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The 12th Round: The Three Minute Risk

By Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC President

I refuse to be a rider on a bandwagon. My platform is not a bandwagon.

 

Finally, Women’s Boxing has caught world attention in the news. Unfortunately, about the wrong topic. When there are so many positive things that can and should be done to bolster popularity for the sport, the focus is on… “longer rounds for female fighters”. And despite the wisdom of the science behind the 2-minute round, during this past week, there have been outcries from some women boxers demanding “equality “based on instituting a 3-minute round.

 

As President of the WBC, I will not jump on the Bandwagon only to see fine athletes crushed beneath its wheels. The easy thing to do would be to try to be popular, pretend to be a hero and agree to change the 2-minute round to 3-minutes.

 

This is not a popularity contest. Our duty, as boxing regulators, is to always keep our priorities straight and the WBC’s backbone has always been safety. The WBC has spent a large amount of money and many years and effort in medical research with partners like the world prestigious UCLA group. Research and studies have provided facts which should not be challenged but rather used to change rules and procedures to make boxing safer. This is the reason why boxing matches are 12 rounds and not 15 as it was before 1982. This is the reason why the official weigh-in is conducted one day before the match and how we have mandatory 30 and 7-day precaution weigh-ins. I could go on with many more initiatives and changes that have transformed our sport and has made it safer.

 

The WBC Medical committee works all year around with ongoing programs to try to find ways to make boxing safer and to lower the risk of injuries as much as possible. This will never change and will never be compromised.

 

“If caring for your well-being is wrong, then I don’t want to be right “. This is how Jill Diamond, WBC’s Co-chair of the WBC Women’s Championship described the WBC’s position towards female fighters.

 

During the second annual Women’s boxing Convention of last year in Tijuana, there were over 40 fighters present during the presentation by Dr Choe from UCLA. She emphatically described with facts how the bone structure of women is different than men, specifically in the neck region. She also stated that women have almost 80% more concussion probability than men; A concussion or fatal accident is deemed to happen when an athlete is dehydrated and is fatigued; and they have a slower recovery time.

 

There is a simple formula:

DEHYDRATION + FATIGUE + HEAVY BLOW = CONCUSSION

The more time you fight the higher dehydration and fatigue. Risk factor increases.

 

It is also a fact that women have stronger symptoms after concussion and suffer more pain and take longer to recover

 

All those fighters present were shocked to learn the physiology and medical explanation and then understood the whys!

 

The WBC will not sanction any bout for women if it is scheduled for 3 minutes and will not sanction any bout scheduled for 12 rounds.

 

There are jurisdictions which allow 3 minute rounds for women. The decision is on those local jurisdictions, the promoters willing to stage fights and the fighters willing to fight 3 minutes.

 

Can Women fight 3 minutes? Of course, they can!!!!

 

Should women fight 3 minute rounds? No.

 

Fighters, male or female, are warriors. They are willing to risk it all. Their job is to fight. Our job is to protect them.

 

Some food for thought:

· Tennis – Women play 3 sets, Men play 5 sets.

· Golf – Women drive from a shorter distance.

· Lacrosse –Smaller Field, Number of Players, no body contact

· Basketball – 3 point shot for men is 20’9″ and for women 19’9″, Smaller Ball to compensate for hand size

· NCAA Cross Country – Men race 8K and Women race 6K. International Races: Men race 12K and Women race 8K

· Gymnastics – Men have 6 events and women 4 events (Both use the vault and floor exercise. Men also practice on the horizontal bar, parallel bars, pommel horse and still rings

· Bobsled – Smaller team (Men have a 4-person team and women a 2-person team)

· Ice Hockey – no checking

· Swimming - Women swim 800m v Men swim 1500 m

· Cycling – Women 140k v Men 280k

· Olympic Diving – Women do 5 dives and Men do 6 dives

· Hurdles – Men’s shortest hurdle is 110m and Women’s shortest is 100 M

· Football – Permissible: Smaller field, more substitutions, lighter/smaller ball, width between goal posts, duration of play period

Reality isn’t sexism. If the WBC reformed men’s boxing to protect male athletes and didn’t do the same for women, that would be sexism.

 

The WBC will order a specific study to begin soon regarding this exclusive topic and once it is finished will report it to the WBC Board of Governors.

WBC / VADA Clean Boxing Program Update!

(April 11th) As we enter a major holiday in the world – Easter or Holy Week for the Christian religion, Passover for the Jewish religion – so it is to many a time of reflection and evaluation of what we do. Sadly, we are all seeing the violent world continue to make headlines and the so many children suffering from the acts of the powers that rule the world. There is no country, no religion, not one person to point to and blame, but yes, there are ways to try to change and reduce the tragic moments we see day after day. Let's all pray, in whatever language and to whichever God, that our violent world changes and we can all start by our own actions.

 

As we celebrate how Women's Boxing is starting to finally shine in the major markets of boxing in the world, we see U.S. television finally airing female bouts, we see Cecilia Braekus' phenomenal career unfold, the Claressa Shields excitement, the several Mexican world champions as main events on Mexican television, Marisela Cornejo's journey to greatness, the Canadian Jelena Mrdjenovich's incredible TV documentary, and the debut of medalist Marlen Esparza with Golden Boy Promotions. We sadly see some boxing jurisdictions take steps backwards and make decisions that can only haunt them and put our athletes in serious jeopardy. It has been reported that the U.K. will allow women to fight three-minute rounds!

 

In a separate report, we will share what has been studied through medical research for years, which was also presented in the WBC's two female boxing world conventions. There is an easy formula: dehydration + fatigue + strong punch = possible tragedy.

 

The WBC will never allow three-minute rounds, and will never allow any fight over 10 rounds. That will limit the dehydration and the fatigue elements to lower as much as possible the risk to a tragedy.

 

The WBC keeps working very hard with the Clean Boxing Program. This is our top priority, and once again I would like to thank and praise Dr. Margaret Goodman and her team at VADA for their dedication and passion to partner with the WBC in making the CBP a reality.

 

I am happy and honored to present the report of the three months of activity in 2017. I want to thank the many persons who have joined this journey for safe boxing: promoters, managers, trainers, media, fans, and most importability the boxers and their families. Let’s keep moving forward and keep sharing information to make our sport as safe as possible.

 

The WBC is proud to present the results of the first three months of activity of the CBP in 2017.

 

28 fighters have been tested out of competition with random selection: Jermell Charlo – Andre Dirrell – Matt Korobov – Constantin Bejenaru – Ivan Baranchyk – Cletus Seldin – Gerald Washington – Erickson Lubin – Andrzej Fonfara – Paulie Malinaggi – Lucian Bute – Eleider Alvarez – Chris Algieri – Peter Quillin – Cesar Juarez – Oscar Valdez – Tevin Farmer – Sergey Kovalev – Edgar Jimenez – Rogelio Medina – Victor Mendez –  Andrezj Wawrzyk – Deontay Wilder – Alexander Povetkin – Nawaphon Kaikhana – Deontay Wilder – Canelo Alvarez – Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

* Some Boxers have been tested multiple times

Collection of tests has been performed in 11 countries, and in some cases, multiple states in a country: Poland – Canada – Mexico – United States – Thailand – France – Germany – Bulgaria – Denmark – Australia – United Kingdom.

 

Six fights have contracted services of VADA for Antidoping Services:

Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington / Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. / Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs / Deontay Wilder vs. Andrzej Wawrzyk / Roman Gonzalez vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai / Eleider Alvarez vs. Lucian  Bute.

 

19 Fighters have been taken out of the WBC ratings for declining enrollment in the CBP. Some fighters who were removed from the ratings did eventually enroll, so they are not listed in this section:

 

David Haye – David Price – Erkan Teper – Daquan Arnett – Michel Soro – Rances Barthelemy – Felix Verdejo – Emiliano Marsili – Yuriorkis Gamboa – Hairon Socarras – Edivaldo Ortega – Emmanuel Navarrete – Gideon Buthelezi – Brian Viloria – Moises Calleros – Javier Mendoza – Angel Acosta – Janiel Rivera – Carlos Buitrago.

 

The WBC has made the official ruling of the adverse findings for the following cases: Alexander Povetkin – Povetkin has presented an appeal which will be evaluated in the near future; Cletus Seldin – Lucas Brown.

 

The WBC is in the final stages of processing and releasing the official rulings of the following cases: Andrzej Wawrzyk – Suriyan Kaikanha (Suriyan Sor Rungvisai)

 

*The WBC encourages all boxers and members of the boxing community to be very cautious on ingesting any supplements as the WBC does not recommend or endorse any supplements.

 

We invite you all to watch this webinar which hill help you understand everything about CBP just (click here).

 

*All enrolled fighters must inform their changes of location using the whereabouts form, or reporting directly to VADA, as instructed in our webinar.

 

Thank you very much. Happy holidays to all, may God bless you, and I welcome any comments , ideas or suggestions at contact@wbcboxing.com.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman Visits

Dr. Tabaré Vázquez President of Uruguay!

(March 27th) World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman visited the President of Uruguay, Dr. Tabaré Vázquez, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

 

President Vázquez, who is serving his second Presidential term, was a keen amateur boxer in his youth. He spent more than an hour at a meeting with Mr. Sulaiman, who was accompanied by the Uruguayan international promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, as well as the President of the Uruguayan Amateur and Professional Boxing Commission (CUBAP) Sergio Marquez, and the Director of the Punta del Este Convention Center, Roberto Berrondo.

 

They addressed the creation of a national plan for boxing to benefit children and youth, and find a constructive way to get ahead in life and combat the evils that commonly threaten society, including drug addiction, alcoholism, vandalism, and the abandonment of physical exercise  due to  the influence of smartphones and other popular electronic devices.

 

CUBAP will celebrate the finals of the First Amateur Boxing Tournament "José Sulaiman" in which more than 500 boxers participated and the four winners will be earn the opportunity to train in Mexico.

 

President Vázquez joins the large list of famous people and great personalities who`ve participated in our beloved boxing sport, including Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, Mexico's Presidents Adolfo Lopez Mateos and Jose Lopez Portillo, as well as Cantinflas, Charles Chaplin, and so many more.

President Vázquez joins the large list of famous people and great personalities who`ve participated in our beloved boxing sport, including Pope Francis, Nelson Mandela, Mexico's Presidents Adolfo Lopez Mateos and Jose Lopez Portillo, as well as Cantinflas, Charles Chaplin, and so many more.

The 12th Round:

A Fresh Start for South American Boxing!

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President – Jose Sulaiman´s son

(March 27th) I want to begin by expressing to our dear Don Majeski our sincere support and best wishes for the family problem he is facing at this time and our prayers are with him at all moments as his beloved wife Trudi is under medical care. Don Majeski is one of the most passionate persons in our sport. He has been involved since he was a teenager and is considered to be one of most knowledgeable experts in the world but most importantly is a true friend, one who would take a bullet for my father and who is as dear as a brother to all in the Sulaiman family and the boxing world in general.

 

I embarked on a trip which has brought to me some of the nicest feelings in a long time. I first visited Buenos Aires, Argentina where I met so many “old” friends, so many persons who spent countless hours with my father and I listened to countless stories about the good times they all shared with Don Jose and the WBC family throughout the years. My flight from Panama to Buenos Aires was a red eye which was supposed to land at 6am, we had to fly to Paraguay due to zero visibility forcing the airport to be closed in Argentina. I eventually arrived and was treated to a great lunch by Ruben Bartolome and Sampson Lewkowicz. The rest of the day was basically full of meetings with different groups, friends and champions.

 

We held a press conference which was one of the nicest experiences I have enjoyed as President of the WBC. 250 persons showed up we talked boxing for 4 hours! Argentina is a great boxing country, so rich in history and so much potential to create many future champions. Boxing is extremely popular second in interest just being soccer. TYC Sports, a cable TV Network broadcasts more than 100 cards every year and has been doing so for 25 years.

 

There was great interest as the WBC has proved Argentine´s Heiland to fight Charlo for the final elimination bout to determine the mandatory challenger of the middleweight division. WBC Super Lighweight queen Erica Farias was present and her fight vs WBC welterweight champ and world Pound per Pound champion Cecilia Braekus will happen June 9 in Stockholm.

 

This glove is signed by Pope Francis “Francisco” and will be used to be part of BoxVal Argentina Carlos Baldomir case was discussed as it has been confirmed that all accusations are false and were manufactured by his former wife only to hurt him. We will diligently work to plead the Santa Fe authorities to free him from jail as he is innocent and all tests and testimonies have proven such.

 

Amateur Boxing was also a major topic and the “Superliga” was announced which will be an amateur national tournament. The success of the WBC Amateur committee has been tremendous with support to many countries in which amateur competition has been superb. Canada, Spain, Peru, Nicaragua, California, Colorado, Illinois and other states of USA, and many states in Mexico, etc…. Super Liga was announced with its President Marcos Arienti and the excitement was huge. Sergio Maravilla Martinez will be the ambassador and members of many states and provinces of Argentina are eager to begin. BoxVal which is the boxing program under Scholas Ocurrentes Foundation by Pope Francis will also take part of the boxing program for Argentina.

 

I was fortunate to spend time with family members of boxing icons like Firpo, Galindez and Monzon, some champions were there like Martinez, Marcelo Dominguez, Santos Laciar, Marcela Acuña, Monica Acosta and Farias…. Coggi, Vazquez others were there too…… Some of the great journalists like Oswaldo Principi, santos Nicolini, Walter Nelson, Carlos Irusta and my gratitude goes to Silvana Carsetti who put a team together to organise such a wonderful event. The farewell dinner hosted by my friend Jorge Britto was memorable as the Tango filled the room, the jazz set the mood and I was even fortunate enough to play a song with such top musicians that magical night in Argentina.

 

Today I had the honor to meet the President of Uruguay in his office in Montevideo. A former boxer and boxing passionate Dr Tabare Vazquez. Uruguay is having the closing event of a 2-year tournament organised by Sampson under the CUBAP (Uruguay Amateur and Professional Boxing Commission) and its President Sergio Marquez with the best 4 fighters travelling to Mexico for a 2-month camp. To meet the 16 finalists was tremendous, their dreams and determination is humbling and tonight will be a special one in Punta del Este Convention Center ……

 

Boxing is a great sport. It doesn’t matter if you are in Argentina, Canada, South Africa or Thailand, it is all the same, it’s our language, it’s our life. Boxers choose the gym instead of drugs, alcohol and vandalism and use boxing as their bridge to cross over to another life a better one, one that gives them pride and honor and changes their lives and the ones of their family members, friends and many more who follow the positive deeds and glories conquered by that kid who begun hitting a heavy bag not knowing where that journey would take him or her to.

WBC - The 12th Round!

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President

(March 14th)The way boxing operates is so vastly different from any other sport. Boxing is regulated by government institutions of each country, in most cases, each state of the country and even to the extent of having regulations by each city of each state of each country. This must be due to the nature of the sport, a contact sport, which in the early years was brutal and inhuman, there were many deaths every year in the sport, abuse of power, anarchy and total control by a few who acted as promoters and regulators.

 

The WBC, as a governing body sanctioning fights all over the world, works each event in conjunction with the local boxing commission whenever a WBC title is contested. The WBC respects the local commission’s authority and jurisdiction, and always tries its best to have as much mutual reciprocity and respect as possible, and mutual agreements.

 

Boxing began to be regulated and rules and procedures started to be in place to put order to the sport. That is how local boxing commissions were created. The rules in place in a boxing match are simple and there are not many, but they have become extremely loose and there is tremendous lack of knowledge today of what those rules mean and why they were implemented.

 

I have an example which thrills me and at the same time worries me, as one day it will certainly create a huge controversy: The general rule reads that a fight is official when 4 rounds are completed. This means that if a fight is stopped due to an accidental foul the result would be as follows: A no contest or technical draw if the fight is stopped before the end of 4 rounds, and a technical decision going to the scorecards if it is after the beginning of the 5th round.

 

The WBC rules are clear stating that the 5th round begins with the sound of the bell to start the round. Most, if not all commissions in the United States and a few other countries, state that the 5th round begins when the bell rings to end the 4th round.

 

What is the definition of a round? THREE MINUTES OF ACTION WITH ONE MINUTE RESTING PERIOD. The only round that does not have a resting minute is the 12th, as it is the end of the fight.

 

The minute between the bell ending the 4th and the bell beginning the 5th belongs to the 4th round! As simple as that. There are many examples in which doctors and referees have stopped fights during the resting period, as it is then when the evaluation takes place .

 

It is my belief, and I might be wrong, that the U.S. changed the rule to protect any potential problems with gambling, as there are bets on rounds. So the easy solution is to record the result at the ring of the bell ending the round, but that is absolutely unfair and incorrect.

 

The WBC will not give up on the subject, and will continue to make the point at rules meetings, at conventions, and at meetings with boxing federations and commissions.

 

The structure of having different rules, different medical requirements, and different procedures in a diversity of states and countries is a problem. It should be very easy to have uniformity and reciprocity, but reality is different.

 

Medicals should be the top priority to any boxing commission, federation and sanctioning organization, and especially to every single promoter. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The WBC has strict medical requirements that all WBC champions and anyone challenging for the WBC title must meet. This includes MRI, eye tests, bloodwork, physicals and others. Also, all fighters must submit official 30- and 7-day weigh-ins. Our chairman of the Safety Committee, William Boohoo, is regarded as “a pest” by some promoters, due to his constant communications in search of compliance of all these safety measures. Some commissions disregard the WBC’s requirements and limit to what their commission requires, but at the end our work towards safety has proven to be extremely important to keep the safety of the fighters and the risk at the lowest level.

 

Just in one month, two title fights of other organizations were cancelled. In Las Vegas, an Argentinian challenger was withdrawn at the weigh-in due to his blood examinations testing positive for hepatitis. This past weekend, Luca Giacon of Italy was not allowed to fight in Madrid as his eye examination and evaluation was rejected by the medical committee of the Spanish federation. Giacon was rejected two years ago in New York for the same reason. Had this tests been performed with the time that should apply, both situations would not have created such a tremendous problem for the promoters and boxing in general.

 

There are so many rules and procedures that have rejection from commissions simply because of the natural fear of change. Boxing deserves better, but it can only happen whenever all boxing jurisdictions accept to abide by one set of rules. The difference in boxing and all other sports is that the “leagues” – the NFL, MLB, FIFA, NBA, NHL, UFC, PGA , etc. – are all regulators and the owners of the promotion of the sport.

 

I am thrilled to be going to New York to be at the WBC doubleheader featuring Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and the special event of Carlos Cuadras vs. David Carmona. Boxing is having a great year, and I am certain that this event will continue this historic trend!

BoxVal - Fighting for Peace

Honors the WBC Doubleheader in NY!

(March 13th) 4 Nations 1 Dream – BoxVal – Building bridges in order to allow children from both sides to share their dreams of a world united by peace and sports.

The BoxVal program was formed by an agreement of the Pontifix foundation “Scholas Ocurrentes” and the World Boxing Council during the memorable meeting of WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman from Mexico and Pope Francis at the Vatican in February, 2016.

 

BoxVal has the duty to use boxing as a way to reach as many children around to world to help in their path to become better human beings by using sports, art, technology and education.

The first event of BoxVal was the Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan fight in which the olive tree of peace was planted for a fight in which Canelo (Catholic) and Khan (Muslim) fought under the program in search of peace and respect.

 

A card will feature two WBC world title fights: Gennady “GGG” Golovkin of Kazakhstan vs. Daniel Jacobs of the United States, and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand. Two world title fights, four fighters from different countries and different religions.

 

GGG is a role model to the youth of the world, and has always represented the best inside and outside the ring. Jacobs is a formidable human being who defeated cancer and is an inspiration to all. Chocolatito is a family man who dedicates his life to praise the works of God, and Srisaket is a former champion who has an impeccable life, dedicating his work to helps kids. All four give back to their communities, participate in charity and philantrophy.

 

It is a distinct honor to present the “BoxVal World Champion” belt, which represents the recognition to these fighters for their continuous efforts to make this a better world.

The belt is manufactured by Adrian Pallarols [www.adrianpallarols.com] in Argentina, which is the home of Scholas Ocurrentes, the non-religious Pontiff Foundation which hosts the BoxVal Program. Roman Rodriguez, Senior member of Scholas Ocurrentes Board of advisors, will be present to award the belt during a special ceremony.

WBC - The 12th Round – Mandatory Contender!

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

(March 6th) What a wonderful week it was for boxing and the WBC. Shinsuke Yamanaka defended his WBC bantamweight title for the 12th time with an impressive seventh-round TKO in Japan. Mexican “Churritos” Hernandez traveled to Thailand and won the vacant WBC flyweight title via third-round TKO. WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew knocked out David Haye in a heavyweight fight. Heather Hardy defended her WBC International title, representing women at a major event. Erickson Lubin became a mandatory contender at super welterweight by knocking out Jorge Cota and Keith Thurman unified the welterweight division with a split decision win over Danny Garcia.

 

I was in New York and enjoyed a wonderful weekend of activities. I had a very good positive conversation with Angel Garcia. I saw several interesting things that the New York Commission is doing, including the procedure in which the referee does not have to collect the judges’ scorecards, as it is done by the commission staff and the referee can rest and pay 100 percent attention to both fighters. I witnessed the traditional Mecca of Boxing be alive! The Barclays Center is getting to be the new Mecca of Boxing – great cards, great organization, safe, entertaining, and the crowd was simply phenomenal. Over 16,000 fans were at Barclays. The fight was aired on free television by CBS, which is one the greatest things that has happened to boxing in in the United States, as millions of fans tune in to watch great fights.

 

The WBC has been a supporter of the PBC series since its beginning because boxing belongs to the fans, and bringing these fights to the fans on free television is huge!

 

I was very impressed with Erickson Lubin. He knocked out tough Mexican prospect Jorge Cota in an impressive way, which has given him the right to challenge for the WBC super welterweight title as mandatory contender. This is precisely the topic of this week´s The 12th Round.

 

For many years, fighters were ducked by champions as there was no such rule of mandatory contender. Archie Moore had to wait more than five years for a title shot as a No. 1 contender. Mantequilla Napoles had to wait six years as No. 1, and there are many other examples.

 

The WBC introduced the mandatory contender rule which requires the champion of the world to defend the title mandatorily against the official challenger once a year. The mandatory contender earns his designation through a final elimination bout, and in certain instances, by designation by a vote of the WBC Board of Governors.

 

Recent years have seen a few cases which were been extremely complicated and have disrupted this process. It is my intention to provide clarity to the public in order to avoid misunderstandings.

 

Consequently I am hereby listing the mandatory status of each division as of today.

 

Heavyweight: Deontay Wilder was the mandatory contender and defeated Bermane Stiverne to claim the title. During 2015, the process began to have the next mandatory, and Alexander Povetkin won the final elimination bout. Eventually the mandated fight was scheduled for May, 2016, but was postponed due to doping problems. Povetkin and Stiverne were ordered to fight a final elimination bout to determine the mandatory. The doping incident cancelled the fight and Stiverne became mandatory contender.

