Boxers Brendon Denes and Ivana Habazin along with Habazin’s manager Charles Muniz and promoter Edward Mendy have filed a lawsuit for Injunctive Relief and for Damages against BoxRec, BoxRec Officers, Owners and Managers John Sheppard and Marina Sheppard, BoxRec Employee and Agent Sam Lu, the Association of Boxing Commissions, Round 10 Boxing, Dubai Boxing Commission, Round 10 Boxing and Dubai Boxing Commission Officer, Owner and Manager Ahmed Seddiqi, Round 10 Boxing and Dubai Boxing Commission Manager and Employee Jose Mohan, MTK Global, MTK Global Sponsor, Consultant and Controller Daniel Kinahan, and those unnamed defendants acting in concert with and/or conspiring with them.
This particular case – Download or view case files here – relates mainly to an event that took place at the Arabian Ranches Golf Club in Dubai in April 2021, and highlights that Boxrec are suppressing results submitted by numerous commissions around the world, something that Mike Mazzulli the President of the North American Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has known about for a long time, but constantly has failed to deal with.
Back in 2016 Gianluca Di Caro, Vice President of the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) highlighted Boxrec’s suppression of results from a number of commissions, including BIBA, to Mr Mazzuli, following the appointment of Boxrec as joint Official Record Keeper for the ABC, along with long time Official Record Keeper Fight Fax.
Mr Di Caro, with assistance from former ABC President Tim Lueckenhof and International Boxing Federation (IBF) Rating Director Anibal Miramontes, compiled a dossier of cases of not just the suppression of results but also ‘doctoring’ of boxers records and clear cases of boxer endangerment, due to Boxrec’s failure to update boxers records or event results, which were submitted to Mr Mazzulli.
Mr Mazzulli sent an e.mail to both Boxrec and FightFax with the heading “Boxrec – details of record manipulation and failure to list events or update records.” In which he wrote; “In an effort to resolve this issue, all ABC Boxing Record Keepers will actively recognise and record all pro boxing contest for all commissions (including those in the United Kingdom) that are sent in by those Boxing Commissions that are recognised by the ABC”
Mr Mazzulli’s instructions were clear enough, yet Boxrec continued to ignore the ABC edict and continues to do so even today, as is clear by this latest case, yet the ABC took no further action against Boxrec.
Due to the lack of action by the ABC, Mr Di Caro submitted substantial case files to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) highlighting Boxrec’s inaccuracies and failures.
In the article Mr Di Caro referred to an e.mail from another former ABC President, Mr Greg Sirb to Mr Mazzulli in which he stated “I have become increasingly frustrated by the way Boxrec (Marina) has single handedly decided what fight results shall be included in the ABC database. Boxrec like Fight Fax is a record Keeper, that is it, they are not a commission, Boxrec does not decide what is a good result and what is not, the fact is that if a boxing result comes in from a commission (anywhere in the World) that result must be posted.”
Yet even after receiving that e.mail, no action has been taken by the ABC to ensure Boxrec complied to Mr Mazzulli’s edict that Boxrec must actively recognise and record all pro boxing contest for all commissions (including those in the United Kingdom).
The current case also highlights the direct involvement of Daniel Kinahan, who is a known leader of an organised crime syndicate that the US Government placed a $5Million reward for information that leads to the arrest of Mr Kinahan and other high ranking leaders of the cartel – Link to Sky News article
Mr Kinahan recently received vocal support from Mauricio Suilaimán, President of the World Boxing Council (WBC) – Link to Sunday World article – at a time when the US Ambassador for Ireland Claire Cronin called for the Boxing World to cut ties with the gang boss – Link to AP article on Yahoo
The case submitted to US Courts will have significant affect on a number of British Boxers, who are signed to and receive financial support from Mr Kinahan and/or MTK, as well as the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) who license MTK promoter Lee Eaton as well as sanction MTK events in the United Kingdom, despite being fully aware of that the financing of these events is from the proceeds of serious crime.
Robert Smith, the general secretary for the British Boxing Board of Control, stated last year there is nothing the BBBofC can do to prevent the continued involvement of Daniel Kinahan in the sport, as he is not licensed by them. – Link to article in the Guardian
The effect this case could have on the boxing world is far reaching, one that is likely to not only highlight the corruption that is rife in the sport but also affect some of the UK’s top boxing stars, those whose careers have benefitted greatly by them receiving ‘dirty’ money from Kinahan or MTK.
According to Boxrec.com on Saturday night (31st July 2021) Coatbridge’s Ben McGivern and Middlesbrough’s Chris Wood both made their professional boxing debuts at New Douglas Park in Hamilton, Scotland. McGivern beat Lewis van Poetsch (9-126-2) and Wood drew with Corey McCulloch (4-1-0).
