The third and final day of the 28th annual WBO Convention concluded yesterday at the Hilton Hotel in Orlando, Florida.  Although there was no shortage of topics discussed over the week long convention, WBO first Vice President John Duggan’s final presentation was a fitting, and important, conclusion.  He presented a brief but informative summary of the duties and responsibilities of WBO supervisors.  Mr. Duggan discussed the importance of compliance with the Muhammad Ali Act, as well as discussing issues with collecting sanctioning fees overseas and how to report cash payments to customs in the event that payment was made in cash.  He also discussed the discretionary duties inherent in the position, before reminding those supervisors in attendance one area where there was no discretion allowed.

“Weight makes the champion,” Duggan said.  “There is no discretion as to weight.”

Duggan reminded supervisors that a WBO title fight could not proceed if the fighters were overweight, even with agreement of the participants and promoters.

From there President Valcarcel took time to introduce some of the distinguished guest in attendance, including former chairperson of the New York state athletic commissioner Melvina Lathan, who President Valcarcel proudly introduced as a new NABO supervisor.

After several awards were given out business moved on to the eagerly anticipated championship and ratings committee meeting.  Numerous promoters from around the world jockeyed for time to argue for their fighters in front of the WBO executive committee and President Valcarcel.  With the encouragement of the WBO executive committee, several attractive fights were made right from the floor and a handful of fighters came in person to not only petition the WBO for a rating, but in several instances to personally thank the WBO and its members for the opportunities provided to them.  The reputation of the WBO in the boxing community remained unblemished as boxers and promoters saw the openness of the WBO in its actions and decisions.

The WBO convention closed with the much anticipated gala dinner celebration that night.  At the gala the WBO junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes was formally named a “super champion” while numerous other awards were handed out.  Over the three day convention the WBO handed out dozens of plaques to fighters and promoters commemorating their accomplishments in the ring and in the sport.  Also, an impromptu birthday celebration was held for Dr. Ramon Pina, who recently turned 93-years young, while the ever popular “Mighty Sensations” put forth a masterful performance for the crowd in attendance.  The Mighty Sensations remain some of the most popular performers in boxing, even if few outside of the WBO know just how good they are when they are behind the microphone.