The NABF convention opened this morning at the Eldorado Hotel in Reno, Nevada with excitement, happy faces, and a sense of friendship among the attendees. NABF vice president from Mexico, Mauricio Sulaiman brought a filmed message from his father, Jose, who regretted not being able to attend, but wished success to the federation and its members. The video also a slide show of former NABF champions including Muhammad Ali, Thomas Hearns, Terry Norris, Pernell Whitaker, and many others.
It was a great sight to see and remember. Images from past conventions and NABF presidents and members also filled the screens. More than a few giggles, snorts and a few sniffles filled the room as the video also paid tribute outgoing president Joe Dwyer.
Duane Ford was unanimously elected president, while newly elected Vice President Craig Hubble (USA) joined incumbents Mauricio Sulaiman (Mexico) and Ed Pearson (Canada).
A proclamation from Nevada governor Brian Sandoval and mayor of Reno, Bob Cashell was presented to Jose Sulaiman for his leadership and emphasis on boxer safety. July 12th, 2013, was proclaimed a day in his honor.
Awards were presented to:
Horace Kent – Presidents award for dedication to the sport of boxing
Frank Garza – WBC Cares- “Hero with heart of champion” given for selfless acts particularly helping with Gerald McClellan
Joe Dwyer – Leadership from 2009-2013
New president Duane Ford addressed the assembly, putting emphasis on officials – being fair to them and, in return, their responsibility to raise and maintain quality. Ford opined, “The best way to avoid criticism is to do a credible job.” Ford’s emotional acceptance speech emphasized family and community in the NABF.
Friday will continue with photos, a cocktail party and a meeting of the NABF ratings committee.
Saturday will be seminars – officials, supervisors, announcement of new committees, and cap off with the annual awards dinner.
Female champ Christy Martin is also in attendance.