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Presidents Column  |  October 2018
POSTED ON OCTOBER 23, 2018.
BY: WBF PRESIDENT HOWARD GOLDBERG.
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COLUMN   Photo: World Boxing Federation (WBF) President Howard Goldberg.
 
 

After several years of not taking a holiday, my family and I decided on a week away in Thailand on the condition that I would not take any boxing calls, not answer any boxing Skype and not check on the internet as to what was happening in the world of boxing.

Firstly from a travel perspective, Thailand must surely rate as one of the most beautiful idyllic places in the world. The postcards one sees and is skeptical of the truth, resulting in people having huge reservations about its authenticity - take it from me, those postcards are all true. It is a magnificent country, with undeniable beauty, full of polite and genuine people.

Walking around in Phuket, knowing that boxing was out of the question, I ventured away from the family for a few minutes to look at T-shirts and of course boxing T-shirts on the quiet. While doing this shopping, the owner walked up to me and asked if I like boxing, but in particular Thai boxing. I asked him who his favorite orthodox boxing hero was, and he replied Evander Holyfield.

I took out my phone and proceeded to show him a picture of Evander and me, taken in China a few years ago. It was at that moment my idea of a non boxing holiday came to an abrupt end. He started to shout in Thai and suddenly a group of about 20 men approached me all wanting to see pictures of Evander and take pictures with me even though at that point and probably still have absolutely no idea of who I was.

I then outlined my position as president of the World Boxing Federation and again a second group arrived wanting pictures. The truth is that boxing is so universal and most of us involved in the sport we love, irrespective of where we come from speak one language of boxing even if we donít understand the exact translation.

They wanted to sell me gloves, T-shirts, boxing shorts, mouth pieces and much more and one should remember that this wasnít even a boxing shop. I was then invited to attend a Muay Thai boxing event that night. I looked at my family with sheepish eyes hoping that they might relent and allow me to go, but abruptly reminded me that it was a family vacation, and that boxing was not on the agenda.

I have been to many countries around the world, and seen the love, affection and intensity people have for boxing. The energy and excitement of the Thai people meeting me, a boxing person, even though they had no idea who I was or wasnít was incredible.

We then spent four days at Phi Phi island away from all civilization. I took stock of my life, grateful to have a fantastic family but also to work and live life in the sport so dear to me and so many millions around the world. There is not sport in the world that beats boxing!

Finally to my second family - that of those members of the WBF. I am so fortunate to work daily with some of the finest human beings in the world, and I am forever thankful for that.

Good luck to Eddie Marshall who heads to Nigeria tomorrow (yet another new country for the WBF) for two title fights on Friday night.

Until next time, keep boxing.

Howard Goldberg

PRESIDENT: World Boxing Federation

 

 
 
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