In this interview Argentina Condors General Manager Hernan Salvo gives his reaction to the news that henceforth all WSB matches will be contested across ten weight categories in line with all other AIBA competitions.
The move to 10 weight categories has been widely welcomed by boxers and boxing media outlets why do you think that is?
Yes, there is lots of enthusiasm in boxing ranks because this change will potentially allow every boxer to take part in the WSB competition. Beforehand not every boxer could enter as the matches were limited to just five weight categories. The trouble was to be able to compete many athletes had to make huge weight adjustments. That was the case for Brian Castaño, our boxer who normally competes at Welterweight (69kg) but in the WSB he needed to go up to 73kg to be able to compete [as boxers need to be close to the top of the weight group or they risk being out muscled].
Also the media will be more interested in covering the events now as more famous boxers will be competing in these additional weight categories. Hopefully, the WSB will now attract new audiences.
Are there any boxers on your team who will specifically benefit from this change?
Yes there are a few. Fabian Maidana and Alberto Palmetta are the first examples that spring to mind. Both boxers are in the Light Welterweight (64kg) category and could not compete in the WSB; they could not cut enough to make the old WSB 61kg category or gain the muscle to go up to 73kg. Nine kilograms (19.5lbs) is far too much to give away in a bout. Juan Carrasco has really had to suffer in his efforts to make 61kg. He has always been very committed and professional in his approach, but things will be easier for him from now on.
Conversely are there any boxers who will be disappointed by the changes for any reason?
I don’t believe there will be anyone who is disappointed. For Alberto Peralta and Yamil Melian there will be a different kind of challenge for them this season. Last season they adjusted to the old WSB weight categories quite easily, it was less of a challenge for them for instance than Maidana and Palmetta. Melian adapted to the old Bantamweight category quickly and was in great shape. Yamil Peralta who’s normal weight is 91kg lost weight to adapt to last season’s 85kg WSB category. After his matches he would go back to his normal weight without any difficulty and at the end of the season he was ranked 1st in 85kg. So actually for him the old categories worked well.
From a management point of view how does this change affect how the team will be run and how boxers will be selected for bouts?
We will be selecting boxers from the national team and focusing on those who adapt easily to the professional boxing style. If we need more boxers we will look for them in the professional ranks. That was what we did with Brian Castaño in the last season.
Are there any weight categories in which you now have too many or too few boxers?
We have a great choice of boxers in lighter categories; these are the most popular categories in Argentina. On the other hand we now have a great deficit in heavier weight categories. We have a small pool of heavyweight boxers and we will need strengthen the team in this area.
Do you feel that the change will affect the overall dynamics of teams within the WSB, for example are there any teams who will be particularly affected (for better or worse)?
I sincerely think it will bring a new, positive dynamic to the competition. It will improve the standard of the competition and each team will have the best boxers possible at their disposal for each match. There will no longer be any need for “gamesmanship” and stratagem from coaches in terms of how to select a boxer for a particular bout. Next season will be more difficult simply because of the very high level of the competition, but for fans each match will be an exciting show for sure.
Boxers will be drawn into C1 and C2 groups depending on their weights. Is there a possibility for some teams that one group will become more successful than the other? If so could it be a problem and what can be done to manage it?
That really depends how each Franchise sets up their teams. Argentina is a franchise that relies on national boxers; we have a long term plan for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Through the WSB we are giving our boxers a development opportunity and offering them significant and high quality boxing experience. So from our perspective this isn’t really an issue as we are focused on the whole team’s development.