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Interview With WBF Vice President Jean-Marcel Nartz

Posted on January 12, 2016                                              Bookmark and Share
By: Clive Baum.



Last October an interview with World Boxing Federation (WBF) President Howard Goldberg was featured on the WBF website, giving the South African administrator an opportunity to express some of his views and opinions.

Since the WBF is obviously not a one-man operation, it is now time to have a chat with Vice President Jean-Marcel Nartz.

The 69-year-old veteran from Cologne, Germany, had a long and successful career as one of Europeís most accomplished matchmakers, working for the likes of Sauerland Event and Universum Box Promotion, before joining the WBF at its reestablishment in 2009.

What made you decide to get involved with the World Boxing Federation back in 2009, and take on the position of Vice President?

Well, after I finished my contract with Universum Box Promotion I wanted to still be involved with boxing, but at the same time not have to travel too much and spend many weeks away from home.

When I met Howard Goldberg in 2009 in Dessau, we had a nice discussion and decided to do something positive for boxing, and the Federation looked honest to me, and the potential also looked very interesting.

So, it was a good fit, and we build up the organization with the promise of always being straight forward and honest.

Having been involved with so many title fights and organizations throughout the years, how do you see the WBF being different from other sanctioning bodies?

As I see it, the other organizations have changed in the last twenty years or so. Now, money is more important and rules are not really worth anything. With the World Boxing Federation, our main interest will always be the sport ahead of money.

Being based in Germany, are you satisfied with the progress the WBF has had in Europe since the reestablishment in 2009?

The WBF has definitely made a lot of progress in Europe, and from my point of view the progress will only continue. We work very well with the promoters and local federations, and they like working with us. I am sure the WBF will continue to grow, not only in Europe but the whole world.

What is the most satisfying part of your involvement with professional boxing today?

The most satisfying part of my involvement with professional boxing today is without a doubt the fact that the World Boxing Federation is so different to most other organizations. My heart is with the WBF, and with the team of very good people we have around the world.

What do you find most frustrating, working in this sport?

Mismatches, dishonesty, incorrect behavior and people who are involved with other organizations without any know-how. I find all of these things very frustrating.

What would you like to say to those who say there should only be one world champion in each weight class?

Yes, it would be good if there was only one world champion per weight class, but the politics, money, bad matchmaking and manipulated rankings will never allow this.

It is often claimed that too many sanctioning bodies is the biggest problem in professional boxing today. I think we can all agree that there are too many, but is this really the sports biggest problem in your opinion?

Again, if we had one sanctioning body which sole concern was the welfare of the sport, making the best fights possible and consequently getting the best champions possible, then we would only need one sanctioning body.

But this is just not possible, and in the long run people need to decide who is honest and who is not honest. And if everyone could find a way to work together ins a sporting, fair way it would also help a lot.

How do you see the state of the sport today, compared to 10, 20 and 30 years ago?

The quality is going down, Iím afraid, because money is getting too big in other sports. Before the Berlin wall fell, there was very good schooling for boxing, but now the good trainers are too old or dead.

The new young trainers are very limited, and I am worried that in another twenty years time only very few major talents will be in the sport.

If you were to single out the biggest moment for you during your long career in professional boxing, what would that moment be?

There has been so many big moments, meeting great boxers, trainers and managers around the world.

Boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Max Schmeling, Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and trainers and managers such as Angelo Dundee, Mickey Duff, Terry Lawless, Johnny Boss and so many others.

I worked with most of them, and it gave me the experience I have today...

   Also See:
  Interview With WBF President Howard Goldberg (October 19, 2015)

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