Print this article
World Boxing Federation People: Howard Goldberg
                                            Bookmark and Share


FEATURE   Photo: World Boxing Federation (WBF) President since 2009, Howard Goldberg from Cape Town, South Africa.

As is the case with any organization, effective and professional team-work behind the scenes is necessary to make the World Boxing Federation (WBF) run as smoothly as possible. Thankfully, the WBF has been able to attract a line-up of very astute boxing personalities to make sure of this.

Most people will agree that boxing should mainly be about the boxers. They deserve the spotlight and the accolades more than anyone, but it is still a fact that the sport needs qualified and capable people working behind the scenes to make things happen.

In the WBF People feature-series, we try to shed some light on the men and women who makes the World Boxing Federation what it is. The time has come to put the spotlight on the man at the top, WBF President Howard Goldberg from South Africa.


Howard Goldberg was born sixty years ago, on August 21 of 1957 in beautiful Cape Town. He grew up to achieve diplomas and degrees in education, as well as an MBA on his way to becoming a teacher, Headmaster and lecturer before retiring in 2011.

As a youngster he was a successful sportsman, playing first league Football and getting invited to trials in England, as well as first league Tennis and first league Squash. But his main sport and interest was Chess, where he won many tournaments and even represented South Africa at the Maccabiah Games.

Chess would also eventually lead him to a life in professional boxing. The president of the Cape Town Chess Club was a man called Simmy Lewis, who also happened to be one of the best boxing statisticians ever. He was also Goldberg´s neighbor for many years, and soon became a great friend and mentor.

Lewis, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 97, was the one who advised Goldberg to get involved with boxing as a referee and judge. Having had one amateur bout in the army, Howard quickly realized that this would be one sport that was not for him.

I had that one fight, and I am glad that I did, but I got hit too hard and thought that it would be easier to referee and judge”, says Goldberg with a laugh. “I actually won the fight, but I am not sure how. I was hit too many times for my liking, but apparently I hit the other guy more...”

His sportsman-mentality served him well as a boxing official, as he decided to become the best he could be in that field too. He went on to referee and judge more than one hundred world championship fights, and around forty South African title fights.

In 2009 he joined forces with other accomplished boxing administrators to restructure the World Boxing Federation (WBF), which was established in 1988 but forced to dissolve in 2004. With Goldberg as President, the WBF has since reached new heights.

Our goal was to bring transparency, and of course honesty and integrity to the sport, and with the World Boxing Federation I believe we have definitely done that”, says Goldberg, who himself promoted boxing for a few years and also know the business from that side of the table.

I always believe that everyone we work with is equally important. It doesn’t matter if the fight is in Las Vegas or a Township in South Africa, we treat the promoters and boxers with equal importance, respect and professionalism.”

While he is the “face” of the WBF, Goldberg is quick to stress that the progress of the sanctioning body is due to teamwork, first, last, always! With activity in over fifty countries world-wide, he is extremely proud of his team and committees, and everyone’s tireless work to promote the WBF philosophy and brand.

It is such a privilege to work with a group of people who share the same philosophy, to make boxing better and more honest. We may not be at the very top yet, but we are heading there and we want to get there while remaining honest and transparent.”

I say this all the time, and excuse me if I am sounding like a broken record, but boxing fans are tired of organizations creating new titles, every week it seems, with the sole purpose being to create more and more income for themselves.”

The Money Belt? It says it all, really! Silver, Diamond, Regular, Super, and so on. It makes your stomach turn, it honestly does. Besides having no hidden agenda, we strive to reduce the number of titles, keep it at a minimum, so that they at least become meaningful.”

On a personal note, Howard met his wife Mandy, a teacher, in a cold restaurant and literally gave her the shirt off his back. The pair has been married for twenty-five years now, live in Cape Town and have two children, Nicole (23), an occupational therapist, and Sam (18) who is in his final years of High School.

He no longer play Football, Tennis or Squash, but Goldberg still enjoys Chess and even gives back to the community by teaching the game to underprivileged school children from disadvantaged areas in his spare time, free of charge of course.

He has also found time to take up a new sport, Golf, which he modestly insist he is not too good at, handicapping between 14 and 24.

With the world-wide handicap-average for men being 16, Goldberg is still an above-average golfer when at his best, so it appears that he is one of those people who are, some would say quite annoyingly, good at every sport he gets involved in.

Thankfully he has taken his competitive nature with him into his position as WBF President, and thankfully this is a role he is also very good at.

  WBF People: Ernst Salzgeber
  WBF People: Patrick Leonard
  WBF People: Sergio Sotelo
  WBF People: Torben Seemann Hansen

| HOME |













Copyright © wbf -  all rights reserved     |     world boxing federation     |     |     webdesign by f.j.e.e.k. 2009     |