IB – December 18, 2012 – USA Boxing President Dr. Charles Butler and USA Boxing Executive Director Anthony Bartkowski have been working feverishly (for them what must seem an eternity) in an attempt to answer every previously stipulated demand from both AIBA and the USOC in order to keep USA Boxing from decertification, the December 31, 2012, deadline to answer those demands fast approaching.
The Hal Adonis (former USA Boxing President) led faction consisting of among others Gary Pliner, Reggie Winston, Ron Simms, Kymberli Stowe, Joe Zanders and Stan Nichols who have been actively promoting their agenda of ‘Who needs USA Boxing’ , that ignorance close to determining the demise of what was once a proud avenue for boxers to once every four years, live their dream of becoming an ‘Olympian’.
Back on September 27, 2012, USOC President Scott Blackmun sent a letter detailing the many failings of USA Boxing, leaving his group no alternative but to demand USA Boxing allow ‘new governance’ or face decertification.
That letter was very specific in naming both Hal Adonis and USA Boxing Board of Directors Vice President Gary Pliner (Wisconsin) as being partially responsible for that decision based upon among other things Adonis’ derogatory and insensitive comments (that led to Adonis being removed as USA Boxing President) regarding homosexuality among the women boxers in the organization (a direct violation of the organizations ‘code of ethics’) and Pliner’s continued determination to defy USA Boxing Executive Director Anthony Bartkowski’s every move.
On October 24, 2012, a letter was sent verifying the suspension of all USA Boxing activities effective immediately, that decision then ‘outing’ the 34 LBC Presidents across the country who voted (21 LBC Presidents not caring enough to vote) to allow Adonis to retain his Board of Directors position (that vote being forced the result of a weird Colorado law) outweighing the 17 LBC Presidents who voted against retaining Adonis (those 17 having taken their vote seriously) causing pandemonium throughout the USA Boxing organization.
On October 25, 2012, following the passionate pleas of Dr. Charles Butler to AIBA President Dr. C.K. Wu and AIBA Executive Director Ho Kim, that suspension was lifted with most understanding the severity of the situation but many ‘riding the fence’ on what should be done while amateur boxers nationwide suffered the repercussions of the Hal Adonis/Gary Pliner takeover attempt.
When the date of December 31, 2012, passes either the 72 USA Boxing LBC Presidents will have done their homework and voted to accept the mutually agreed upon ‘Advisory Committee’ that would oversee the actions of USA Boxing, accept a ‘Transitional Board’ as of December 31, 2012, accept the ‘new governance’ by both AIBA and the USOC by the mutually agreed upon date of June 1, 2013, with the ‘Transitional Board’ then being disassembled and the ‘new governance’ in full effect beginning January 1, 2014, or suffer the consequences.
‘It’s time to get back to boxing’ is the rightful feeling of the majority of USA Boxing membership, but there are those who have made it clear (Stan Nichols of the Southern Association that governs Mississippi, Louisiana, parts of Alabama and the Florida panhandle recently showing his true colors of Adonis support when circling a petition asking for the removal of Bartkowski as the USA Boxing Executive Director) they could care less where the amateur boxers across the country go in search of the financial support, guidance and solace found in their USA Boxing/AIBA/USOC sponsored gyms.
‘The truth shall set you free’, December 31, 2012, being an historic date where either the 72 LBC Presidents of USA Boxing accept the offer of a ‘new beginning’, or carry the burden of responsibility for the abysmal and tragic ending of a once proud organization that contributed heavily to the success of such names as Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whittaker, Evander Holyfield, Andre Ward and Oscar de la hoya to name a few.
‘Look to the future or allow the past to bite you in the ass’, Dr. Charles Butler and Anthony Bartkowski focusing on ‘the future’, with ‘Hal Adonis & Company’ hopefully a thing of ‘the past’ for USA Boxing come December 31, 2012, the final decision squarely on the shoulders of the 72 USA Boxing LBC Presidents across America.
Stephen Johnson is the Denver Boxing Examiner.