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World Boxing Federation People: Diana Spasova
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FEATURE   Photo: World Boxing Federation (WBF) Executive Board-Member, and former General Secretary, Diana Spasova.

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. WBF Men were the subject of the first five installments, so it is a nice change to focus on former WBF General Secretary and current Executive Board Member Diana Spasova.


She lives in a small, 900 year old German town called Egeln, situated on the river Bode, on the outskirts of Magdeburg. Her husband is German, but Diana Spasova was born in Bulgaria in 1973. She was raised in Sofia and lived there until 2002, moved to Germany and eventually married Dirk in 2015.

That’s the short version of the personal angle on Spasova, but of course there is much more to tell.

I graduated from university in Sofia with a Masters degree in educational science, and have teacher-training in Primary School teaching”, explains Diana.

Currently I work as a child care worker in the English department of “Dreisprachige Internationale Grundschule”, a trilingual all-day Primary School in Magdeburg. So I am neither fish nor fowl, but I am very happy that in this school I can combine child care and teaching.”

So how did she get involved with professional boxing? The days where the sport and business of boxing is handled only by men are long gone, but it is still not an environment you would first expect to find a Primary School teacher spend her spare time.

For me it was a coincidence. After moving to Germany, I was looking for a job where I could improve my German and at the same time use the other languages I speak. My brother-in-law made a contact to an acquaintance of his, a boxing promoter, and I was hired.”

Diana worked for SES Boxing in Magdeburg for five years, and learned plenty about how the boxing business works. She values the fact that she met so many, as she calls it, “extraordinary and interesting people”, which leads us to how she got involved with the World Boxing Federation:

Some of the SES boxers were fighting for WBF titles, and so I was actively communicating with Howard (Goldberg), Marcel (Nartz), Olaf (Schroeder) and others from the WBF. They must have liked how I worked, because one day they approached me to ask if I would like to join them...”

And join the WBF she did, taking on the role of General Secretary in 2010. Due to her effectiveness and professionalism, the job got more and more extensive as the years passed, and she quickly became an invaluable member of the team.

After seven years as General Secretary, she stepped down from that position in the summer of 2017 and instead became a member of the WBF Executive Board. This meant a lighter work-load for Diana, but it was also a confirmation of her importance to the organization.

Besides taking part in the day-to-day board decisions of the WBF, Diana also assist promoters, managers and boxers with organizational knowledge, and the plan is for her to start working as a WBF Championship supervisor in the future.

But what she is too modest to mention is that without her and husband Dirk, the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Conventions, most recently held in Maribor, Slovenia, would not be nearly as successful and smoothly run as they are.

Diana and Dirk are more or less the heart and soul of the WBF conventions, as they take care of so many things its impossible to mention them all. Before, during and after, they are on top of everything, from helping with visa applications to acting as the mobile office, always available to help the guests.

A convention is more fun than normal work”, says Diana. “For me a WBF convention is a melting-pot of cultures and religions, people coming from all walks of life getting closer by exchanging opinions on fights, boxers, venues or boxing policy. Anything, really, but we all share the same passion for boxing.”

And, getting back to the “woman in a mans world” scenario, which is also impossible to ignore at boxing conventions, Diana is very open-minded and always eager to learn new things:

It is a bit strange at times, working mainly among men. I do feel different as a woman, and its sometimes a weird plus-minus experience. However, I am trying in my WBF work to “not be so much a woman”, and to learn from the men´s behavior as much as possible.”

Before leaving Sofia for Magdeburg, professional boxing was probably one of the last things Diana expected would be a huge part of her life. But now it is, and she also follows the sport when she is not personally involved.

I have no favorite boxers, but I always watch boxing when fights are shown on German TV. Occasionally, I even buy Pay-Per-View fights.”

It sure sounds like she has boxing in her blood now! But if you think she hasn’t thought about why a teacher and child care worker likes a violent sport such as boxing, well, you are sorely mistaking. In fact, she can tell you very eloquently and precisely what fascinates her:

The pursuit of intelligence and easy perfection in a fight. The mix of testosterone, intelligent movement and tactics. The unconstrained emotion of the audience. The vibration in the air before a big fight. The hope that your favorite boxer will prevail. Those are all aspects and situations I enjoy very much.”

Yes, boxing is very much in her blood!

And yes, without Diana, and Dirk, the World Boxing Federation would not be the same. They are truly “unsung heroes” and a major part in the success of the WBF.

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  WBF People: Torben Seemann Hansen

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