Round 12: Resistance To Change
By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán – President of
The World Boxing Council, in collaboration with national
boxing federations and local boxing commissions, has
revolutionized the sport, implementing measures to make it
safer for fighters as well as to improve the dynamics of the
sport in general, making precise modifications to certain
rules to achieve justice, and modernizing boxing to bring it
to the levels of other sports, using technology that is now
a reality and serves to maximize justice in the fights.
Resistance to change is what so often dominates.
Traditionalists immediately reject the possibility of even
studying and analyzing the proposed modifications. There are
some who, taking advantage of their position, abuse the
power that it gives them, and even take actions to block the
possibility of any variation/innovation/progress.
José Sulaimán led the World Boxing Council with a tireless
passion to improve the sport that he so loved. Don José was
visionary; he always saw what others could barely imagine
and he fought with determination to break those paradigms
that kept boxing in the dark for decades. The decisions made
by the WBC have saved many lives, dignified the boxer, and
guaranteed a healthy and decent life after a career in the
The most important changes, without a doubt, are those that
through medical studies determined courses of action to make
this sport more humane, with specific recommendations based
Going down from 15 to 12 rounds was a recommendation which
came from the studies and research which the WBC sponsored
at UCLA. The severity of the condition in which a fighter
could be found in those last three rounds was determined,
the physical and mental condition and the effects that blows
to the head was thoroughly analyzed where fatigue and
dehydration led them to fight with the high risk of brain
injury and, sometimes, death.
The change on the day of the official weigh-in, to be one
day before the fight, was another of the great change
achievements. The dehydration that the fighter suffers to
reach the official weight is, in many occasions, dramatic.
That day when he rehydrates, where he manages to sleep
calmly, without the anguish of having to suffer the weight
struggle, so the general recovery of the body and brain, has
been perhaps the most important change in boxing history.
Additionally, the WBC has been using instant replay in
boxing for over 10 years; despite this, we have experienced
constant resistance in some countries. The announcement of
the official scores at the end of the fourth and eighth
rounds was also implemented, with the same opposition, and
that has been the dynamic in the current world, where
mummified resistance to change was manifested, and the abuse
of power, based on egotistical and insecure characters, hold
back the good evolution of boxing.
Administrative protocols have been developed. Limiting the
number of people participating in the event has been an
important factor in order to minimize the risks. The WBC has
adjusted the "Remote Judging System," which has been used in
the past two years, to evaluate and train ring officials.
This program has been used as an option to reduce the
persons that are present at the event and has brought a
series of great features for events during current
The Remote Judging system does not pretend to "challenge"
boxing structure, it is not a threat to boxing judges and
their performance at ringside. It is simply an alternative
that can be used at these difficult moments, however, it is
bringing a series of very positive alternatives for boxing.
To have 6, 8 or as many professional certified officials
judge remotely is bringing a wide new wonder to the
administration of our sport. It is a fact that the more
judges officiate an event, the less possibility of a wrong
decision, period. It is also a possible fun feature for fans
during a broadcast. Sports fans love statistics and
information during the events.
Zanfer promotions, with Azteca Television in Mexico,
promoted three shows. Those were aired on ESPN in the United
States, and ESPN Knockout throughout Central and South
As part of the reduction of personnel protocol, the judges
officiated remotely, with three from the television studio
and three more from home in the United States. All six
judges' cards were the official scores and the experiment
has been an absolute success.