After resuming its activities last year, Azerbaijan Professional Boxing Federation (APBF) held the first professional boxing training of international level in the country with renowned boxing experts in participation earlier this month.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) threw its weight behind the three-day two-phase training by bringing professional trainers from Italy and Spain, who delivered lectures for local judges and referees, and cutmen.
“We started working with the World Boxing Council last year and organized these training at an international level. All this will allow us to organize professional boxing fights in Azerbaijan,” APFB president Artyom Hasanov said, adding this forms part of the targets that were set after reorganizing the federation, according to Report.az. “We want our professional boxers to raise our flag in the highest international arenas."
The first stage of the training took place on February 10-11 for the judges and referees of professional boxing. The training was conducted by the Italian professional Guido Cavalleri, who refereed over 2,000 professional boxing fights, including more than 300 title fights in his career. At the end of the training, participants passed exams and received special WBC certificates.
The second phase of the training was held on February 12 for cutmen by professional Spanish boxing coach Rodriguez “Tinin” Dominguez Agustin. In boxing, a cutman is responsible for providing immediate preventive and treatment measures to a fighter’s physical damage. They are mostly seen during the breaks between rounds to typically handle swelling, nosebleeds, and lacerations.
A total of 40 participants took part in the training, which increased the level of professionalism of referees, judges, and cutmen in the professional boxing sport in Azerbaijan. As a result of the training, the Professional Boxing Commission was created under the federation in line with international requirements. The commission is tasked to ensure that professional coaches, doctors, and other people pass qualifying exams, and that fights organized by marketing and promotion companies meet relevant rules.
The reorganization of APBF took place in June last year with the election of Artyom Hasanov as the new president and upgrade of the action plan that took professional boxing to an all-new level in Azerbaijan.
Part of federation’s plan for the near-term is to bring in international expertise and seek cooperation with professional boxing's official record keepers. The president of the federation announced that they would cooperate with professional boxing organizations such as WBC, WBA, IBF, as well as the national federations of foreign countries and official boxing record and ranking keeper BOXREC.
With an aim to raise the profile of professional boxing in Azerbaijan and broadcast professional tournaments, officials in the federation are working to strengthen cooperation with sports promotion companies. They believe cooperation with promotion companies will play an important role in the promotion and career growth of boxers, which will create opportunities for local fighters to become international professional boxing stars.
In August and October of 2019, professional boxers from Azerbaijan clinched victories in professional boxing fight series that took place respectively in the Sakarya province of Turkey and capital city Tashkent of Uzbekistan.