 

Cruiserweight: Mairis Breidis won the final elimination bout. Champion Tony Bellew asked for an exemption to fight at heavyweight, and the WBC ordered an interim title which will happen between Breidis and Marco Huck. Bellew will notify the WBC of his plans to return to cruiserweight or remain at heavyweight.

 

Light heavyweight: The WBC, in an unprecedented action, agreed to appoint multiple champion Sergey Kovalev to be the mandatory for the WBC champion, forcing the champion to make such a highly anticipated contest. Eventually Kovalev withdrew his position as mandatory contender. Then the process to find a mandatory began again and Eleider Alvarez won a final elimination bout. At the last WBC convention, Alvarez asked for permission to fight Lucian Bute, which was accepted as the final eliminator with the winner fighting champion Adonis Stevenson.

 

Super middleweight: Badou Jack vacated the title, and Callum Smith will fight Anthony Dirrell for the vacant title. The winner of a vacant title must make two mandatory defences, and Avni Yildirim is the first mandatory.

 

Middleweight: The division has had many changes in championships, step-aside agreements and decisions by third parties. The WBC will be ordering a final elimination fight to determine a mandatory contender to the champion who holds multiple organizations’ belts.

 

Super welterweight: Jermell Charlo won a vacant title in May, and has not defended since then. Mandatory contender Charles Hatley will fight him, and the WBC ordered two more final elimination bouts due to the process which has been interrupted. Erickson Lubin defeated Jorge Cota and is one mandatory, and Vanes Martyrosian will fight Ishe Smith for the other mandatory position.

 

Welterweight: Amir Khan had the mandatory position, but eventually fought at super welterweight and then was injured. The WBC has ordered Andre Berto vs. Shawn Porter as a final elimination fight.

 

Super lightweight: Terrence Crawford has a voluntary defense pending, and then must face mandatory challenger Amir Imam.

 

Lightweight: Jorge Linares will fight a rematch with Anthony Crolla, and the winner must fight WBC champion Mikey Garcia.

 

Super featherweight: New champion Miguel Berchelt must fight mandatory Takashi Miura.

 

Featherweight: Gary Russell Jr. will next fight interim champion Oscar Escandon, which is mandatory.

 

Super bantamweight: New champion Rey Vargas won a vacant title and must make two mandatories. Julio Ceja will fight Anselmo Moreno to determine the first one, and the other is yet to be determined with Hugo Ruiz.

 

Bantamweight: This Saturday, Luis Nery will fight Jesus Martinez in a final elimination bout to earn the mandatory fight against champion Shinsuke Yamanaka.

 

Super flyweight: Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will fight former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and the winner must fight Carlos Cuadras.

 

Flyweight: New champion Juan Hernandez won a vacant title and must make two mandatories. The first is Daigo Higa from Japan .

 

Light flyweight: Pedro Guevara is waiting to use his signed optional  defense, and a final elimination bout will be ordered for next mandatory.

 

Minimumweight: A final elimination bout has been ordered between Saul Juarez and Leroy Estrada.

 

There is a provision in the rules that is often used by champions and mandatory challengers, which is the step-aside fee, and provides the opportunity for a champion to make a voluntary defense before the mandatory by virtue of receiving acceptance from the mandatory, who has the right to challenge next.

WBC Ruling Regarding Alexander Povetkin!

I.            FACTUAL BACKGROUND

1. A mandatory WBC World Heavyweight Championship fight was scheduled to be contested on May 21, 2016 in Moscow, Russia between WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin.  (the “World Championship Bout”).

 

2. On May 13, 2016 VADA reported to the WBC that Alexander Povetkin’s anti-doping test that had taken from his April 27, 2016 sample pursuant to the WBC Clean Boxing Program yielded an adverse finding for the banned substance Meldonium.

 

3.  The WBC has issued two rulings concerning that adverse finding (the “Prior Meldonium Rulings”). 

 

a.   On August 17, 2016, the WBC ruled that:

 

(i) it did not have sufficient evidence to make a definite finding about whether Mr. Povetkin actually ingested Meldonium after the World Anti-Doping Agency included that substance in its list of banned substances; and

 

(ii) if there was an adverse finding concerning any of Mr. Povetkin’s samples during a one (1) year period of time after the ruling, the WBC would: (1) suspend Mr. Povetkin from participation in any WBC-sanctioned events indefinitely; (2) divest Mr. Povetkin from any WBC title or any other rights he might have at the time; and (3) impose any and all available penalties under the CBP without further inquiry.

 

b. On October 7, 2016, the WBC ruled that if Mr. Wilder prevailed in a trial then pending between him and Mr. Povetkin in New York (the “Litigation”), the WBC would allow Mr. Povetkin to show that the trial’s result was not based on a finding that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  If Mr. Povetkin failed to make that showing the WBC would impose any penalties upon Mr. Povetkin as per the WBC Clean Boxing Program Protocol, which could include suspensions and fines. 

 

4. A WBC Interim Heavyweight Championship fight was scheduled to be contested on December 17, 2016 in Ekaterinburg Russia between Mr. and Bermane Stiverne (the “Interim Championship Bout”).

 

5. On December 16, 2016, the VADA reported to the WBC that a the “A” Sample from the specimen collected from Mr. Povetkin on December 6, 2016, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Ostarine.

 

6.  In light of Mr. Povetkin’s Ostarine positive test result, the WBC:

a. withdrew its sanctioning of the Interim Championship Bout; and

b. suspended him indefinitely from participating in any WBC-sanctioning activity while the WBC initiated and conducted an investigation of the circumstances that resulted in the positive test, consistent with the WBC Rules & Regulations and the WBC Clean Boxing Program Protocol.  

 

7. On February 14, 2017, the Litigation’s jury answered YES to the following question: “Did the plaintiffs prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016?”

