The WBC – Up to More Shenanigans

As incredulous as it may seem the WBC is again drawing the wrath of knowledgeable fans and pundits with there latest public decry that Manny Pacquiao pay them a sanctioning fee for his December 6 mega fight with Oscar De La Hoya.  Never mind that fact that the fight will be contested not for any title, but it seems that Jose Sulaiman and his misguided cronies are simply wanting to line their pockets in a fight that they have no sanctioning authority.

But this being boxing, everyone is looking to suckle from the teat of the cash windfall that is sure to be generated by the De La Hoya – Pacquiao battle.  Why should the WBC be any different?  It is not as if they have displayed the most exemplary examples of ethical conduct.  Like my Granny used to say, “if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then you bet your stupid ass it’s a f**king duck.”  It should be noted at this point that dear sweet Granny loved her Jamison whisky.  In any event I don’t see how the WBC can stand in front of the world and ask that Pacquiao pay a 3% sanctioning fee for a fight that their Presidente por Vida Jose Sulaiman chastised as being little more than a circus.

The very merits of the WBCs claim lies somewhere in the jumbled mess of nonsense that is their governing bylaws.  Apparently the fact that Pacquiao opted fight De La Hoya instead of defending it against his mandatory opens him up to this charge.  Consider it a “permission fee” with the fighter receiving the right to fight anyone of their choosing rather than a WBC mandated opponent.  In a way I can understand this.  After all, my main beef with the Ring Magazine championship policy is their refusal to strip a champion even if that champion refuses to defend his belt for any great length of time (i.e. Floyd Mayweather Jr.) but Pacquiao just won the WBC lightweight title in his last fight, so it’s not like he has been holding the green strap hostage.

In response to the public backlash this recent news has caused, the WBC issued a ridiculously long press release that addresses the need for them to charge such a fee on a fight that they have no stake in.  I will spare you all the release in its entirety but did want to go over some points that need to be addressed:

First of all, the WBC would like to express its profound respect and admiration to Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the president of the great country, also to the great people of the Philippines , nation that founded the WBC in 1963.

Some standard political pandering by Sulaiman.  As we here at The Queensberry Rules are all too familiar with, when you do wrong by Pacquiao fans, you must deal with the whole Filipino Nation.  No doubt Sulaiman has encountered his fair share of hate mail these past few days.  Also, it should be noted that the WBC was formed in Mexico City, not the Philippines as Sulaiman insinuates.  Though to his credit there was a Filipino founding father in Justiniano Montano present on that day in 1963.

The whole World Boxing Council considered an embarrassment and humiliation, as well as an act of disrespect by Mr. Mike Koncz, who with his communications ill-advising the great champion of the world by disrespecting the organization that opened the doors to opportunities for him to show his greatness.

Mike Koncz is one of Pacquiao’s advisers.  Apparently the WBC is up in arms given Koncz advising Pacquiao to lowball the WBCs demand of $30,000 for the fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.  It is reported that Koncz countered with an offer of $20,000.  I like the part about the WBC “opening the doors of opportunity” for Pacquiao.  Never mind that the Pacman is one of the sports greats.  It was his blinding blend of power and speed, not to mention his charisma has made him a superstar and not some nefarious sanctioning body.  Though there is a bit of truth to what Sulaiman is saying.  Manny’s first real title was the WBC flyweight title, which he won back in 1998.

First, the WBC has a rule that all champions and challengers must pay a three percent sanction fee to the organization. They humiliated the WBC by questioning the pending $30,000 in his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, which he himself promised to pay months ago, and didn’t pay. But now Mr. Koncz is informing that he has to talk with the promoter to see if they are paying or not such debt to the WBC.

I love how the WBC is “humiliated”.  I mean really, really WBC?

Second, they requested permission to fight Oscar De La Hoya with the WBC approval. In this fight, we estimate that he might make more than $10 million, at least, and he offered to pay the WBC only $20,000, like if we, the WBC, were beggars. The WBC rules are very clear regarding WBC champions fighting without defending his title.

I especially like the fact that the WBC “estimates” Pacquiao will make $10 million in his fight with De La Hoya.  Never mind the fact that Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions denies such a high figure but shouldn’t the WBC charge a fee on the fighter’s guaranteed purse and not sum estimated sum?  Word circulating around the Philippines is that Don King is the one who put the bug in Sulaiman’s ear about Pacquiao’s “estimated earnings”.  Oh, and Sulaiman, you are coming off as a beggar in case you missed that little bit of irony.  Issuing a press release and demanding money that really shouldn’t be owed to you is begging.

Third, after the De La Hoya fight without defending his title, he requested the WBC for one other permission to fight Ricky Hatton or Floyd Mayweather – let me clarify: not Manny Pacquiao, but his representative, Mr. Koncz – which means the WBC must freeze the WBC lightweight title for much more than a year, taking away all opportunities to all fighters who are fighting every day to win and fight for the title, to find that there is a barrier and they cannot fight because their champion is not available.

Ok, I can see their point in this regards.  I mean after all, no sense in holding on to the lightweight title if your next two fights are at welterweight and junior welterweight.  But funny how the WBC continued to allow Floyd Mayweather Jr. to retain his welterweight title with little fuss when he refused to actually fight anybody in the 147 pound division.  In fact even after Mayweather announced his retirement, the WBC refused to believe it until “Money” actually spoke to them in person.  Me thinks that “Money May” was breaking off some dinero to the WBC, thus keeping them quite.

In regards with his fight against Oscar De La Hoya, instead of the 1.5 percent that he must pay, which is half of the three percent stated in the rules, he must pay $100,000, which is much less, as a sanction fee if he wants to keep the title of the WBC.

If I’m advising Pacquiao, I tell him to lose the belt and tell the WBC to kiss his national treasure ass.  Pacquiao is at a point in his career where belts mean nothing.  It’s not as if he is some unproven prospect of avoided fighter.  Pacquiao is a cash cow, with more options than he knows what to do with.  Give up the belt.

The WBC has nothing against boxers, as we have a pension plan to help with food and medicine for many ex-boxers in the the world. The WBC is only working for the safety of boxers, and not one single member officer of the WBC gets any compensation from the WBC or boxing whatsoever.

Somehow I seriously doubt the validity of that statement.

We love Manny Pacquiao. He is our superstar. He is the pride of the WBC and he represents one of the most beloved countries in the world in the WBC, such as the great Philippines , but Mr. Pacquiao is very ill-advised and they are hurting his image and the people that helped open doors for him, without any knowledge of what is fair or what is not and those people advising Manny are not only not doing their right job, but they are hurting his image for what is the truth and with the intention to destroy the image of the WBC, as if we were beggars and belt merchants.

But Mr. Sulaiman, you are beggars and belt merchants.  How was this not relayed to you in your job description?

We will always love Manny Pacquiao whether he stays or not, but we ask him to give consideration to the institution that opened the doors for his greatness.’ That’s the end of the press release.

Again, the WBC had no part in Pacquiao’s greatness.  Stop fooling yourself WBC.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.