Manny Pacquiao: World Boxing Council Champion Emeritus

WBC President Jose Sulaiman oversaw a busy and productive day at the general assembly meeting on Tuesday at the WBC's 45th annual convention at the Manila Hotel. Some of the resolutions of the day include: Manny Pacquiao was awarded an Emeritus Championship at a very emotional ceremony last night. Manny joins the following WBC Emeritus champions:

Konstantin Tszyu
Erik Morales
Lennox Lewis
Vitali Klitschko
Bernard Hopkins
Floyd Mayweather
The WBC decided to create the position of Boxers' Representative on the WBC Board of Governors to represent the interests of boxers and former boxers. Jeff Fenech was unanimously elected.

Don Majeski was elected as the Managers' Representative on the Board, joining promoter Salvatore Cherchi of Italy, who was elected Promoters' Representative two years ago.

A new list of levels for boxers will be created during the upcoming year to be implemented in 2009. All boxers in the world will be placed in a level or bracket according to their current abilities, which will be based on factors like:

Amateur career
Number of professional fights
Number of rounds fought
Latest results
This categorization of boxers is intended to match fighters against others at the same level to avoid mismatches that are dangerous for the health of boxers, and many times a fraud to the public.

The WBC will work through its 10 affiliated Continental Federations for the implementation of a world format of authorization for travelling boxers. The WBC will seek reciprocity in all countries to make sure that boxers are not suspended and are medically cleared to fight by their residence commission.

A world school of trainers will be launched.

A plan to help Michael Nunn, who is in desperate need in prison, will be studied and presented on Friday.

The second day for ring officials was dedicated to referees and was a great success. 140 officials attended, and the seminar was considered one of the best ever held.

Ratings and mandatory title defenses will be reviewed tomorrow.

WBC Opens 2007 Convention In Manila

The official opening ceremony to WBC's 2007 Convention in Manila was a huge success and the presence of the President of the Philippines, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, drew tremendous attention to the event. WBC Chairman Dr. Jose Sulaiman described President Macapagal-Arroyo as "Intelligent, mature and well known for her relentless leadership against poverty and for human equality; a great leader of all women in the world."

President Macapagal Arroyo was presented with the WBC Green and Gold Belt as a tribute rendered only to great leaders in the past such as Presidents Ronald Regan, Carlos Menem, Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II, among others.

WBC International Super Featherweight Champion Manny Pacquiao welcomed the attendants and created a quite a stir as all wanted to shake his hand and have their photograph taken with him.

WBC Heavyweight Emeritus Champion Vitali Klitschko addressed the convention with a great story about how he watched his first professional title fight, Mike Tyson conquering the WBC title against Trevor Berbick, on television at the age of 14.

Young Vitali was so impressed and motivated that he told his friends that one day he would become WBC Champion and hold the Green Belt. His friends all laughed and told him that he was dreaming.

20 years later, Vitali called those same friends to a lunch meeting in Kiev and when he arrived, put the Green Belt on the table while they all laughed and hugged each other.

Also present at the opening ceremony were Jeff Fenech, Oscar Larios, Veeraphol Sahaprom, John H. Stracey, Gerry Penalosa, Rolando Navarrete and all the major promotional companies had several representatives there.

The ceremony included the presentation of the Board of Governors, The African Sports Dignitaries, Mr. Sonstone Kashiba as well as Mr. Ganga, all the Committee Chairmen, members and other attendants to the convention which total over 780 persons.

The Ring Officials seminar and certification program started with a record attendance of 135 Ring Officials. The seminar for judges was presented by evaluating 12 rounds of different scenarios and a thorough discussion of ideas and opinions about such actions.

All promoters and managers who were present had the opportunity to address the Ratings Committee to express their position of their fighters in each division. Ratings and mandatories will be discussed on Wednesday.

The WBC President rendered his annual report and set the goals for his next year as President, including several very important topics:

-Ratification of the 4 and 8 Round Announcement.

- Participation with the Philippine Government for medical and technical support.

- The concern of the current big television networks' control over boxing supporting only a few boxers and promoters, leaving the rest of the boxers without care and opportunities to most of the other promoters and boxers of the world.

- The recognition to the smaller television networks that support many promoters around the world and the reality that if this didn't happen, boxing would die. The big networks only care about the cream, but they do not produce the milk, which is produced by a process that the WBC supports through the Continental Federations.

- The deep concern in regard to the very low professional level in the corners of boxers. A World School of Trainers will address medical, technical and tactical aspects of the vocation as well as all types of physical and mental issues, with courses being given all around the world.

- The implementation of the instant replay process to review only specific actions such as unfair headbutts, low blows and hits after the bell...etc. A great precedent is the fight between Chicanito Hernandez and Azumah Nelson, which was used as an example, with excellent results

- The absolute agreement between affiliated National Boxing Federations and Commissions to work together to stop the participation of any boxer that does not come with the official medical approval of his local commission to stop mismatches, substitution of identities, performance of suspended boxers and piracy of boxers.

- If the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL...etc, have their own boxing stations, why not the sport of boxing? This will give opportunities to promoters and boxers not supported by the big television networks and as a result, our beloved sport will flourish.

Dr. Sulaiman also stated that the present heroes will be gone by the year 2010 and that the WBC is encouraging all Boxing Federations of the world to promote undercard tournaments for the development of a new era of boxing in order to find the next generation of heroes of the second decade of the 21st century.

Dr. Sulaiman closed his speech saying that the WBC is not a one person organization but consisting of an important number of great boxing citizens of the world, without whose efforts the WBC could not be what it is today; the most respected and credible organization in the world.

Dr. Sulaiman pronounced himself not as the President, but as the servant of boxing and the WBC.

A great opening gala dinner is scheduled to take place at the historic Intramuros site.

Yesterday, the WBC Ratings Committee started the first day of deliberations at the Manila Hotel. The members from the committee find he meeting at the convention as the most important one of the year as all members can revise all divisions.

Attending were members of the Ratings Committee:

Frank Quill: Australia
Claude Jackson: USA
Alberto Guerra: Panama
Carlos Rodriguez: Argentina
Victor Cota: Mexico
Ed Pearson: Canada
Peter Stucki: Switzerland
Daniel Vanderwiele: Belgium
Emmanuel Flores: Philippines
Renato Vanputten: Aruba
Edward Thangarajah: Thailand
Mauro Bettu: Italy

Also in attendance was WBC President Jose Sulaiman, General Secretary Gabriel Penagaricano and Bismark Morales from the Ratings Appeals Committee.

Promoters and managers will address the Ratings Committee on Monday during the Committee Workshop to revise the draft and present the November Ratings on Wednesday during the General Session.

Bobby Goodman from Don King Promotions and Tom Loefler from K2 Promotions arrived on this day, along with Dietmar Poszwa from Universum and the first 200 delegates had registered for what will become the second largest convention in the history of boxing as 800 delegates have confirmed their attendance.

A reception was held at Flash Elorde's gym as homage to the greatest Filipino Champion

Article posted on 12.11.2007

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