 

II.  WBC'S FINDINGS

Based on detailed research and information gathering, the Prior Meldonium Rulings and the Litigation’s jury specific finding, the WBC finds as follows:

1. Mr. Povetkin agreed to participate in the WBC CBP in connection with the World Championship Bout and the Interim Championship Bout.

 

2. Both Meldonium and Ostarine are banned substances under the WBC CPB by virtue of their inclusion in VADA's List of Banned Substances.

 

3. The anti-doping test of samples collected from Mr. Povetkin on:

a. April 27, 2016, tested positive for Meldonium; and

b. December 6, 2016, tested positive for Ostarine.

 

4. The Litigation’s jury decision was based on a specific finding by the preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.

 

III. WBC BOARD OF GOVERNOR'S RULING

The present WBC Board of Governor's ruling is based on the facts as known to the WBC at the time of the ruling.  The WBC does not issue rulings based on perception, rumors, generalities or prejudice and absolutely opposes any form of discrimination.

 

Based on the WBC FINDINGS set forth above, the WBC hereby rules as follows:

 

1. Pursuant to the August 17, 2016, WBC Ruling, the WBC hereby rules that Mr. Povetkin shall be suspended for participating in any WBC-sanctioned bouts indefinitely;

 

2. Mr. Povetkin shall pay a $250,000 USD fine to the WBC;

 

3. VADA, pursuant to the WBC CBP, will design a specific testing protocol for Mr. Povetkin at Mr. Povetkin’s own cost and expense.  The VADA-designed protocol will commence as soon as feasible after this ruling and will continue for one year thereafter;

 

4. Mr. Povetkin will be able to apply for reinstatement into the WBC after the one-year anniversary of this ruling.  At that time, if the results of every anti-doping test he has taken pursuant to the testing protocol set forth in paragraph III.3. above are negative, the WBC will consider deferring the remaining of his suspension during which time he would be placed in a probationary status and would continue to undergo testing as set forth in paragraph IV.4. above; and

 

5.  The WBC will provide Mr. Povetkin the opportunity to submit additional evidence at a time and in a form the WBC will determine at its sole discretion concerning his positive test for Ostarine.  The WBC will consider any additional evidence it receives and it might issue a supplemental ruling based on information and materials Mr. Povetkin submits.

WBC - The 12th Round Code of Ethics!

By Mauricio Sulaiman WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

(February 27th) Being present at the closing ceremony of Scholas Ocurrentes (Pope Francis Pontifix Foundation) in Metepec, Mexico was highly inspirational. 450 kids from 50 different communities, religions, cultural and economical backgrounds met for five days in order to pin down topics that haunt them. The conclusions were presented by the team leaders and were solid and profound, the document was read in public in the presence of the Governor of the State of Mexico and many other dignitaries, and at no moment were the kids intimidated by their presence. Insecurity and Discrimination were selected as the topics and a lengthy document with many proposals was presented with ideas on how to make things better for the youth of the future.

 

I was there because the WBC was appointed to create and administer the BoxVal Program (Boxing with Values) by Pope Francis, and our meeting with Jose Maria DelCorral, World President of Scholas, was sensational. The following message was shared, which describes BoxVal and our duties: 2 Nations 1 Dream – BoxVal – transforms walls into bridges in order to allow children from both sides to share their dreams of a world united by peace and sports.

 

Boxing is a great sport, one which brings out emotions like none other. Every time a fighter steps into the ring, everything is on the line – their future, their pride, and even their lives . Rivalries are common, some take years building up for a whole diversity of reasons, and this natural course brings incredible excitement to fans and media once a fight is signed with rival opponents.

 

There is a thin line between the hype to build up a fight and the abuse of words, threats, and physical attacks that happen at times.

 

Most rules in boxing are related to what happens inside the ring, with a few rules that attempt to “regulate” how members of the boxing industry should behave overall. The WBC has provisions that touch on these sensitive matters which include a code of ethics for all members of the WBC and all ring officials.

 

There is an urgent need to implement the “Code of Ethics of Boxing.”

 

My father was dramatically hurt when a riot broke out during the press conference to announce Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson. The riot should have never happened, but the fighters were directed to “face off” to create hype and promote sales of the pay-per-view. It got out of control, and my father was inches away from fatality.

 

Boxing is so honorable, fighters are humble and respectful. They work their whole lives with extreme sacrifices to be successful and become someone in life. Most of them are role models with very positive influence on kids and society. They move masses, motivate, bring excitement, and make the fans’ lives better.

 

We all make mistakes, but we all deserve the opportunity to correct them and move forward. I am extremely proud of Adrien Broner and the way he changed with his touching words after his last fight against Adrian Granados. It was a perfect example on how to turn around, after he had been suspended for his offensive and racist attacks in a live interview after one of his earlier fights.

 

Angel Garcia had a similar experience – a press conference got out of hand and an embarrassing episode took place. I have spoken directly to Mr. Garcia and his son, our proud champion Danny Garcia. Mr. Garcia has met with the New York State Athletic Commission, as well. I am happy to have seen a public apology, which includes some testimonials from people that know him, community service, and a donation to the Joe Frazier Foundation. Angel Garcia deserves the opportunity to move on and use this experience for positive deeds. It is known that he is a man who continuously helps his community, and dedicates time, effort, and resources to serve many through his boxing gym.

 

Danny Garcia will have the biggest fight of his life this coming Saturday in New York as he unifies the welterweight division against Keith Thurman. Let’s put all the attention on what will happen in the ring. I am certain that Angel Garcia has learned from this experience, and now understands that any action in public also represents what happens in boxing.

WBC - The 12th Round Code of Ethics!

