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WBC President Sulaiman responds to “unfounded attacks” regarding McMahon controversy

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Christina McMahon’s treatment by the WBC is starting to go national.

Last week, Team McMahon revealed to Irish-Boxing.com the full, and seemingly damning, details surrounding the Monaghan woman’s treatment before, during, and after her WBC super flyweight title challenge against Zulina Muñoz in Mexico on March 12th. ‘Lighting’ was promptly suspended – via Facebook mail – by the WBC.

McMahon has since appeared on the Nuthouse Boxing podcast and also has done an in-depth interview with big Irish sports site Balls.ie. Discussion between Gavan Casey – the author of said Balls.ie article, this writer, and Irish Sun boxing writer Kevin Byrne last night on Twitter resulted in a response from WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.

Sulaiman is seemingly referring to a WBC statement from May. While McMahon’s misgivings are addressed in part, they are by no means clarified, and the continued questioning by the Irish boxing community can not be classed as “unfounded.”

Below are some excerpts from the WBC statement:
On March 16, 2016, the WBC received a letter from Mr. Martin McMahon, husband trainer and manager of Christina McMahon, from Ireland, appealing the outcome of the voluntary defense WBC Female Super Flyweight World Title bout between Christina McMahon and Zulina Muñoz. In support of his protest, Mr. McMahon set forth the following three allegations: (1) lack of anti-doping testing; (2) glove manipulation; and (3) judges’ scoring.

The WBC’s preliminary investigation of what transpired the night of that fight revealed that apparently the event’s promoter failed to have the anti-doping sample collector present. Upon discovering that irregularity, and in order to attempt to remedy the situation, the promoter and the WBC Supervisor Dr. Lorenzo Soberanes, a physician and very experienced supervisor, attempted to obtain anti-doping cups. Due to the late hour (almost 3 AM), they could only obtain cups that were not suitable to perform the on site post-fight anti-doping tests.

Accordingly, and in light of Mr. McMahon’s protest, the WBC ordered Champion Zulina Muñoz to take an anti-doping test immediately after receiving the McMahon protest and confirming the facts with the fight supervisor. The test was performed and came back negative in all counts.

– This does not address why “very experienced supervisor” Dr. Lorenzo Soberanes had not ensured that there was proper anti-doping testing measures in place on the night.
– This doesn’t address why McMahon was assured on the night of the fight that Muñoz had given an unseen sample. Was Team McMahon simply lied to?
– This doesn’t address why Muñoz’s sample was tested at the Laboratorio Médico del Chopo – which is not a World Anti-Doping Agency-approved facility.

At the same time the WBC appointed an officials’ panel to review the fight`s video. The panel’s report came back consistent with the official judges’ scoring of the bout, with a unanimous report in favor of Muñoz .

– A WBC-appointed ‘officials panel’ contradicts the e-mails of WBC Chief Legal Council Alberto León who told McMahon that “the WBC Female Committee reviewed a video of the subject fight and scored it without any sound to avoid biases.” The WBC Female Committee have no official experience whatsoever in judging and scoring bouts.

Also the WBC Investigated the allegations concerning the gloves that were provided to the fighters at the dressing room. After interviewing WBC officials present at the bout, including referee Rocky Burke from USA, the WBC found no evidence that anyone had tampered with the gloves in any form or manner.

Other issues not addressed by the WBC are:
– Why were there no 30 or 7 day checkweights? Which is meant to be standard for all WBC title bouts.
– Why was there no rules meeting ahead of the fight?
– Why were there no corner supervisors until they were insisted upon by McMahon?
– Why did “very experienced supervisor” Dr. Lorenzo Soberanes not have other gloves on hand in the venue?

Irish-Boxing.com reject Mauricio Sulaiman’s claim that we, and others, are perpetuating “simple unfounded attacks,” and believe that questions still need to be answered.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie