"And in the Red Corner the defending champion from China…."
By Epifanio M. Almeda
18 Oct 2005
Note: PhilBoxing.com would like to welcome veteran writer and boxing judge Epifanio M. Almeda to the PhilBoxing team.
These are the words boxing fans around the world will have to get used to hearing often from ring announcers in fight arenas. Boasting a population of 1 of every 5 living on this planet, China could produce disciplined world beaters in just a short while. One key towards realizing this ambitious objective is to ignite the latent love for boxing in such places as China, Chinese Hongkong Macau, and such countries where professional boxing is still asleep.
This interest for boxing is now being kindled in these places by QingHua Wang, Chairman of the Membership Committee of the WBE (World Boxing Empire) Asia Pacific Boxing Association, and Xiaolin Xia, Promoter/Manager.
QingHua Wang introduces the WBE.
“The World Boxing Empire is a United States-based governing body that sanctions world title bouts. (To me) the WBE is the most democratically represented institution in professional boxing. It is to exercise its authority to actively regulate, control and supervise professional boxing in its respective jurisdictions whose aim is to become one of the most active and prestigious in the world with branches in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, North America and the Latin America.
”The WBE Asia Pacific Boxing Association is the Asia-Pacific Division of the WBE. Our aim is to implement fairness and equal opportunities across the board to fighters and promoters and to further the growth and development of professional boxing in the Asia-Pacific region. In doing so, we assist our members in whatever capacity we can. Although the WBE just entered the Asia Pacific region, the WBE is rapidly growing in the Asia Pacific region even more than what we imagined. And we are working hard to make WBE stronger. We are also improving our organizational systems to ensure that we are able to assist our members in the quickest and most efficient manner possible. Further we are working with all our members to strengthen and extend the development space of professional boxing in the Asia-Pacific region making more countries, boxing personalities and fans participate and support the development with the WBE.
“Therefore, our association is assisting China, Chinese Hong Kong, Chinese Macau, Chinese Taiwan, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore, Bahrain, Iran, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, India, etc. - countries which are not yet open to profession boxing. We would like to provide these countries with some special treatment unconditionally, helping these countries establish and develop the professional boxing industry and provide more opportunities for development and exposure for our all members.”
Mr.Xiaolin Xia, from Wuahn City, China, is a former weightlifting World champion and a well-known Chinese Olympian (see photos). At present he is promoting professional boxing in China, Chinese Hong Kong and Macau. He is working for the WBE. He will make use of his personal resources and his influence to promote a series of WBE title events and support the WBE Asia Pacific Boxing Association to register strong growth in China, Chinese Hong Kong and Macau. As the first Chinese professional boxing promoter, he expects to see world boxing champions from his country. He is determined to actively promote professional boxing development among the Chinese and provide more opportunities for boxing bouts to all WBE members.
When did you start as a promoter?
Xia: I started as a promoter this year. My uncle and best friend Mr.QingHua Wang is currently the Chairman of the Membership Committee and Commissioner of the Executive Committee of the WBE Asia Pacific Boxing Association. Mr. Wang was formerly an Officer of the government in China. He is also an experienced law and business expert. Mr. Wang is unique as a Chinese working for a world boxing sanctioning body and also as the first international professional boxing officer in China. I requested his help when I joined the WBE.
You are a weightlifting champion. Why are you not in weightlifting promotion?
Xia: Yeah, I'm a weightlifting world champion. And probably you know that Chinese weightlifting is very strong as Filipino boxing. However, although I am not a promoter of weightlifting, I frequently encourage the Chinese teenagers to engage in the weightlifting sport in China.
Why are you involved now in boxing?
Xia: Although I have the Weightlifting world championship crown, I also love boxing very much. When I started into the sport, I actually hoped I was engaged in amateur boxing. But at that time China did not yet open this sport and for this I feel a few regrets. In addition, when the 2001 DON KING Productions failed in its promotion of boxing in China, I thought that China should have its own professional boxing promoter. Because China is a prosperous nation, and professional boxing is a very popular sport worldwide, I thought that China could not afford not to have its own professional boxing promoter because boxing is a prosperous symbol.
What do you think about world boxing as it is now?
Xia: As I said professional boxing is a prosperous symbol and it also can further promote national and the regional economies. Professional boxing can promote a deeper friendship, international respect and goodwill. But I think we should focus foremost about safety of the fighters because they are the core of the professional boxing sport. So I think that we should promote the safety and the welfare of the boxer always. This may be a permanent and serious topic.
For boxing to become more popular and gain more fans, what should be done further?
Xia: On this problem, my viewpoint is similar with that of the Chairman/Director Mr. Zhi W.Young of the WBE Asia Pacific Boxing Association. I think that we should encourage and assist more nations to develop professional boxing, making these countries’ public enjoy professional boxing events. We should expand the development space of professional boxing effectively by providing more bouts and exposure opportunities for all boxers. This is also WBE’s main target and mission.
When and where will your next boxing promotions be held?
Xia: I will start to promote a series of WBE title events next year. I planned several locations such as Chinese BeiJing, HuBei (WuHan City), HuNan, Shanghai, GuangDong, ShanDong, LiaoNing, ZheJiang, HongKong, Macau and Taiwan respectively. Further, my main target is to build up several permanent locations for all WBE Championships particularly at Chinese Hong Kong, Macau and HuBei (WuHan City). Probably you should know that Hong Kong is a prosperous trade district in Asia. The HuBei (WuHan City) is a center district in China. Another important district should be the Chinese Macau which is the Eastern Las Vegas. I hope these places could become main battlefields of WBE title events. At present Mr.Chris Middendorf of Gary Shaw Productions has talked with me. They want to cooperate with me to co-promote a series of WBE world title events in the Chinese Macau.
Who are the privileged fighters you now manage?
Xia: They are:
Re Zhi Lin Xia (First Chinese Pro Boxer)
Hometown: Wuhan, Hubei, China
Birthplace: Henan, China
Rated at: Welterweight
Date of Birth: 1980-05-29
Height: 6 feet
Record: Fights: 9; Wins: 7; loses: 2;Kos 3
Re Zhi Lin Xia will be fighting on October 29, 2005 in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.
Re Jin Din (First Chinese Woman Pro Boxer)
Alias: Pretty Girl
Hometown: Wuhan, Hubei, China
Rated at: Super Bantamweight
Date of Birth: 1986-09-23
Have you heard of Manny Pacquiao, the Philippine boxing hero?
Xia: Oh, Manny Pacquiao is also my idol. I think that Manny Pacquiao is the pride of Asian boxing. He represents and is the feature of the boxing sport of Asia. I also hope Manny Pacquiao can be a guest and attend the WBE Asia Pacific title event on Oct 29 in Manila. I hope to meet him there.
With the pioneering determination of Messrs. QingHua Wang and Xiao Lin Xia, our getting used to hearing the boxing announcer’s words, “and in the Red Corner the defending champion from China….” is closer to becoming a reality.
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