However, according to reliable sources within the sport, McGivern made his professional boxing debut on the 4th September 2016 against Jody Meikle at the Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort, Cumbernauld and Chris Wood made his debut against Edgars Milevics on the 29th March 2015 at the Pryzm, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds.
Following his victory over van Poetsch, McGivern’s current record is in reality 7-1-1 and Wood’s true record is now 5-4-1.
It should also be noted that both McGivern and Wood have fought for professional boxing championships prior to the 31st July 2021.
McGivern is both the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) and World Boxing Union (WBU) International Light Heavyweight Champion, both victories were over Navid Iran, the first on the 17th November 2018 and the second on the 22nd June 2019, which was broadcast live on Fite TV.
Wood is a two time title challenger, having challenged Sammy Hill for the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) British Welterweight Championship and Tommy Jacobs for the British Masters Bronze Super Welterweight title.
So why has Boxrec.com listed them as professionally debuting on the 31st July 2021?
The answer, according to Boxrec, is that they do not recognise the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA), who previously licensed both McGivern and Wood, as they have a policy of recognising only one commission per country, and in the case of the UK that is the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC).
However, according to Gianluca Di Caro, Vice President of the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) that is “Total Bulls**t”, adding “there is no genuine Boxrec policy of one commission per country, the reality is that Boxrec are acting in a protectionist manner on behalf of the BBBofC in our particular case, and what’s more we have the evidence to prove this is the case.”
“Just one example is Germany, where there are three German Commissions, Bund Deutscher Berufsboxer (BDB), German Boxing Association (GBA) and Bund Deutscher Faustkämpfer (BDF), and in addition the Austrian Boxing Federation (ABF) have also sanctioned events in Germany and they are listed by Boxrec.
The most recent being a Sauerland event that took place at the Fraport Arena in Frankfurt that was headlined by an IBF Championship fight between Leon Bunn and Leon Harth on the 4th May 2019.”
“Whilst the BDB, GBA and ABF listings and results can be verified by just going to Boxrec’s website, at this time you will not find anything regarding the BDF, as Boxrec removed BDF as a commission and began listing past BDF events and results as ‘unsanctioned’ and does no longer update any BDF events reports and results following a public dispute between the BDF’s UK rep and Boxrec’s Management back in 2018.”
“The dispute was over Boxrec failing to update the records of boxers that fought on BDF sanctioned events in the UK initially, including the Tommy Jacobs vs Chris Wood British Masters titles fight, both of whom were licensed by BIBA, as were most pro boxers on BDF UK shows.”
“As I said earlier Boxrec act in a protectionist manner on behalf of the BBBofC.”
“A few years earlier Boxrec threatened the GBA with a similar punishment unless they stopped sanctioning events in the UK, unlike the BDF, who continued to sanction events in the UK, the GBA withdrew immediately, interestingly the records and results of the GBA sanctioned UK events prior to receiving threats of removal are still listed on Boxrec”
“Boxrec tried similar tactics with the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC), albeit more underhandedly via the championship organisation the European Boxing Union (EBU), following the MBC sanctioning events in the UK, again the reports and most of the results are still listed on Boxrec, including three of the events that Chris Wood fought on, there is a fourth which has since been wrongly removed by Boxrec.”
“The Chris Wood fight result removed by Boxrec, took place at the Rivals Gym in Wishaw, Scotland on the 25th April 2015 and was against Sam Allan and this one was removed by Boxrec when Allan switched to BBBofC so Boxrec could list Allan as debut and Boxrec’s John Shepherd justified this because the event took place at a gym. Incidentally Boxrec removed the two fights Sam Allan’s record, the one against Chris and another against Marty Kayes without a genuine reason”
“in 2017 John Shepherd used video of the event as so called ‘evidence’ that the BIBA was not a suitable commission to Championship organisations at the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) annual convention a few years ago, conveniently forgetting to mention that the event was actually sanctioned by the MBC, not BIBA, or that the BBBofC also sanctioned events at Rivals Gym.”
“This is far from the first incident of Boxrec and BBBofC colluding to maliciously and without foundation try and cause serious problems for BIBA, and not just with the Championship organisations, although the example I will now cite do relate to e.mails from BBBofC Secretary General Robert Smith to the International Boxing Federation (IBF) after the IBF added a number of BIBA licensed boxers to the IBF rankings.”
