WBA 92nd Convention Day 2
- By Bob Newman
Day 2 of the 92nd annual WBA convention in Lima, Peru moved to the more spacious Oceanus Room this morning as meetings got under way. Many top promoters and ring officials who arrived late Monday accounted for the increase in attendance. For those who may have missed it on Monday night, Gilberto Jesus Mendoza Jr. started the morning by playing the video of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini “belting” former foe Orlando Romero with the WBA belt.
WBA Legislative Director Carlos Chavez delivered an extensive run down of the Association’s rules and regulations report. Each proposition and or modification to the WBA rules and regulations was passed by members of the board of directors. The main crux of focus was proposing the Association “domicile” as Washington State, where their legal offices reside.
After a morning coffee break, Ray Mancini was once again the man of the hour- delivering a motivational talk, speaking on his life during and after his career and taking several questions from the delegates. One interesting exemplary anecdote was when Mancini explained the importance of young fighters knowing the history of their chosen sport. On a chance meeting with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez while training in L.A., it was apparent that “Canelo” had heard of “Boom Boom” Mancini, but didn’t know anything about the former champ! While Mancini admitted that Alvarez was born many years after his own career was over, Mancini felt it incumbent upon fighters to know their sport’s history.
Being “old school,” Mancini also chimed in on the ills of the sport- 24 hour weigh-ins, and 12 round title fights. “Many doctors have told me that it only takes four to six hours to replenish the body after making weight. If you can’t make weight the morning of the fight, you don’t deserve to be fighting for the title.” “As far as the 12 round limit for title fights, I was winning the title from Arguello after 12 rounds. If that fight ended after 12 rounds, I beat Arguello. True championship caliber is determined in those last three rounds- 13, 14, and 15. That wasn’t a medical decision, that was a t.v. decision!”
Gilberto Jesus Mendoza reiterated his admiration for Mancini, since his own boyhood living in nearby Toledo, Ohio while Mancini lived and fought out of Youngstown. It was then that Mendoza presented Ray with a special “Super Championship” WBA belt. Only Floyd Mayweather has received the same designed belt from the WBA with gold cast lions and Swarovski crystals. Orlando Romero joined in the presentation, returning the favor from last night.
After lunch, the treasury report was disseminated by Treasury Director Alberto Sarmiento.
WBA title fights in the USA comprised 58% of the total revenue generated, with Europe coming in second place at 22%.
Stan Christodoulou presented the Pan African Boxing Association (PAFBA) report accompanied with a slide presentation. Part of the report and photos focused on not only a boxing show but also a visit to local boxing gyms and elementary school made by American female champ Layla McCarter and American referee Tony Weeks. Christodoulou then took the opportunity to introduce South African promoter Rodney Berman to the WBA. Berman has been a force in South African boxing since 1977, promoting such champs Dingaan Thobela, Baby Jake Matlala, Vuyani Bungu, Brian Mitchell, Corrie Sanders and many more. After some lean times, Berman has bounced back with great success in the recent Super Middleweight tournament in Monte Carlo, won by Edwin Rodriguez, who will challenge WBA champ Andre Ward next. Berman hopes to bring WBA world championship boxing back to South Africa in the near future.
Alan Kim delivered the Pan Asian Boxing Association (PABA) report. PABA title fights led the way among Asian regional title fights over the past year with 66 in all. New PABA champs crowned in 2013 include Daniel Baff (cruiser), Petch Kokietgym (bantam), Blake Caparello (light heavy), Terry Doheny (super bantam), Czar Amonsot (super light).
Mariana Borissova reported on the European scene. Union Boxing out of Ukraine and Sauerland led for the highest percentage of promotions in Europe involving WBA international, inter-continental and continental titles.
Aurelio Fiengo gave the Fedelatin report.
Luis Pabón gave the international officials report.
Dr. Calvin Inalsingh gave the Fedecaribe report.
Miguel Prado presented the North American Boxing Association (NABA) report.
As always the ratings lobbying continued to be interesting and often entertaining. Promoters Don King, Gary Shaw Promotions, Sampson Boxing LLC, K2 Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions, and representatives Philipe Fondu, Ricardo Rizzo and many others all stumped for their fighters to be either included in the top 15, or moved up, and in some cases have other fighters (undeserving in their opinions) demoted. The funniest moment came at the end when the minimumweight division was up for rankings consideration. Gary Shaw bellowed, “I was born a minimumweight!” to the laughter of all on hand.
A cake was presented to Philippe Fondu in celebration of his birthday.
The evening will be capped of with an outing to the Chifa Royal restaurant in the Isidro district of Lima.