The WBA forum in Sofia, Bulgaria, continued on Friday with a seminar and training session for the European WBA officials and referees. When opening the session, WBA President Gilberto Mendoza said that the key goals in the year ahead are efficiency, thoroughness, and transparency.
The seminar began with a presentation by Gilberto Echeverria of software created for the WBA that facilitates a quick and precise digitized submission of judges’ scorecards. The software eliminates the possibility of human error. It also brings boxing into the 21st century.
The main speakers at Friday’s seminar were two renowned referees and judges, Raul Caiz and Luis Pabon.
“Remember that you have a massive responsibility in your work,” Mr. Caiz told the audience. “The fighters’ lives, futures and health are in your hands.”
Mr. Pabon and Mr. Caiz also discussed pre-fight checkups by the referees, in addition to the the mechanics of being the third man in the ring.
Stanley Christodoulou, from South Africa, gave a comprehensive lecture on the professional ethics and rules of conduct for officials and referees.
He pointed out that 75% of the score of any particular boxer depends on effective aggressiveness on the ring, whereas 25% depends on ring generalship and defense. This observation, as Mr. Caiz also stressed, is one of the basic guidelines for scoring a round for a particular fighter.
To illustrate this point, the participating officials were able to practice on two different types of fights screened at the venue—a clear-cut, one-way victory and a close fight that could have gone either way. Different scenarios were discussed at length.