“In 2017 the International Boxing Federation (IBF) added a number of BIBA licensed boxers to the IBF Intercontinental rankings. Literally within days the secretary general of the BBBofC Robert Smith e.mailed the IBF stating “Dear Lindsey Please note that the following boxers are not licensed by the BBBC but an organisation not recognised by the BBBC- Sandy Robb Nathan DeCastro, Tasif Khan. It is noted they are rated by yourselves.””
“IBF Ratings Director Anibal Miramontes responded “Dear Robert, I don’t rate fighters based on where the license is from. This fighters fight for a different organisation that also does fights in the UK regularly.””
“Robert Smith responded with “They have licences withdrawn or not granted by BBBC due to medical queries. many of the boxers competing for this organisation have had licences withdrawn or not granted. Boxrec can confirm. Speak at the weekend.””
“The IBF e.mailed myself the following “Below you can see e-mail exchanges between Mr. Robert Smith General Secretary of the BBBofC and myself. I will really appreciate if you can send proves that the fighters rated have no medical issues to be license.I don’t understand what boxrec has to do with this, they are not a commission, decision makers regarding medicals or any other issue regarding boxing licenses, but I will reach for John Sheppard, boxrec’s owner, as requested by Mr. Smith. In the meantime, and for precaution I will remove the fighters mention by Mr. Smith until I receive confirmation that don’t have any medical issues.””
“I responded by not only sending the then current medicals but also historic ones, as well as any specialist reports that we had regarding the two boxers that had been wrongly refused BBBofC licenses, by return e.mail in most cases, and within two days for the Scottish based boxers as their medical records are kept by our Scottish Area Chief Medical Officer not head office, which proved that Mr Smith was providing false information.”
“BIBA boxers remained ranked by the IBF, and in fact two of those from the original fighters ranked that Mr Smith named in the e.mail are still ranked by the IBF some four years later.”
“I have a similar case of interference by Boxrec regarding a very recent Championship fight, Lee McAllister versus Richmond Djarbeng World Boxing Organization (WBO) title fight that took place in Aberdeen back in May – which was broadcast globally as well as streamed live on Fite TV and Viva Live TV”
“Following the event the WBO submitted the results to Boxrec only to be informed by Boxrec that the BBBofC are the only commission recognised in Europe (by Boxrec), that is aligned with the WBO as the excuse not to list the fight on Mr McAllister or Mr Djarbeng’s records.”
“Boxrec’s refusal to update Mr McAllister’s and Mr Djarbeng’s records with the WBO title included is in violation of the ABC’s Official Record Keeper Criteria Rule 15. “Boxing Officials Registry for world title bouts sanctioned by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO).””
“The whole issue of Boxrec is insane, the Association of Professional Boxing Commissions (APBC), of which I am currently the Chairman, has recently been undertaking research ahead of deciding who should be appointed as the APBC Official Record Keeper for 2021/23.”
“During this period of research the APBC has received close to a thousand cases of Boxrec failings and wrongdoings from every corner of the globe, everything from faked records to entire events removed without reason and of course many instances of records failing to be updated as well as failing to list commissions or add or update their fighters records.”
“Yet in the same period the APBC have not received a single case or complaint against Pro Boxing Records (Formerly Fight Fax), other than cannot view records on-line, or against BoxRanking.com, other than only features current active boxers, which of course is a minor factor with regard to accurate records being available for matching etc, and not all commissions yet submit results to them, again only a minor factor and one I am sure will change in the near future.”
“Luckily for our beloved sport there are these two further official record keepers; Pro Boxing Records (formerly Fight Fax, official professional boxing record keeper since 1984) which unfortunately doesn’t list the results on-line, although believe that will change soon, and Boxranking.com, which is a very recent addition to the Record Keeping domain so currently only lists recent and active fighters results.”
“Both PBR/Fight Fax and Boxranking only accept results from Commissions so their record keeping tend to be 100% accurate, unlike Boxrec which is only 60-65% accurate and dropping fast due to their failing to update quite a few results as well as listing fake results from non-commission sources.”
“It’s a crazy situation that Boxrec can have such a dominant and extremely important role in our beloved sport when they act the way they do, it’s not just my view either, besides the obvious, such as those that have been wronged, one former ABC President Greg Sirb e.mailed current ABC President Mike Mazzulli stating “I have become increasingly frustrated by the way Boxrec (Marina) has single handedly decided what fight results shall be included in the ABC database. Boxrec like Fight Fax is a record Keeper, that is it, they are not a commission, Boxrec does not decide what is a good result and what is not, the fact is that if a boxing result comes in from a commission (anywhere in the World) that result must be posted.””
