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Presidents Column  |  September 2014

Posted on September 29 2014                                               Bookmark and Share
By WBF President Howard Goldberg  



Many people tell me that they envy the fact that as President of the World Boxing Federation, I get to travel extensively and that I get to see the world. Sometimes true, sometimes not. This month I will provide a little of the 'glamor' of the adventures of a traveling sports administrator.

With an interim world title fight scheduled for General Santos City in the Philippines, my WBF Vice President suggested subtly that it was time for me to have my first trip to boxing crazy Philippines.

A two-hour flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg with a four-hour wait at the Johannesburg airport. Then it was a fourteen-hour flight to Hong Kong with an eighteen-hour stopover.

After that long wait, it was a two-hour flight to Manila and again a four-hour wait before the final two-hour flight to General Santos City (all economy class, mind you, in accordance with our WBF philosophy!), where a tired and sweaty President was enthusiastically received by a driver sent by the promoter.

A thirty minute drive to the resort, and I was told that I would be collected in a couple of hours to go for dinner. The next day was a very impressive weigh-in, and of course followed the day after by the event, which was highly professional, very exciting and which produced two quality WBF champions. Back to the resort after the show, two hours sleep and then collected at 4 am in the morning to be taken back to the airport to start the long four flights back to Cape Town.

Of course nothing is simple and with a typhoon hitting Manila and Hong Kong and flights being threatened with potential delays and cancellations my nerves were on end. Fortunately none of the trips were delayed and apart from the aggravation of many hours waiting in various airports, I returned home timely.

So which sane person would go on such a long, drawn out trip as described above? The truth is that I live, eat, sleep boxing and it is my love for the sport, and the huge passion that I have for boxing that would have me do this all over again, every single week, 52 weeks a year. To go to Philippines and meet our WBF Representative Jim Claude Manangquil and all the boxing people in the great boxing country of the Philippines was an honor for me and made me even appreciate the sport that much more.

Boxing travel is not always glamor, but it is part of the greatest sport in the world, and I would have it no other way. It is wonderful to meet boxing people around the world, and speak the universal language of boxing. My thanks to Jim Claude and his team for their great hospitality and my congratulations go to Harmonito Dela Torre and John Vincent Moralde for winning WBF titles.

I look forward to returning to the Philippines soon to see more of the great fighters in this country fighting for more title even if it means four flights to get there.

Until next time, keep boxing.

Howard Goldberg

PRESIDENT: World Boxing Federation


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