FORMER CBC HON SECRETARY SIMON BLOCK
The CBC congratulates former CBC Hon Secretary, Simon Block, on being inducted into the BRITISH BOXING HALL OF FAME for his services to boxing during a function organised by the Welsh Ex-Boxer’s Association at the Mercure Hotel, Cardiff, last Sunday, 19th September, an event attended by a host of former Champions and other boxing personalities.
Only the third Hon Secretary of the CBC since its formation in 1954 as a committee of the British Boxing Board of Control for whom he served as General Secretary between 2000-2008, Simon took over from the now late RAY CLARKE OBE in 1980 after starting work for the BBB of C the year before. He served us for 40 years handing over to me last year but remains an active and key player on our Council, in his capacity as Senior Policy Consultant.
During his period of office, he kept the CBC functioning through sometimes difficult times which saw some of the greatest boxers in the World winning our Title from AZUMAH NELSON in 1980 through to current World Champions, TYSON FURY and ANTHONY JOSHUA. Boxers from all over the Commonwealth challenged for our Titles including from South Africa and Zimbabwe after the dismantlement of apartheid and more recently for the first time, from Sierra Leone and Cameroon.
He designed and introduced the beautiful and standout Commonwealth Championship Belt, immediately identifiable in photos of our Champions.
In his work for the BBB of C, Simon played a major role in the introduction of compulsory MRI brain scanning for all British and visiting boxers in his time as Assistant General Secretary under JOHN MORRIS and as General Secretary he introduced check weights for Championship contests into Britain, a major factor in reducing the risk of traumatic injury, a factor linked to severe dehydration.
Taking over from John Morris in 2000, he was required to deal with the major financial difficulties imposed on the Board following the order of Administration, which followed losses in two Courts to boxer MICHAEL WATSON, who was severely injured and disabled as a result of his contest against CHRIS EUBANK in 1991.
With support from within and outside the Board, including interventions from promoter FRANK WARREN, a settlement was achieved with Michael and his legal team and the Board came out of Administration in 2004.
He later obtained from the WBO, who had sanctioned the Eubank contest, an honorary World Championship Belt for Michael with whom he later established a good relationship. He also obtained for Bronwen Winstone, the widow of the late and much revered Welsh hero HOWARD WINSTONE a WBC World Championship Belt and for former Crawley ABC clubmate ALAN MINTER, a WBA World Championship Belt, something neither received at the time of winning those Championships.
He is particularly pleased with role he played in the career of one of the Commonwealth’s most active Champions, CARL FROCH, who had been dropped by the WBC from the No. 1 ranking (mandatory challenger) to No. 3, in favour of two German boxers who took over the Nos. 1 and 2 positions.
At the following WBC Convention, Simon tirelessly and ceaselessly lobbied his Commonwealth colleagues and their continental partners, getting Carl re-instated to No. 1 mandatory status, a move which led to Carl challenging for the WBC crown and going on have one of the UK’s most successful World Championship careers. Simon’s role in this is something of which even Carl may not be aware.
Still active in his positions with both the CBC and the WBC, for whom he serves as a member of their Board of Governors, Simon intends to carry on as long as he feels he is required, to provide Championship chances to boxers whose careers merit those opportunities and to work to improve safety requirements to minimise the risks to participants in what can be a magnificent but always dangerous, sport