Ask any committed boxing fan what the following have in common :-
TED KID LEWIS
HOGAN ‘KID’ BASSEY
and the easy answer will be that a) they were all great fighters and b) all World Champions. Not all may know that they were also all Commonwealth/Empire Champions in common with many other former and current World Champions (like current World Champions, Carl Froch and Ricky Burns)
The earliest Empire Champion recorded in Barry J Hugmans annual ‘British Boxing Board of Control Boxing Yearbook’ is the legendary Heavyweight Peter Jackson of Australia back in 1889, who once fought a draw with future World Heavyweight Champion ‘Gentleman Jim’ Corbett and is described by him in his autobiography as ‘the greatest fighter I have ever met’.Even back in those days there were disputed Titles and during Jacksons reign there was another claimant, Dan Creedon of New Zealand.With the formation of the British Boxing Board of Control in 1929 there was more regulation of Championship contests and disputes as to the rightful Champion disappeared.
However it was not until 1954 with the formation of the British Commonwealth and Empire Championship Committee that a specific body was set up even though it remained an adjunct of the BBB of C.In 1972 the Committee was reconstituted as the British Commonwealth Championship Committee (Britain no longer had an Empire!) and shortly after that the ‘British’ tag was dropped as the Commonwealth itself belonged to all its member countries.Empire Championships became Commonwealth Championships, an overdue name change.
In 1997, the organization incorporated itself as a limited liability, ‘not for profit’ company in accordance with English Law.Membership comprises of national boxing regulatory authorities, or national Championship sanctioning organizations in Commonwealth countries, each of which pays a small affiliation fee, and each of which appoints a Director who is subsequently registered with Companies House.The name was streamlined again as the ‘Commonwealth Boxing Council’.Each Director has a triple responsibility to the management of the Company. He has to accord with the legal obligation, to represent the interests of his own national authority and its boxers and promoters, and govern in the best interests of Commonwealth Championships themselves, a heavy burden of responsibility. Day to day management is delegated to the Hon. Secretary in consultation when neccessary with the Chairman and President.The office of President was instituted in 1987 and each President serves a 2 year term.
Meetings are almost always held in Britain but in 2001 at the invitation of the Mayor of Nairobi, organized by then CBC President, Reuben N’Dolo MP, the first AGM outside Britain took place in Kenya and in 2004, at the invitation of the Government of Ghana, organized by then CBC Director, Moses Foh Amoaning, the AGM took place in Accra, as part of that countrys’ 50th Anniversary Independence Celebration.The Spring (interim) meeting in 2008 was held at the Bahamas High Commission in London as the guest of the High Commissioner, His Excellency Paul Farquharson QPM , organized by CBC President Frederick Sturrup JP.In recent years the AGM of the Company has been held at the headquarters of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Secretariat in Marlborough House in Londons’ Pall Mall thanks to the courtesy of the Baroness Scotland of Asthal, PC, QC, currently His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma.
Income is principally derived from sanction fees paid by promoters who stage Commonwealth Championships and Final Eliminators.No Director receives any renumeration and the CBC, with limited income, can only offer partial subsidy for travel costs so enthusiasm and commitment are key requirements to occupy the post. Director and former Chairman Eric Armit of Scotland is a boxing record compiler of worldwide repute ensuring the Board of Directors have access to the most up to date information and to further assist 2 Advisors have been appointed.One is Al Hamilton MBE a well known ‘behind the scenes’ boxing man with particular contacts with boxing in Britain, Ghana and the Caribbean.The second is world renowned Referee, Stanley Christodoulou of South Africa who has been the ‘third man’ in some of the greatest contests of the last quarter century.
Like the Commonwealth itself the Commonwealth Boxing Council has had to evolve and adapt itself to a changing World, both political and sporting, and is well placed to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. For as long as there is boxing and for as long as all the constituent countries, bound only by a long and sometimes bloody history, wish to continue to align themselves in this unique and estimable institution.