(NOV 17) David Selwyn is a New York
boxing manager and, like the best of that breed, he keeps the
interests of his fighters at the head of his "things to do" list.
Selwyn is not, to the best of anyone's knowledge, a scholar of the
Chinese language, but he recently invoked one of those revered
proverbs from that centuries old list of directions for life: "It is
better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."
On September 14, in Rovigo, Veneto, Italy, Selwyn watched as his
fighter, Eileen Olszewski, fought to a ten round majority draw with
Stefania Bianchini. As a result of the decision, Bianchini retained
her WBC flyweight title while Selwyn nearly lost his voice
complaining, from ringside, about the actions of the referee,
Englishman, Mark Green. "His (Green) conduct was flagrant and even a
layman (could) tell that he did nothing to enforce the rules of
boxing, (there were) numerous fouls during the fight (against my
fighter) without even a single warning."
Following the bout and on his way was
back to his hotel, Selwyn, still distraught over the decision and
fairly convinced that Olszewski was unlikely to be in line for a
return bout in the foreseeable future, decided to file a protest
with the WBC. It is at this point that David Selwyn departed from
the usual "modus operandi" of those, in the boxing world, who have
felt "jobbed" after traveling great distances to a foreign land to
fight a "native" boxer and come away feeling at the " the short end"
of an unlevel "playing field." All too often the post fight reaction
to this type of "home cooking" includes returning home and
complaining, loudly and vociferously, to all who will listen (and
even some who are interested) about the "raw deal" experienced on
the trip abroad. After a prescribed period of venting, accompanied
by oaths about never returning to (fill in the European or Asian
country), the subject is dropped, the loss recorded and the world of
boxing returns to what passes for normalcy only in the world of
boxing. David Selwyn didn't play along with "business as usual."
David Selwyn reached for a match.
Selwyn requested a tape of the bout and after what he felt to be a
suspiciously long delay, finally received a visual record of the
fight from a reluctant local promoter. Selwyn then contacted the
WBC, detailing, for that sanctioning body, his specific objections
to the fight:
Round 2: B (Bianchini) was holding 10 times during the round. She
was holding with one arm around the neck and hit with the free hand.
No warnings (from the ref).
Round 4: B had her right hand constantly around O's (Olszewski)
neck. Holding and hitting O to the back of her neck. B held....at
least 8 times. Selwyn detailed each round listing the perceived
fouls and infractions that he was sure were reinforced on the tape
of the fight. His "case" ended with, "We know that the WBC will take
this protest seriously and trust your actions in this matter." The
protest was filed on September 27, just beating the fifteen day
deadline, stipulated by the WBC.
In the business world, this is known as proactive action; in select
New York neighborhoods, it's dubbed "walking the talk," action
behind words; the Chinese, of course, refer to candles and darkness.
For Selwyn and Olszewski, the darkness was lifted at the recent WBC
convention. Selwyn gladly provided the details: "Team
Olszewski is happy to announce that they have won their official
protest with the WBC. After the 9/14/07 WBC Flyweight title (bout)
between Eileen Olszewski and champion Stefania Bianchini, David
Selwyn, Olszeski's manager filed a protest asking for a rematch.
Selwyn's claim was that referee Mark Green did not enforce the rules
of boxing and let Bianchini constantly foul Olszewski by holding and
rabbit punching throughout the fight. Today (November 15) at the WBC
convention in Manila, Philippines, the WBC decided that Bianchini
must fight her mandatory challenger, fellow countrywoman Simona
Gelasi, and the winner must fight Olszewski."
David Selwyn saw what he thought was a wrong, a wrong done to his
fighter and he went about righting that wrong. He went beyond
complaining about a world of unfairness, he went beyond venting
about the difficulty of competing in a boxing ring in a foreign
country. David Selwyn did what managers are supposed to do, fight
for their fighters even if it means playing with matches.