By Mauricio Sulaimán – The World Boxing Council last week launched a series of broadcasts on www.facebook.com/wbcuniversity, to introduce the community to a way of staying connected to the world from home.
It has been a pleasant experience to do so, and it has allowed us to continue with boxing activity during these times of global isolation. The broadcasts are daily, Mexico City time, at 11:00, am, with a panel in Spanish, and at 1:00 pm, in English. Every day there is a different topic, and a good number of experts have been invited.
LiberQuaré University joined the WBC to create WBC University, which has online training and certification programs, and this has been the platform that has been used for the new and entertaining dynamic.
On Monday we started with doctors, who presented topics of great interest because that now is what we all need, to hear about what we can do to take care of physical and mental health.
We had experts in nutrition, hydration, fitness, and general medicine. Perhaps what most interested me was the intervention of professionals in mental health.
Here are some concepts that serve in the #StayHome global pledge.
· Plan your day. List activities normally and follow a routine.
· Take care of your diet. Eat fruits and vegetables; don’t get fat.
· Keep hydrated. Drink liquids at all times.
· Do exercise. This is essential at home.
· Eliminate anxiety. Don’t let the news, the messages, and the conversations create such anxiety, stop doing the things that make you worry, there is nothing you can do, this is not a punishment, it is a fact and all we can do is take care of ourselves and our loved ones.
On Tuesday we had a bandage course. The Spanish version was broadcast from Spain, and in English from Phoenix, USA, with our champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, and his father José.
Wednesday was the turn of the referees, who participated with explanations of the dynamics before, during and after the fights; anecdotes and experiences.
On Thursday we had trainers who went into detail on how they handle the current crisis, and what boxers should do.
On Friday we closed with boxing judges, with anecdotes and evaluation of rounds to explain how rounds are scored.
This Monday we had a great panel, as “Boxing in Movies” was the topic. We had the honor to have Holt McCallany, Rosie Perez, William Fichtner, Omar Benson Miller, Saïd Taghmaoui, plus Jill Diamond in our panel.
Tuesday was media day and we had a great, illustrative and fun conversation with some of the top media members of the boxing community:
Gareth A. Davies / The Telegraph Boxing Correspondent
Lance Pugmire /Senior Writer at The Athletic
Cynthia Conte / The Real Fight
Mike Costello / BBC Commentator
Dan Rafael / ESPN boxing writer & Television commentator
Norm Frauenheim / Sports Writer / The Arizona Republic
Bill Caplan / Boxing Historian and Publicist
Dougie Fischer / Editor in Chief for Ring Magazine
Today we just finished the Champions panel, tremendous fun and full of anecdotes with Roberto Durán, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Jorge Arce, Sergio Martínez, Alfonso Zamora, Fres Oquendo, Jose Carlos Ramirez, Callum Smith, Abner Mares, Amir Khan and Tony Bellew.
It was gratifying to see so many people participate, but more emotional was to see how people who travel constantly, many locked up in camps outside the home, share the current unknown scenario.
In these moments of uncertainty is where boxing principles should be applied to dominate and beat COVID-19; strategy, technique, and execution are required.
This virus must be boxed, it cannot be fought head-on, stay home and we will defeat it.
This virus is cowardly, it attacks the elderly and the sick who cannot defend themselves; you have to fight it with intelligence.
This week, the former fighter Ron Ross and coach Nelson Cuevas, both in NY, died, and judge Guido Cavalieri lost his brother-in-law in Italy. Retired boxer Derrick Jefferson is in intensive care in Detroit. All by COVID-19.
WBC Workouts have been an absolute success. We started this dynamic on social networks to invite everyone to exercise at home.
A large number of champions have joined the initiative, and it has become a formidable means of distraction.
I invite you to follow #wbcworkout on our social networks, and on the page www.wbcboxing.com, where you will find many exercises of champions, as well as those that fans upload.