(February 27th) Being present at the closing ceremony of Scholas Ocurrentes (Pope Francis Pontifix Foundation) in Metepec, Mexico was highly inspirational. 450 kids from 50 different communities, religions, cultural and economical backgrounds met for five days in order to pin down topics that haunt them. The conclusions were presented by the team leaders and were solid and profound, the document was read in public in the presence of the Governor of the State of Mexico and many other dignitaries, and at no moment were the kids intimidated by their presence. Insecurity and Discrimination were selected as the topics and a lengthy document with many proposals was presented with ideas on how to make things better for the youth of the future.

I was there because the WBC was appointed to create and administer the BoxVal Program (Boxing with Values) by Pope Francis, and our meeting with Jose Maria DelCorral, World President of Scholas, was sensational. The following message was shared, which describes BoxVal and our duties: 2 Nations 1 Dream – BoxVal - transforms walls into bridges in order to allow children from both sides to share their dreams of a world united by peace and sports.

 

Boxing is a great sport, one which brings out emotions like none other. Every time a fighter steps into the ring, everything is on the line – their future, their pride, and even their lives . Rivalries are common, some take years building up for a whole diversity of reasons, and this natural course brings incredible excitement to fans and media once a fight is signed with rival opponents.

There is a thin line between the hype to build up a fight and the abuse of words, threats, and physical attacks that happen at times.

 

Most rules in boxing are related to what happens inside the ring, with a few rules that attempt to “regulate” how members of the boxing industry should behave overall. The WBC has provisions that touch on these sensitive matters which include a code of ethics for all members of the WBC and all ring officials.

 

There is an urgent need to implement the “Code of Ethics of Boxing.”

 

My father was dramatically hurt when a riot broke out during the press conference to announce Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson. The riot should have never happened, but the fighters were directed to “face off” to create hype and promote sales of the pay-per-view. It got out of control, and my father was inches away from fatality.

 

Boxing is so honorable, fighters are humble and respectful. They work their whole lives with extreme sacrifices to be successful and become someone in life. Most of them are role models with very positive influence on kids and society. They move masses, motivate, bring excitement, and make the fans’ lives better.

 

We all make mistakes, but we all deserve the opportunity to correct them and move forward. I am extremely proud of Adrien Broner and the way he changed with his touching words after his last fight against Adrian Granados. It was a perfect example on how to turn around, after he had been suspended for his offensive and racist attacks in a live interview after one of his earlier fights.

 

Angel Garcia had a similar experience – a press conference got out of hand and an embarrassing episode took place. I have spoken directly to Mr. Garcia and his son, our proud champion Danny Garcia. Mr. Garcia has met with the New York State Athletic Commission, as well. I am happy to have seen a public apology, which includes some testimonials from people that know him, community service, and a donation to the Joe Frazier Foundation. Angel Garcia deserves the opportunity to move on and use this experience for positive deeds. It is known that he is a man who continuously helps his community, and dedicates time, effort, and resources to serve many through his boxing gym.

 

Danny Garcia will have the biggest fight of his life this coming Saturday in New York as he unifies the welterweight division against Keith Thurman. Let’s put all the attention on what will happen in the ring. I am certain that Angel Garcia has learned from this experience, and now understands that any action in public also represents what happens in boxing.

The 12th Round – Nothing is Impossible!

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

This weekend has been very special for me and my wife, Christiane, as we visited our son, Jose, during parent’s weekend at Tabor Academy in Massachusetts. To sit in his algebra class and remember the good old days at school and to see how technology has also taken over education techniques was marveling. We are flying back with an aching heart but with a profound feeling of pride as our young man makes inroads in life.

 

Today Golden Boy Promotions is officially presenting a gigantic fight – Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Mexico City is the first stop to promote this bout, which will catch the world´s attention, as it has been highly anticipated for more than six years, especially in the Mexican and Latino markets.

 

Both fighters have been closely related to the WBC since the beginning of their careers. Both conquered several WBC affiliated titles, including the World Youth championship and the Silver championship, before conquering the Green and Gold glory. Canelo won the WBC vacant super welter title when Manny Pacquiao decided to move down to welterweight, vacating the belt after beating Antonio Margarito. Canelo defeated Matthew Hatton and went on to defend the title six times before losing it to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. Canelo then conquered the WBC middleweight crown, defeating Miguel Cotto, and defended it once against Amir Khan. Chavez won the WBC middleweight crown vs. Sebastian Zbik and defended it three times before losing to Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.

 

This is a fight which my father always envisioned. He used to talk about it with mixed feelings, as both were very close to him, often visited him, and both grew very close to his advice and support.

 

On May 6, Mexico will have one hero and both will have to be held accountable and respond to their respective fans.

The WBC celebrated its 54th Anniversary since its foundation by then-President of Mexico, Don Adolfo Lopez Mateos.

 

Lopez Mateos was a boxer in his youth and loved the sport. His leadership to form the WBC led to boxing becoming the most important sport for the country as it is highest generator of Olympic medals and world championships in professional boxing. Boxing has been closely associated to the two most important dates of Mexican history, and boxing matches have been organized on or around Cinco de Mayo and September 15th. Both are now traditions, and the most important dates for boxing in the United States for television networks and boxing promoters.

 

The WBC has instituted a special award – the “Adolfo Lopez Mateos” belt – to be presented to the winners of the fights which take place on the above mentioned dates, and it will be an exclusive piece of art handcrafted by the Huichol Community. Canelo vs. Chavez will be the first fight to receive the commemorative belt.

 

54 years of making boxing safer – boxing is so different today from what it was in 1963. It is honorable and dignified, and the protection of the athlete is a must in today’s administration of the sport. The WBC prides itself for introducing most of the changes which have saved so many lives and for having cared for the fighters after their lives in the ring. There is much frustration today, as a few boxing jurisdictions simply ignore the fact that boxing needs to grow into modern times and refuse to implement certain rules and procedures to battle the common problems in our sport. Fortunately, things were different before as, otherwise, fights could very well still be scheduled for 15 rounds and the official weigh-in would be held just six hours before the fights. There would not be mandatory medical examinations or antidoping tests, rings would only have three ropes, gloves would not have the thumb attached and would still be six ounces.

