Newsletter EUBC by President Franco Falcinelli – July/August 2020

17 August 2020 Featured

Dear National Federation Presidents, Dear Secretaries General, Dear Boxing Coaches, Dear Athletes,

At the recent EUBC Executive Committee Meeting convened for the first time via videoconference on August 8, 2020, we followed the expressed desire and readiness of National Federations to return to international

Dmitriy Gaistruck – EUBC Competition Manager

competitions and kept the hope of winning a Continental Championships medals in 2020 alive for European athletes in Junior, Youth, and U22 age categories. Based on the statistics expertly gathered by Dmitriy Gaistruck through the survey of 38 European National Federations on COVID-19 impact on boxing in Europe, as well as taking into account the recommendations of the EUBC Coaches, Competition and Medical Commissions, the Executive Committee voted to re-schedule

  • EUBC Junior European Boxing Championships
  • EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships
  • EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships

for the months of November and December of 2020.

The EC decided to cancel the 2020 Schoolboys and Schoolgirls European Boxing Championships.

Local Organizing Committees of the re-scheduled 2020 major events (Georgia, Montenegro and Italy) have been asked by EUBC to provide guarantees that all Team Delegations will be allowed to enter the Host Country and avoid mandatory quarantine upon arrival in order to ensure a level playing field for all participating NFs. Following the provision of these guarantees, EUBC will formally announce the Host Cities and exact dates. EUBC will also be working on a COVID-19 protocol of competition management to minimize the risk of virus contraction during the Championships. LOCs will be expected to follow this protocol rigorously.

At the same time, EUBC took note of shared concerns regarding the health of athletes and coaches, the inability of some National Federations to manage their training and team selection processes under the ongoing pandemic, as well as reports of a second COVID-19 wave already impacting a number of European countries. As health and safety of athletes remains the top priority, EUBC will continue to monitor the situation closely and reserves the right to disallow staging the abovementioned Championships in 2020 at the next Executive Committee meeting in September. As much as you all, we hope that the epidemiological situation in Europe will permit international boxing competitions to take place in 2020, but still ask National Federations to remain adaptive and resilient throughout these challenging times.

The international situation is turning out to be much more serious than the expectations of the social, economic and sports world. The emergence of new coronavirus outbreaks in many countries portends a second wave that would seriously undermine socio-political and economic balances worldwide. Promisingly, many countries, including Great Britain, Russia, USA, China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Germany and France have announced the testing of a vaccine that could stop this terrible pandemic. COVID-19 vaccine could arrive soon, but dissemination to a critical mass of the world population presents serious production as well as logistical challenges and is widely believed to extend to spring of 2021. Only after mass vaccination, the circulation of the virus can be definitively contained, ensuring through large-scale herd immunity, sufficient to protect the entire population.

I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to the boxers, coaches, doctors & physios, administrators, boxing clubs, and National Federations for the resilience and commitment shown in these long months of inactivity. I thank the National Federations who took part in the survey and helped EUBC understand the effects of the pandemic on training and competitions. EUBC Coaches Commission Members stressed that keeping boxers disciplined and motivated throughout the lockdown was a common serious challenge. Thus, we welcomed and admired all the initiatives that have been independently developed to keep the boxers’ level of athletic and technical preparation high. You have kept the lamp of hope lit and illuminated the path in this dark tunnel of the most terrible pandemic of this century.

“We must accept the past, without regrets, handle the present with confidence and face our future without fear”

Mohamed Moustahsane, AIBA Interim President

It is important to further make you aware that AIBA Interim President, Dr. Mohamed Moustahsane, joined the EUBC EC videoconference on August 8. Besides the EUBC Championships Calendar and effects of COVID-19 on boxing in Europe, the EC discussed the possibility of AIBA holding the announced Congress by means of online videoconference in December as opposed to further postponement to 2021.

Dr. Moustahsane explained that in extraordinary circumstances, like the one caused by COVID-19 pandemic, it is legally possible for AIBA to stage an online Congress and even hold presidential elections in the same way. Technical aspects must certainly be considered and Interim President plans to survey all National Federations on this important subject prior to taking a decision.

Finally, Interim President clarified the publicized matter of cooperation with WBA, assuring EUBC EC Members that only preliminary discussions have been held until this stage with a goal of helping boxers to have a more secure career and following the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, which recommends International Federations to forge alliances with professional governing bodies. Dr. Moustahsane announced his intention to create an inclusive working group to guide this project further and promised that exhaustive information would be provided to all National Federations prior to any formal agreements with WBA or another professional governing body.

In the meantime, I would like to pay tribute to the International Left-Handed Day, first celebrated on August 13, 1992 by the Left Handers Club in the United Kingdom and since then adopted internationally. The increase in the number of lefties has been notable in recent years in all areas of life. The priority use of the left hand in 1860 was equivalent to 2%, while in 1920 it had already risen to 4%. In the contemporary era, it is close to 11%. There are many famous left-handed individuals in many different areas.

Actors: Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, Peter Fonda, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Mickey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone,

Philosophers: Aristotle, Nietzsche, Kant,

Musicians: Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney (the Beatles),

Artists: Michelangelo, Raffaello, Picasso, Leonardo Da Vinci,

Writers: Alberto Moravia, Kafka, Mark Twain,

Champions of other sports: Pele, Maradona, Platini, Gullit, Ayrton Senna, Valentino Rossi,

Scientists: Albert Einstein, Marie Curie,

Politicians and great leaders: Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, Joan of Arc, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, Gandhi, Henry Ford, John F. Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill.

It is understandable that with these extraordinary “testimonials”, the interest of the scientific world for left-handers could only be deepened. Today we know that each hemisphere of the brain controls the opposite side of the body and presides over specific functions. Left hemisphere is essentially responsible for the logical-linguistic functions and analytical thinking. The right hemisphere manages the visual, perceptual, imaginative, musical and intuitive thinking functions that affect spatial orientation, artistic abilities and the consequent `capacity to grasp reality as a whole, rather than breaking it down into its various elements.

In boxing, the number of lefties has increased incredibly in recent years as the share of southpaw boxers, who conquer the podium in international and Olympic events almost reached 40%. Fighting against a southpaw has always created technical-tactical difficulties for most orthodox boxers, as well as for other southpaws. The main reason for this difficulty lies in the fact that, while a southpaw finds a wide availability of orthodox training and sparring partners, as well as competitive experience against an orthodox stance, there is much greater difficulty in gaining regular high quality training and competitive experience against a southpaw. Today, an orthodox boxing stance is still much more common. In order to develop the ability of their pupils to counter southpaws, coaches reverse the natural stance of some right-handers in training.

Vasil Lomachenko

There are notable cases of coaches training naturally right-handed athletes to box in southpaw stance in an attempt to utilize the inconvenience factor and to put an emphasis on a more commanding and powerful jab. Perhaps the most prominent example is a two-time Olympic Champion and current lightweight professional World Champion Vasil Lomachenko.

Reversely, Oscar de la Hoya and Miguel Cotto are legendary lefties who predominantly fought in orthodox stance. Just as Roy Jones Jr.and Giovanni Parisi who were a natural righty, could switch stances in accordance with his tactical plan without any negative effect on their performances.

Among the greatest southpaw boxers I would like to point out Carmen Basilio, Laszlo Papp, Marvin Hagler, Bruno Arcari, Hector Camacho, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar de la Hoya, Joe Calzaghe, Vicente Saldivar, Oleksndr Usyk, Flash Elorde, Many Pacquiao, and Sergio Martínez.

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