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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

Rudy Salud and the WBC

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
09 Dec 2010

Last Dec. 5 marked the 35th year of Mexican Jose Sulaiman’s presidency of the prestigious World Boxing council. Not many, however, know that had Filipino Rudy Salud accepted his nomination for him to succeed Sulaiman after latter’s term had expired in the late 70s, the former could have been the only second Filipino to have assumed the highest post of the now most credible alphabet title-giving boxing body.

On December 5th, 1975, in Tunis , the capital of Tunisia , Don Jose was unanimously elected as the WBC President during the thirteenth Convention of the organization whose site Hotel was the Africa Hotel of Tunisia. Thirty two delegates from 21 countries then affiliated to the WBC, including then Games and Amusements Board chair and Cavite Congressman Justiniano Montano Jr. and Salud, his executive secretary, took part in the Convention.

Montano himself served as WBC’s third president succeeding Luis Spota, also of Mexico , who replaced the body’s first top man, Onslow Fane, who was named to the post upon its formation in 1963 but stepped down two years later.

Salud, meanwhile was appointed by Spota as WBC secretary general, a position he also held during Montano’s watch. As WBC secretary general under Spota, Salud a lawyer, served as concurrent chair of the influential world ratings committee and the world championship committee and was responsible for formulating the rules governing the twin committees.
He was also credited in drafting the WBC Constitution and By-Laws. Sulaiman, actually, was the secretary general of Jorge Velasquez, another Mexican, who served as WBC head from 1971 to 1975.

Following the WBC charter’s four-year rule in regards to its president’s term and under the traditional rotation system, Salud was to replace Sulaiman as the organization top honcho in 1979.

Salud, the soon-to-be commissioner of the professional Philippine Basketball Association, declined the nomination though for reason of delicadeza because of Montano’s position as GAB chairman.
“Jun was still the GAB chairman at the time of my supposed assumption of the WBC presidency and I could not accept that,” Salud told this writer in an interview several years back.

“Imagine, I as his executive secretary, would assume a position higher than his. That’s to me is unacceptable.

“So it was agreed that I would assume the WBC presidency when Jun was no longer the GAB chairman,” he explained.
That did not happen. Then President Marcos’ declaration of martial Law eventually forced Montano to resign from his position and so did Salud, thus, depriving Salud the right to be elevated and the country of what could have been a high point in Philippine sports.

And who knows, Salud could have been honored as the longest serving WBC president instead of Sulaiman.

Sulaiman’s term, as a result was extended for another term that was to further be extended to 35 years as no one dared challenge him for the post since. While credit should be given to Sulaiman for his successful stewardship of the WBC, the single most prestigious professional boxing body in the world today, it should be noted that it was under the partnership of Montano and

Salud when boxing took a semblance of unity, not only within the organization but, likewise, within its rival factions.
In his book – “the Story of the World Boxing Council” – boxing historian Bobby Naidoo described Montano and Salud as the duo that “worked solidly to consolidate world unity in boxing.”
With the two Filipinos at the helm, the door of opportunity for Asian – Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans and Thais – to get cracks at the world titles had been open.

Key cities in the region, like Manila, Seoul, Tokyo and Bangkok emerged as centers of international boxing promotions.
It was also during Montano’s and Salud’s tenure that the four-strand ropes, the system of using three judges and non-scoring referee and the practice of giving ringside physician authority to recommend the stoppage of a fight were instituted.

In the early 90s, as an acknowledgment to Montano’s accomplishments as a leader in sport, the WBC paid tribute to his contributions during its 30th anniversary celebration in Las Vegas .


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