Cape Town — For only the third time in SA boxing history, a world sanctioning organisation will hold its annual convention in Mzansi.
In October 1998, the multi-million-dollar World Boxing Council's (WBC) convention was in Johannesburg, and the late president Nelson Mandela delivered the opening address. In March 2000, the World Boxing Union's (WBU) convention was in Cape Town. The then minister of sport Ncgonde Balfour opened proceedings.
Next week, the fastest-growing world sanctioning body, the World Boxing Federation (WBF), will host its convention in Cape Town over five days. Delegates from all around the world will attend.
The WBF have been the most active sanctioning body in the country and has provided many work opportunities for fight officials such as judges, referees, cornermen and timekeepers. Also, by staging title bouts, many boxers have had a chance to fight for titles and become champions.
WBF president Howard Goldberg has many years of experience as a referee and judge. He has officiated in over 300 title fights all around the world. Nowadays, he serves as a fight supervisor for the WBF internationally.
Goldberg and his fellow WBF officials have run training courses on various boxing subjects around the world. He is ideally equipped to run boxing in South Africa and has several degrees, including a Master of Business Administration. In the past, the agency appointed to find candidates for the chief executive officer's post has told him outright that a black person must be appointed.
Goldberg was formerly an official of the WBU and he organised their convention in 2000 in Cape Town.
The annual convention unites delegates and they discuss topical issues, plans and future fights. There are discussions around current champions and the candidates for the championship titles.
Consistency in officiating bouts has always been a major concern, and many hours will be dedicated to professional seminars, including the judges’ seminar and referees’ seminar.
The convention will be held at a Sea Point hotel and activities start on Wednesday morning with registration. From Thursday to Friday, there will be a host of seminars.
The referees and judges’ seminar will be conducted by Goldberg.
The medical seminar will be presented by Dr Louwrens Erasmus, a healthcare practitioner, specialising as a general practitioner. Rael Koping will conduct a nutrition seminar. He has over 20 years of experience as a registered dietician and has worked with many sports teams, including the Stormers, the reigning United Rugby Championship winners.
The well-known Gauteng boxing trainer Gert Strydom will present a cornerman seminar. Strydom has been associated with various martial arts and has many years of experience as a boxer and a trainer. He runs a professional gym in Gauteng and runs fitness classes for corporates.
During the convention, the WBF will present a tournament that will be promoted by Jackie Brice at the Sunningdale Sports Complex on Friday evening. There will be two WBF title fights on the bill.
The WBF have lined up several tourist opportunities for delegates while in the Mother City.