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Two-Division World Champion Celestino Caballero Relinquishes WBA World Title; Trashes WBA


PhilBoxing.com




Two-division world champion Celestino "Pelenchin" Caballero of Panama has relinquished his WBA Featherweight World Champion Title. Caballero, now under contract with the new promotion company of popular entertainer Curtis Jackson "50 Cent" with Floyd Mayweather Jr., has just given up his belt due to disagreements with the World Boxing Association and in pursuet of big fights and more lucrative purses.

The resignation was effected through an open letter in Spanish addressed to the WBA and boxing fans. The lanky "Pelenchin" has announced a video presscon for tomorrow at 3pm at Restaurante Jade de Via Porras in Panama.

Here is the full text of Caballero's letter in English:

OPEN LETTER TO THE WORLD BOXING ASSOCIATION, THE BOXING COMMISSIONS OF PANAMA AND BOXING FANS

GENTLEMEN OF THE WORLD BOXING ASSOCIATION: Throughout my boxing career I have always had a connection with the World Boxing Association (WBA). I have proudly held the WBA titles Fedecentro, Fedelatin, NABA, WBA interim champion, WBA world champion as well as WBA super bantamweight super champion. Also, on October 14 of last year, I captured the WBA featherweight world title. In total, I've fought 14 world championship fights, all of them under the seal of the World Boxing Association (WBA). In addition, I have taken part in two versions of the WBA Festival "KO to Drugs" and I supported the activities the WBA. Despite this long history with your organization, I've never expected a special treatment from the WBA, but just expected a fair treatment and that that my rights as a boxer be respected.

It's well-known the position taken by your organization in relation with the failed fight that I should have held against fighter Mikey Garcia, who was appointed as my mandatory challenger. But the promotion company who won the bidding did not fulfill its commitment, resulting in a severe damage to my career. Despite this failure, the WBA not only exempted the promotion company from all liability, but denied me the right of battling super champion Chris John, or the at least allow me to make a voluntary defense against an opponent of my choosing.

Gentlemen of the WBA, I should have fought against Mikey Garcia in a very high profile fight, but lost that good opportunity due to a breach of the contract by the promoting company that won the bidding. In your effort to side with that Promotion company, you have created a dangerous precedent in boxing, because of your failure to follow your own rules, in this case the promotion who won a bidding was not required to keep its commitment to the boxers; even though there must be a deposit to ensure realization of the combat. As usual, it seems the rights of a boxer have been violated in favor of other interests.

Moreover, I did kindly asked you that, upon the cancellation of my fight by the promoting company, you'd order a mandatory fight for me (as regular champion) against the division 'super champion' Chris John. However, you denied my right as regular champion to be the mandatory challenger of the super champion title, a title now held by the Indonesian Chris John. How come Chris John does not have a mandatory fight since (January of) 2008? How come you further allow him two optional fights without having in consideration the regular world champion, even though you should have, as it is established in the regulations?

Also, I have received the advice of lawyers who have encouraged me to sue your organization for the flagrant violation your own regulations in my detriment, yet I am the one, who appreciate the long history with the WBA, so I will not pursue the road of suing you. Instead, I have decided to irrevocably resign my world championship title, a title that with so much sacrifice I won and defended in the ring.

Nevertheless, I do resign with the great satisfaction that I have represented the WBA in every one of my fights with dignity and lifting up the name of the organization as a champion. So allow me this suggestion: Our sport lives and feeds from the effort and sacrifice of the fighters. Our boxing careers are short and full of hurdles. But it seems to you that we fighters are not important, we are the most vulnerable link. When a promoter fails to fulfill its commitment, the damage done onto a boxer is often irreparable. You should value and respect all fighters who sacrificed and risk much for the sport boxing.

Moreover, it is thru the boxers that your organization receive large sums of money by way of sanctioning fees. So you should place the interests of boxers and the sport of boxing above the narrow interests of certain promoters. Furthermore, I kindly suggest you to respect your own rules. Regulations exist for a reason; kindly do not give compliance or fanciful interpretations of your won rules to suit particular interests; that is not only very harmful to fighters and the sport of boxing, but it unnecessarily exposes your body to being sued. I hope that my resignation as a world champion might help your organization do some thinking on the damage that your actions do to a fighter.

GENTLEMEN OF THE BOXING COMMISSIONS OF PANAMA AND COLON: These events that happened to me in the last months, as well as other colleagues boxers are all knowledge public. Both the Panama Boxing Commission, as well as the Colon's were silent witnesses to the damage suffered by me, a fighter who was born and raised under the umbrella of both commissions. It is particularly serious, given the fact that both are members of the World Boxing Association. At any time I have received at least a show of solidarity or a gesture from you to mediate in this situation that has been forced upon me on my professional career. I urge you to be a more pro-active commissions, make their voices heard, above all become, true advocates for fighters for the strengthening our sport of boxing.

BOXING FANS: Those of you who have followed my career, especially those who have become acquainted with my life, would know that I'm used to overcome huge hurdles. While I consider myself a good fighter who possess a privileged height and acceptable punching power, the reason of the success that I have had has been due to my great faith in our God. Second, I have great confidence in myself, a know that believing in myself that has been key for me to rise from the ashes after two violent car accidents to a world title. Many thought that I could not return to the ring. Even after a set back when i was a young fighter, one of the national boxing prospects.

These occurrences that happened to me have been unexpected, but I have made a serious consideration and I reached a decision with the support of my family and my promoter, knowing that my reign in the category super bantamweight was awesome with 11 world title fights, all won; and now in the featherweight category I aim at more victories. Anyways, fans know that a good boxer does not need a belt to say it. I have had the privilege to score wins in Panama, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Thailand and the United States. Despite that much fighting, I feel that my physical condition is still as good as it has been in my big fights. So I assure fans that you'll see much more of "Pelenchin" Caballero. I look forward to big fights that will allow you to watch my skills in the ring as a fighter against the best opponents in the featherweight division.

Thank you for trusting me and please wait for good news soon about my upcoming bouts.

"God is the greatest!"

CELESTINO "PELENCHIN" CABALLERO



L-R: Caballero, the author and boxing legend Roberto Duran.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.


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