The W.B.O’s convention last week was held in the beautiful city of Budapest, and was well attended with groups coming from as far away as Australia, China, Latin America, U.S.A. and Japan. As you would expect Europe was well represented with promoters, ring officials, managers etc,etc. coming from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Russia and several more countries. From the UK there were referee/judges Dave Parris, Phil Edwards, Micky Vann and yours truly all with our wives.
I was very surprised however to see both the president and the chairman of the British Boxing Board of Control attending. I have to ask the question does it really take both of them to do the business? Maybe it does, after all I presume their travel and hotel costs are paid by the “Board” which in turn comes out of licence holders fees. Just a thought.
I would like to have seen a couple more British referees there but perhaps they will turn out for Las Vegas next year.
It was nice to see Frank Warren and his son George there along with Dean Powell who’s always got a good story to tell. They were followed around with a couple of guys from Box Nation who were filming events.
Former World featherweight champion Barry McGuigan was there obviously trying to get his fighter Carl Frampton a mandatory title shot. My wife, who is an advanced nutritionist, and Barry discussed different types of diets etc. Let me tell you the ex-champ really knows his stuff.
I saw no representation on behalf of Matchroom which slightly surprised me because of their connection with W.B.O. lightweight champion Ricky Burns.
As we do each year we had a referee/judges seminar which lasted about 5 hours with the judges section being led by the now retired Las Vegas official Chuck Giampa and his wife Lisa. Not the best double act in the World on this occasion.
The lead-in to the referee’s section was done by Bobby Byrd from Las Vegas who I think is a good official, and a guy from California named Jack Reiss who I had never heard of. Double acts seem to be getting very popular. However one interesting point came up and that was about the difference between a referee either shouting “break” or “stop” when boxers clinch.
The two Ronnie’s, sorry I mean Bobby and Jack both insisted calling “stop” was more precise. So I tried to explain that by calling “stop” you can disrupt the flow of the action simply because wherever a boxer comes from, he could be from the deepest part of the Amazon jungle or the highest range of mountains of Tibet, there are three English words they understand and they are “break” “stop” and “box” or “box on”. They know when “break” is called you take half a step back and continue boxing. If “stop” is called a boxer could expect one of them could be getting a warning and the flow of the action eases, not good. I suggested that all referee’s should stick to the traditional boxing terminologies. I had a great response from the rest of the room including from some other US officials.
Another US referee in attendance, I won’t name him admitted a fight he recently handled because neither boxer could speak English, he did’nt bother to shout “break” or even “stop he decided to just physically part them, and said “wo,wo”. I did’nt bother to ask him what would you have done if one them threw a big punch and floored his opponent. In my opinion by not using the correct terminology a referee can find himself in hot water.
I left the seminar still convinced that British referee’s are still the very best in the World.