Global Boxing Forum main conference quotes and review

By Gleb Kuzin

Photo: Global Boxing Forum

The WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO, judges & referee, professional & amateur boxing stars, and boxing promoters & officials all came together to discuss the future of boxing at this unprecedented event.].

Franco Falcinelli – Interim AIBA president:

Boxing is the ultimate sport which has one soul, one heart, and many heads. It is like the mythical creature, the Hydra. You cut one head, two take its place. Boxing will survive no matter what.

We hope the Boxing Forum will strengthen our pillars that hold and support the sport we love. We hope to make boxing better, fairer, and clearer.

The body and soul of boxing belong to all of us and its shared legacy: boxers, coaches, managers, promoters, supervisors, cutmen, boxing clubs, and everyone involved in professional and amateur boxing. The corruption, misbehavior, and everything bad that happened to AIBA is awful. It is not only about amateur boxing, but professional boxing as well. Everyone in the boxing family is involved and hurt by the grace of what happened. We all need to fight together as the members of the sport to face all these difficulties together as a family. The biggest problem is the loss of credibility before the media and boxing fans around the world.

Our goals are to : Be free from corruption and dirty judges, organize a clear and comprehensive ranking system, cut down on the number of titles and weight classes, increase transparency in the structure of competition, conduct authentic tournaments which value skill, increase transparency in contracts, make sure only the best fight at the olympics, and ultimately to make sure top fighters fight each other regularly.

Regarding the marketing of the sport, fans of boxing are looking for a solution to return boxing to its former mainstream position. It is a large growing sports market worldwide and yet the global boxing market is only worth 2b dollars worldwide, well behind many sports.

PR for the sport of boxing is only driven by top stars. PPV is increasing by 30%, but to regain the sport market we must restore credibility to our boxing events at all level. We need to make them fair. The boxing world greatly appreciates the WBSS. I’m personally excited to see the upcoming bout in Sochi. This is the true way to establish champions and stars. We need to involve the young generation with boxing by growing local talents and local events. Boxing promoters should look to AIBA and the World Series of Boxing for great competition.

WSB will do the work of a bridging the gap between amateurs and professionals. They are cooperating with the promoters to establish the real bridge between the sports. We encourage the best pro boxers to fight in the WSB’s 5 round fights.

Pro boxing doesn’t recognize the systems that instilled the talent into the professional fighters. Due to the lack of career opportunities in amateur boxing, everyone is looking for a good contract and financial support and pro boxing is threatening amateur boxing by not recognizing the work put in and the lack of responsibility and money involved. We need to integrate together and cooperate and support each other. Boxing need good assistance during the training, addressing the health and security of boxers, and as well as the career-opponents who get knocked out 50 times in a row.

They are looking instead to counter programming, making amateur boxing available on demand everywhere in the world.

To conclude: It is a fact that one boxing federation [Russian] can establish a safe dialogue between so many different organisation and people. We have the power to save boxing.

Umar Kremlev — General Secretary of the Russian Boxing Federation:

The goal of the Global Boxing Forum is to establish such supportive relationships between everyone involved in the sport of boxing so everybody can work together in order to bring boxing back at the front lines, with the ultimate goal of surpassing football’s popularity.

Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC President: I’m happy to see the opening of a line of communication between two worlds: amateur and professional boxing. We have certainly had difficulties in the past. Thought both part of the sport of boxing, they are completely different from one another. The forum can initiate a process that will make boxing overall better and greater. Our commitment is to find the safest way to control the sport and to administrate it. The boxing organisations have absolutely nothing to do with finances, we must not rule for commercial and financial purposes, but only for the safety of boxing.

Every single professional fighter began as an amateur. We must recognize the national federation and those who develop boxers who later become the Olympians and pro fighters. We have a great opportunity to go from the one of the great years in boxing in 2017 to continue on that road. Floyd Mayweather Jr. showed what boxing is all about by defeating “big monster” McGregor. He defeated the MMA fighter with the great offensive style — because boxing is about the art of defence.

Gennady Golovkin had two great fights as well. First Danny Jacobs in NYC, then showed he showed who is the real champ in the Middleweight Division by fighting Canelo Alvarez. Most of the heavyweights came back to the scene. The division is reborn with Wilder, Joshua, Ortiz, Parker. It’s going to be a very interesting in the heavyweight division in the coming years. We need people who are interested in the sport to create a system. The WBC supports the World Boxing Super Series. We will be as flexible as the rules permit to have allow the competition to grow. The WBSS is the perfect example of how we can work together and make things happen.

IBF President Daryl Peoples

There are differences between the pro and amateur ranks, and the collaborative work we are going to do is going to start to bridge the gap to do what’s best for boxing. The main thing about the forum is how we’re able to show what boxing is all about. It has united us and we have collectively promised that it’s not just sentiment. We are obligated to see that our sport evolves and to see that it grows and to ultimately see it surpasse soccer. I’m at your disposal. I will do everything that I can to see boxing be in much a better place than it was just a week ago.

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