2014 IBF Convention: Day Two

Day two of the 31st annual IBF convention in Atlantic City, patient check New Jersey was a full, activity-filled day. began with the medical seminar, then moved on to the judges seminar, ratings meeting and board of directors elections.

In the medical seminar, Drs. Barry Jordan, Rick Weinstein, Anthony Curreri, Paul Wallace and guest speaker Greg Sirb, Pennsylvania Athletic Commission chairman all delivered excellent talks on various aspects of boxing and health.

Greg Sirb, Pennsylvania State Athletic chairman and a former ABC president, debated passionately against today’s standard of 24-hour weigh-ins before a fight. Sirb offered there has been no difference in the number of deaths between what Sirb called the golden era of boxing- the sixties and seventies and the last thirty or so years when 24-hour weigh-ins were instituted.

Sirb maintained one of the main culprits in weight-related injuries in the ring is due to boxers competing in weight classes they have no business being in. He feels that trend has been supported by money and television. Sirb proposed two different proposals to the current situation. Proposal #1 is the “Second Day weigh-in.” While still using the 24-hour weigh-in standard, a second day weigh-in would be instituted the next day, on the day of the fight. The fighter cannot gain more than ten pounds over their weight from the previous day. In proposal #2, a “Skin test” is implemented. This involves pinching the skin either under the arm, or around the waist with a caliper, to test for percentage of body fat, based on a previously established body fat percentage measurement.

Dr. Jordan, a neurologist and chief of the NYSAC spoke on brain injury, unfortunately, an inherent part of boxing. Dr. Jordan touched on recent information linking genetic predisposition and appearance of the Toa protein in cerebral spinal fluid in relation to chronic conditions such as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Dr. Jordan also touched on the possibility of delayed onset of neurological damage manifesting themselves over a period of even years in some cases.

Dr. Anthony Curreri, an ophthalmologist gave a talk entitled Ocular Complications Associated with Boxing. Curreri discussed the types of injuries, not only to the eyeball itself, but also to the skin around the eye and the bone structure supporting the eye within the skull, as well as treatment measures, if any. Pre-fight testing was also stressed to detect impaired vision and eye function in a boxer.

Dr. Paul Wallace reviewed the ARP (Association of Ringside Physicians) recommendation on safety measure in both amateur and professional boxing. Topics such as head gear, types of mouth guards, gloves.

Dr. Rick Weinstein reviewed Orthopedic Injuries in Boxing. Everything from bone breaks of hands, wrists, clavicles, jaws, orbitals and joint injuries such as sprained ankles, knees, wrists, shoulder dislocations and muscles tears or ruptures were discussed and displayed in a slide show.

After lunch, the judges seminar was headed up by Robert Hoyle and Robert Byrd. Scoring criteria was heavily emphasized during this seminar. Also professional preparation and conduct leading up to and during the fight was emphasized. A judging exercise was held with videos of various rounds being shown and the judges submitting their scores. These rounds included Mayweather-Guerrero rds. 4 & 11, Thurman-Diaz rd. 1, Mayweather-Cotto rds. 11 & 12, Garcia-Matthysse rd. 6, Lopez-Salido rd. 3, Thurman-Soto Karass rd. 7.

In the simultaneously held ratings seminar, Anibal Miramontes and Lindsey Tucker presided over a room full of promoters and fighter representatives. Such luminaries as Gary Shaw, Sampson Lewkowicz, Sean Gibbons, Sauerland, Russell Peltz, DiBella Entertainment, Luis DeCubas, Leon Margulis, Felipe Fondu, Shingo Suzuki, Tom Loeffler (K2), Main Events, Eddie Hearn and a host of others were on hand to lobby for their respective charges in the IBF ratings.

At the end of the ratings meeting, IBF president Daryl Peoples introduced Mat Podgorski who presented his POD Index Consulting service, in cooperation with CompuBox. The POD Index evaluates judges and compares their performances based on specific statistical criteria, including how they compare with each other in a given fight, whether they have statistically favored volume over power, hometown fighters, the promoter’s fighter, and more. Podgorski handed out to the assembled promoters and fighter representatives copies of his POD Index Consulting Service packet as well as an example of a finished product- a recommendation made for the Donovan George vs. Alexander Brand IBO Super Middleweight title fight which was to have taken place in Colombia.

The end of the day saw elections for three positions on the board of directors. Incumbents were board members Hiawatha Knight and Vaughn LaPrade as well as president Daryl Peoples. Opposing new candidates were Eddie Cotton of the USA, Ray Reed of Australia and Roberto Rea of Italy.
Peoples was the leading vote getter with 100 votes, followed by Roberto Rea with 68 and Eddie Cotton with 66, unseating Knight and LaPrade. The position of president will be ratified by by the board at the conclusion of the convention on Thursday.