S. gave a report on Monday’s referees and judges seminars, and said that 130 ring officials were in attendance.
The attendance at the convention was estimated at 600.
Reports were presented by World Medical Advisory Board Chairman Dr. Paul Wallace of the U.S., Dr. Clive Noble of South Africa, who has done extensive testing of boxing gloves to find the safest glove construction, Dr. Beatrix Raudszus of Germany, who heads the Medical Boxing Accidents Committee, and Dr. Helen Clausen of Australia, the Director of Neurological Cognitive Research.
Alberto Leon of the U.S., Chairman of the WBC Boxers Foundation Fund, gave a report on the fund’s fantastic success so far — it raised $1 million last September in partnership with Hublot Watches to assist fighters in need — and plans for its continued success in the future. Alberto said, “A lifelong dream of our President, Jose Sulaiman, is now a reality.” WBC Vice President Rex Walker of the U.S. added, “It’s one of the best things the WBC’s ever done.”
President Sulaiman has always considered amateur boxing the “lifeblood” of professional boxing. Ed Pearson of Canada, Chairman of the new World Boxing Council Amateur Boxing program, reported on its great success in his home country, and advised other Board members how to implement the program in their areas, as well as creating international matches. Ed said, “AIBA tried political and legal ways to stop it, but lost at every step of the way.” He gave credit to Dave Allison, who “has done all the work.”
A report was given on the WBC program, “Driving Without Texting,” to which WBC middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina and former world champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico have given support. Texting while driving has overtaken alcohol as the main cause of car accidents.
Asian Boxing Council Secretary Patrick Cusick of Thailand reported on the very active and successful year had by both his organization and the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation, as well as plans for the WBC’s continued growth in China, considered the “next Mecca of boxing” in the world. Cusick also said that three cities in China are preparing proposals to host future WBC conventions.
Mauro Gazcon reported that he will begin Monday to reschedule the highly-anticipated WBC World Cup events. The first was scheduled for October 18 in Mexico City and another during this convention in Bangkok, but were postponed after President Sulaiman’s surgery on October 1.
Tomas Yu of New Mexico, Chairman of the World MMA Council, introduced himself to the WBC with a proposal for the WBC to become involved in world-wide mixed martial arts title fights. His proposal will be reviewed further at the next WBC convention.
WBC Cares Chairwoman Jill Diamond of the U.S. and a group of world champions and other convention attendees went to visit a children’s hospital and orphanage during the afternoon.
A free day tomorrow will be followed by a gala dinner in the evening.
The 51st annual WBC Convention was officially closed by WBC Vice President and host, General Kovid Bhakdibhumi of Thailand.