“Following conversations between myself and Mike Mazzulli back in 2016, shortly after the ABC appointed Boxrec as co-Official Records Keeper with long time appointee Fight Fax, Mike sent an e.mail to both Boxrec and FightFax with the heading “Boxrec – details of record manipulation and failure to list events or update records.” In which he wrote; “In an effort to resolve this issue, all ABC Boxing Record Keepers will actively recognise and record all pro boxing contest for all commissions (including those in the United Kingdom) that are sent in by those Boxing Commissions that are recognised by the ABC.””
“Mr Mazzulli probably should just have said that Boxrec needed to comply to the ABC’s Official Record Keeper Criteria Rule 14: which states “Records must be kept on ALL boxers, United States, Canadian, European, Asian, Mexican, and South American to ensure Boxrec understood that it is a term of appointment as ABC Official Record Keeper.””
“Either way you would have thought that Mr Mazzulli’s instructions were clear enough, yet Boxrec continued to ignore the ABC edict and continues to do so even today, and something I am sure they will continue to do until someone dies because of their actions, or is that lack of action”
“That may sound a bit dramatic and I really hope never happens, but think about it Ben McGivern is an experienced big punching Championship winning fighter who had fought professionally eight times yet is listed by Boxrec as a debut when he fought on Saturday, what if they do the same with another fighter of an even higher calibre and he ‘debuts’ according to Boxrec and faces an inexperienced but game fighter.”
Mr Di Caro has highlighted the situation in the United Kingdom, but this is not just a UK issue, not by a long shot. There are similar issues being highlighted in the media in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and South America on virtually a weekly basis, which lead to the conclusion that Boxrec fail in spectacular fashion at its main role within the sport RECORD KEEPING, but what can be done about it.
The simple answer is nothing, zero, zilch, as the organisations that provide them with Official Record Keeper status, such as the Association of Professional Boxing Commissions (ABC), Championship organisations World Boxing Council (WBC) and the European Boxing Union (EBU) and of course the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), just don’t seem to care, probably because it suits these organisations right now, as they hold the dominant positions within their particular sectors within the sport.
The ABC, which represents North American Commissions, has been provided details of many Boxrec failings and wrongdoings, in a recent case Brian Dunn, the recently retiring ABC President, said this “I am sorry to hear about this situation. Unfortunately, I am afraid there is nothing I can do to help resolve it. Boxrec is the official record keeper of the ABC, but they are also a private company, not even based in the United States.
I’ll admit to not really understanding how boxing “commissions” work internationally, as it is much different than in the US (and other international ABC member commissions). After many conversations with John and Marina, they do understand the situation and they only record what they deem to be accurate”.
In my view this reply raises more questions than answers, to actually state that he, an actual Commissioner as well as President of the Association of Boxing Commissions, does not know how other commissions operate but John and Marina Shephard do is unbelievable, neither of these people have held roles within a commission and as such neither could possibly know even the basics.
I am utterly flabbergasted by Brian Dunn saying and clearly accepting, “they only record what they deem to be accurate”. Is even crazier as that is not the role of Record Keeper, their role is to record results of Professional Boxing Contests not be judge and jury on which commissions, championships, promoters results are deemed to be legitimate, and should they be given such power to the detriment of boxers themselves.
The BBBofC appears to work maybe a little too closely with Boxrec, possibly in an attempt to maintain a close to 90 year monopoly of Professional Boxing in the United Kingdom, that was until the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) launched in 2016.
The BBBofC also have a highly unusual and without doubt unique arrangement with the WBC, they are the only commission that has a standalone affiliation, one that is the same as a Continental Association of Commissions, such as the African Boxing Union (ABU), the European Boxing Union (EBU) etc and as such should any European or UK commission wish to become a member of the WBC, they must first affiliate with the BBBofC and/or the EBU according to WBC Secretary General Robert Lenhardt.
Another interesting fact is that the former President, and current Chairman of the BBBofC, Mr Charles Giles is not only a Vice President of the WBC but also the EBU.
The BBBofC has the largest amount of votes of all commissions within the EBU, in 2012 they had 134 votes, whilst the BDB 34 and the next highest Swiss Boxing has 24 votes, all other members had between 1-5 votes per commission, this exceptionally large disparage enables the BBBofC to dictate actions within the EBU.
An example of the BBBofC’s incredible power within the EBU is the expulsion of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation (LBF) from the Championship organisation in 2012, following the LBF sanctioning Haye vs Chisora at Upton Park in London, UK in July that year and even possibly the expulsion of the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) some months later, as the MBC licensed most of the undercard fighters on the Haye-Chisora bill, as well as vocally supported the LBF at the EBU Convention in Bruges, Belgium in 2012.
Have to admit, a pattern seems to be emerging here, one that requires some serious research for a follow up article in the near future.