By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The president of the World Boxing Organization has joined a growing number of the world professional boxing organizations and outstanding promoters and criticized the plan of the International Amateur Boxing Association or AIBA headed by its president Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu to include select pro boxers in the Olympic Games beginning in Brazil in 2016.

Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, in answer to a query from this columnist on the AIBA plan noted that many of the  greatest WBO Champions were Olympic Boxers and they benefited greatly from their Olympic experiences.

Valcarcel said “Professional Boxing has had a great resurgence of popularity over the last 25 years, with countless new venues worldwide where Professional Boxing Championships are contested and numerous new media outlets competing for Boxing’s ever increasing television audience.   During this same period AIBA has presided over a decline in popularity and fairness of amateur boxing.”

The WBO president said “We have all recognized for many years how unfair it is that Communist Countries have permanent professional teams competing against true amateurs.   30 year old Cuban professionals have competed against 16 to 18 year old free world amateurs.  One Gold Medal is a glorious accomplishment for any athlete.  3 Gold Medals for a Boxer only happens through gross exploitation of the Boxer by the National Association.”

Valcarcel indicated that every Olympic Medalist “should be able to profit from his success and glory and attain his or her fair share of the value that the Boxer’s skills and talents generate.  Professional Boxing, whether it is conducted by AIBA or through the traditional structure, is not physical education.   It is a professional sport conducted for the entertainment of the fans, by athletes motivated by the revenue they can earn.   They make great sacrifices to reach the pinnacle of the sport.   They deserve to receive the fair reward for the sacrifices they make and the risks they take.”

He said AIBA “now wants to structure permanent National Team that competes as professionals until they miraculously reemerge as amateurs every four years at the Olympics.  They have recognized the unpopularity of the sports style they have advocated and their answer is to copy the professional style, but compete as national teams of indentured, underpaid house fighters.  “

Valcarcel insisted “No one seriously believes any of the AIBA boxers would be competitive against WBO Champions.  This is because WBO Champions are formed through free and open competition to determine the best boxers in the world.  It is tragic that AIBA is advocating that countries with many millions of people and many thousands of athletes should restrict the opportunity for its citizens to compete professionally to its National Team in AIBA structure where they are paid not like Professional Boxing Champions based on the amount of revenue that a free market will determine, but based on a set structure determined by the National Team. “

The WBO president expressed the hope that “colonialism and exploitation should be diminishing as the World progresses” even as he criticized  AIBA’s concept as  “an exploitive and foolish step backward from democracy and free markets to collective determination of opportunities and economic colonialism. “

Valcarcel referred to the April 13 WBO super bantamweight championship between Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and former Cuban two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux as “ A great example of the gross distortion of market dynamics that AIBA is perpetrating on its participants.” He pointed out that Rigondeaux “earned more in that one evening than the entire Cuban AIBA team will be paid by Cuba in their lifetimes.”

He accused AIBA under of wanting to “create a monopoly in the name of the International Olympic movement through government fiats, and there doing diminish the popularity of the sport of Boxing and the opportunities of athletes to compete and benefit from professional boxing.  Boxing is too hard a sport to ask its competitors to endure closed shops, suppressed earning and diminished opportunities.  AIBA should be reformed to return Olympic Boxing to its prior excellence and popularity.  It has no business in Professional Boxing and approaches it with the same imperious and feckless manner that it has abused amateur boxing.”–67885

wladimir-klitschko (6)CROP-horzPIANETA

Mannheim, Germany – Undefeated challenger and cancer survivor Francesco Pianeta has vowed to shock undisputed world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko when the pair meet on Saturday night with the Ukrainian’s four world titles on the line.

The 37-year-old Klitschko will defend his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts in Mannheim, south-west Germany, against German-Italian Pianeta, from Gelsenkirchen, who survived testicular cancer three years ago and has an unblemished record of 28 wins and one draw.

“I will bust my backside to get those belts. I am sure that everyone is beatable,” said the 28-year-old Pianeta, who has a tattoo bearing Julius Caesar’s famous phrase “veni, vidi, vici” – “I came, I saw, I conquered”.

Klitschko is looking for the 60th win of his career and having put in 143 sparring rounds in preparation, he said he is ready.

“I’m as ready as I always am, but I will not underestimate him,” said Klitschko, who has used Pianeta as a sparring partner in previous years and has a record of 59 wins, 50 KOs, and three loses.

“It is the opportunity of a lifetime and he has already won his toughest fight, because he has defeated cancer.”

A crowd of 13,000 is expected in Mannheim and the fight will be broadcast in 150 countries, but Klitschko wants a quick knock-out.

“I will give everything for a clear win,” he said.

A Klitschko victory, and one for ‘regular’ WBA belt-holder Alexander Povetkin of Russia, would see the pair meet in Moscow on August 31 at the city’s 60,000-seater Olympic Hall.

Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov won the purse bid to stage that bout with a staggering $23.33 million bid last week.

As the real champion, the Ukrainian is entitled to 75 percent of that figure, which would give him a career-high $17,250,000 purse.

Confusingly, Povetkin is the ‘regular’ WBA champion and Klitschko the organisation’s ‘super’ champion – an honour bestowed on him when he united the WBA belt to his three others following a victory against David Haye in 2011 – but they are obliged to fight in order to leave just a single WBA belt-holder.

The two former Olympic champions were due to clash twice before but Povetkin pulled out in 2008 because of injury and then backed out inexplicably a second time in 2010.

Klitschko has banned any questions about the possible Povetkin fight – ”I am not going to answer any more questions on this subject. That would be disrespectful to Francesco” – and has said his dream is to fight at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Having won super-heavyweight gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games, Klitschko will have turned 40 by the time the next Summer Olympics come round, but the World Association of Amateur Boxers (AIBA) has not ruled out the idea, even though he will be too old to fight under the current rules.

“The AIBA has heard the dream of Wladimir Klitschko,” AIBA spokesman Sebastien Gillot told SID, an AFP subsidiary.–65047