By Mauricio Sulaiman
WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son
WORKING TOGETHER WORKS!
My dearest father, Jose Sulaiman, always thought me that there is nothing more important than unity and respect. There are countless famous quotes, one of my favorites is: “Together we stand, divided we fall.”
Boxing is a different sport from all other major ones. Unlike the NFL in football, MLB in baseball, NBA in basketball, NHL in hockey, etc… Boxing governing entities have absolutely nothing to do with the business aspect of the sport. In boxing, independent promotional companies handle the business, TV deals, site deals and gate, sponsorship, etc…. This creates a model which often leads to individual efforts instead of actions for the common benefit of all in the industry, leads to antagonism and power struggle among boxing promoters, managers, agents, etc ….
The same happens within boxing governing bodies. Boxing is structured with several levels of jurisdiction and it all depends on the laws of each individual country which complicates, in some cases, the correct administration of the sport.
The ultimate authority to regulate a boxing event is known as the “local boxing commission.” There are local boxing commissions formed by cities, some by states, some by countries. For example the law in the USA allows only one boxing commission by state which oversees all boxing activity in the state, with the exception of the tribal commissions which have complete autonomy. In Mexico, most states allow unlimited boxing commissions and those may be formed in each city of the state! Some countries do have a single National governing body which is the only legally entity entitled to oversee boxing.
There are Continental boxing federations, these groups work by the affiliation of countries and finally the World boxing governing bodies.
The WBC is formed by the affiliation of nine Continental boxing federations, which are:
ABCO – Asian Boxing Council
ABU – African Boxing Union
BBBC – British Boxing Board of Control
CISBB – CIS and Slovenian Boxing Bureau
EBU – European Boxing Union
FECARBOX – Central and South America Boxing Federation
FECONSUR – South Continent Boxing Federation
NABF – North America Boxing Federation
OPBF – Orient and Pacific Boxing Federation
The administration of the sport relies on local commissions sanctioning the local fights for four, six, eight, ten rounds and then comes the interaction whenever there is a championship fight in which the sanctioning, in the perfect world, should be between both the local authority and the governing body, which is the owner of the rights and accolades of the championship at stake.
We believe in working together and in most cases the events are successfully sanctioned in conjunction, with respect and reciprocity .
One tremendous problem in the world of boxing is the fact that there are multiple differences in rules, procedures, protocols, there are even a wide variety of minimum medical requirements from state to state and country to country. The WBC will continue to work and will continue to try to find mutual agreements with all boxing jurisdictions to administer boxing in the best and the most safe way around the world.
Boxing governing bodies or sanctioning organizations as commonly known have respect between them but not often work together. There are too many differences in constitutions, rules and regulations. There have been some attempts to sit down and try to make things happen, not much success. While there have been projects to establish a “Champions Tournament” that would lead to having one champion by division, administered by the four organizations, this has fallen into becoming dreams and good intentions with much limited feasibility. Today there are potential “dream fights” and many involve the unification of titles. It would be great to “work together.” Unification fights are great but those must be done for the benefit of the sport and not to avoid a mandatory or to hurt the interest of third parties.
I am certain that things will be changing. Promoters need to work together, there are so many fights that the public demands and are being left undone due to rivalries between promoters, TV networks, boxing organizations, even nations…. 2016 is a key for the future of our beloved sport, let’s see how things evolve and let’s all hope for the best.
Thank you and I welcome any comments, suggestions and recommendations at email@example.com