 

Excessive egos and abuse of power rule today: NO to INSTANT REPLAY; NO to OPEN SCORING after the 4th and 8th rounds; NO to judges wearing NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES; NO to the 30 SECOND SIGNAL; NO to NEUTRAL RING OFFICIALS, etc. Very frustrating, but as my father use to say, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. SOME THINGS SIMPLY TAKE LONGER TO GET ACCOMPLISHED.

The 12th Round- Time Flies!

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President

(February 13th) This past Saturday, February 11, was the third anniversary of my election as WBC President, and mixed feelings came to my mind: First, the memory of losing my father and the so many things surrounding that loss, including the memorial which took place one day before the election, and the ceremony in which the WBC Board of Governors awarded me with their confidence for me to act as WBC President to finish my father’s term.

 

I can only express my deep gratitude for the so many people who have given me confidence and support to take on this task. My mother for her wise advice, my wife Chris for her understanding, and the rest of my family for their continuous motivation. To the so many friends in and out of boxing who have been so kind and supportive – thank you all.

 

On December 13, 2016, I was re-elected as WBC President for a new four-year term. I accepted with humility and honor, and I will do my best effort to continue the search for ways of making boxing safer and better, to continue to have the WBC Green Belt as the ultimate dream for any boxer of the world, and to strive for unity among all involved in boxing and to continue to keep the memory of Don Jose alive.

Our annual convention in Hollywood, Florida, was, all in all, a huge success. The plan for 2017 was put together during all the meetings, and the WBC is certain that this year will be a phenomenal one.

 

I want to share a recap of what our Plan of Action is, and invite you all to join to make some of this a great success:

 

WBC/VADA Clean Boxing Program

The WBC has worked very hard with VADA to create the Clean Boxing Program. This is a program that is mandatory for the WBC champions and the Top 15 rated fighters. We have an awareness campaign – we need to teach each of the fighters of the dangers of substances that go into your body. Many trainers, many friends, or even anyone in the sport can give you a recommendation to use a supplement, but if you do not check what it contains, that’s a problem. You can put your body in danger. You have to be very careful. We have the mandatory testing, random testing, and the protocol for some fights, and we are leading in this matter in the world of sports. Join the efforts and participate in any capacity to make boxing clean for our athletes, our heroes!

 

WBC Amateur Committee

We are going to continue working in the amateur field. We’re going to continue to battle all those irresponsible actions by amateur entities. They’re trying to have professional fighters compete against amateurs in the Olympics. They have taken the headgear out, putting in danger the health of the young kids, and making the competition during the Olympics and the international games very dangerous. Some fighters who would have won a medal were left out of the Olympics due to their cuts. Canada and other countries have overruled the headgear fiasco, and have mandatory headgear in all amateur competition. All should follow!

 

Our amateur program has been wonderful. We did some work in California. Carlos Balderas, who is now a professional, participated in the WBC amateur program in California. Uruguay, with Sampson Lewkowicz and CUBAP, will have the finals in March and I will be there to crown the amateur champions. We have done work in Spain with the leadership of Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, in Mexico City with the police department and the universities, and so many different groups form all over the country. The amateur program has been a great success, and a very special project is to be launched in months to come which will provide a great platform for all fighters all over the world.

 

WBC Medical Research

The WBC will continue to have medicine as the top priority. A specific program is taking place with UCLA in search of many different ways of making boxing safer. I am hereby sharing with you the exact words of Dr. David Hovda during his speech at the annual convention. These are self-explanatory and highly motivational. Dr. Hovda addressed the assembly and said, “I met the Sulaiman family in the the 1980s, and José introduced me to a fight. Not a fight of boxing, not a fight of integrity, but a fight of safety for the fighters and the athletes that participate in this sport.

 

“At that time, we started what we call the SPAR program at UCLA. We're the only university in the United States that was going to dedicate itself to understand the biology – the neurobiology – of what happens inside the brain of the boxer, the mild and traumatic brain injury, and how we could change it, how we could change the rules, how we could make it a safer place. Mr. Sulaiman and his family fostered this, supported this in an environment where it was hostile. It was not believed that things happen, and we were able to show pictures and finally do the research we so desperately needed.

 

“We changed the rules. We discovered the neurochemistry of the brain and were able to image it. We were able to make it so that an individual knew what their risks were. You know boxing and mild and traumatic brain injury involves the fighter, but it involves the entire family. The whole family gets involved in this.

 

“I was so blessed to be introduced at that time. We discovered how the brain responds to each blow. The future now is to understand how we can protect fighters better, how we can train fighters better, how we can alter the rules better without taking the excitement and the spirit, and what is so much heart in boxing that we all love.

 

“This can be done, but this is a fight that José introduced me to in 1989 and has no end. It has no bell. There are no rounds. This is something that we dedicated our career to, and will continue to do so.

 

“Today, we’re able to start to talk about how many hits can we count. What is the exact amount of energy that each blow gives? When should a fighter be concerned about sparring? When should a fighter consider retiring? What is the difference between a female fighter and a male fighter when it comes to blows to the head. We discovered that this year. I can take a picture of this. I can show you this. This is science – we should not be afraid of science, but embrace it.

 

“The future holds a great deal of promise. The young people that we have trained are now looking at the long-term consequences, and we will make this an even better sport with the help of the World Boxing Council and the SPAR program that José had a vision of so many years ago.

 

“I congratulate all of you for coming. I congratulate you, Mauricio, for continuing what your father started. José is here, he's watching over us today, and I pray for all of the family and all of us, that we continue to work as a family, we continue to work with integrity and respect for humanity, and cherish this particular athletic endeavor that we so love.”

 

These are three of the many topics of action we will address in 2017 – CBP, Amateur, and Medical. We invite you to join in and participate in any way or form – we can do it together !

 

R.I.P. – WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán – 1931-2014

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