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Presidents Column  |  June 2012

Posted on July 12 2012                                              Bookmark and Share
By WBF President Howard Goldberg  



One of the interesting debates over the past year or two is about the future of boxing, given the emergence of MMA and other such contact sports. I was privileged enough to attend two press conferences in three days on two different continents, and was hugely impressed by the enthusiasm, dedication and energy shown by the boxing people in both these press conferences.

One looks at a small show in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha where we staged the WBF International lightweight title between two up-and-coming youngsters from the region. No TV and no sponsors and yet an amazing 4.500 people absolutely packed the Oliver Tambo Hall just to watch boxing. Add to that scenario, the excitement in Malta, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, where every person I met was talking about the WBF world title fight which is due to take place next month. 

A packed Upton Park to watch Haye vs Chisora and one can see that boxing is very much alive and kicking - and kicking with great authority. Fans love boxing, and also the controversy that sometimes accompanies the sport. The question is how to make boxing even better, make it a greater spectator sport and to once again popularize this great sport. The answers are really so simple - and they are answers that we at the WBF push with transparency. Firstly, to set up quality fights but also quality events. Secondly, to ensure that events are organized meticulously and professionally and that spectators walk away greatly satisfied. Thirdly, to make sure the fights are exciting and memorable.

MMA and other related sports offer serious competition to boxing, and it is up to all involved in the boxing business to take up this challenge, a challenge that is perhaps long overdue, and react to it aggressively, professionally and with renewed vigor and passion - and once again show that boxing is here to stay simply by doing the right things and to ensure that the public gets the very best.

We at the WBF aim to do exactly that - we strive for great fights, fights that are quality and fights that will enthrall the public. We strive to work openly with promoters and we expect the highest standards from them, as should they from us. Boxing is certainly here to stay!

Until next time, keep boxing.

Howard Goldberg

PRESIDENT: World Boxing Federation


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