November Neutral Corner

Nov. 06, 2012, 9:28 a.m. (ET)

Dr. Butler's Column: What does decertification mean and where are we going?


Dear Friends in Boxing,

USA Boxing is facing decertification. What does that mean? It means USAB would no longer control amateur boxing. It means the Ted Stevens Act would no longer protect us; the United States Olympic Committee would not recognize USAB as the National Governing Body; AIBA would not recognize USAB as the National Federation; the state athletic commissions would step in and regulate amateur boxing.  It means we would likely have to pay state doctors and officials for amateur boxing shows which would certainly be expensive. It means American boxers could not compete in world championships and the Olympic Games.


The cost of amateur boxing will increase, meaning many clubs and gyms would close. Some athletes would change to other sports. Others would be lost to the streets.

Can USA Boxing be saved? I hope so and I am working to save it. AIBA and the USOC have both demanded that we change how we work. USA Boxing must work on developing a new governance structure that satisfies our reporting organizations, which means how we conduct boxing activities at the national and local levels.

Decertification could happen for 4 reasons:

  1. We fail to create a plan satisfying their demands.
  2. We fail to make certain changes in the time required.
  3. We fail to submit a new operating plan in the time required.
  4. The voting delegates fail to approve the new governance structure.

We are working to prepare the plan, which we promised AIBA when they lifted their sanction. We need to send our plan by November 11. We expect to meet with AIBA soon afterwards for their recommendations and approval. We will keep you informed as much as possible.

It appears there will be a big change in how we run the business. We don't know what form the governance will take or who the new leadership will be or how those persons will be chosen.

This past week the chances of success swung many times from enthusiastic to impossible. I do not know what to tell you on that score. If we are successful, there should be no change for the Grassroots.  Clearly, many of the same tasks will be unchanged.  Right now, we don't know who will be in charge of doing them.

As long as I am involved, we will work to achieve the programs and plans to help the Grassroots Coaches and Athletes that we wrote about in previous issues of the "Neutral Corner."  The new Coaches Clinics will continue.  The plans to work with a generous donor to establish an American Boxing Academy will continue. 

The staff for the 2012 Youth World Championships in Yerevan, Armenia includes three personal coaches of athletes competing in the event. This is part of our commitment to personal coaches.  We hope to make our organization attractive for sponsors and create value for our tournaments.  Any money raised will be used to better the athletes and volunteers of USA Boxing. 

Yours in boxing,



2012 National PAL Championships Recap

Nearly 50 national champions were crowned at the 2012 National PAL Championships, October 8-13 at the Seagate Centre in Toledo, Ohio. Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) made a triumphant return to the ring, winning her second straight National PAL title in her first action since London. She led a youth revolution at the event, with two fellow 17-year-olds taking the Outstanding Boxer awards in the open division at the major national tournament. Male light welterweight Erickson Lubin (Orlando, Fla.) took his first senior national title in his open division debut just two weeks after his 17th birthday while fellow teenager Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) claimed the women’s lightweight title. Ellis’ brother, Rashidi Ellis (Lynn, Mass.), made it a family affair, taking the welterweight championship in Toledo.


Congratulations to all the 2012 National PAL Champions:

11-12-year-old division

85 lbs: Desean Minor, Cincinnati, Ohio

95 lbs: Otha Jones, Toledo, Ohio

110 lbs: Lorenzo Simpson, Baltimore, Md.

114 lbs: Dillon Burrell, Cleveland, Ohio

13-14-year-old division

85 lbs: Keshawn Davis, Philadelphia, Pa.

90 lbs: Nicholas Sullivan, Portsmouth, Va.

95 lbs: Jody Gauthier II, Opelousas, La.

101 lbs: Leon Lawson, Flint, Mich.

106 lbs: Reshati Mati, Staten Island, N.Y.

110 lbs: Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va.

114 lbs: Brandon Lee, Coachella, Calif.

119 lbs: Michael Dutchover, Midland, Texas

125 lbs: Michael Nelson, Mansfield, Ohio
132 lbs: Mykquan Williams, E. Hartford, Conn.

145 lbs: Janelson Figueroa, Detroit, Mich.

15-16-year-old division

101 lbs/male: Geovanny Martinez, Chicago, Ill.

106 lbs/male: Bruce Cardington, Brooklyn, N.Y.

106 lbs/female: Monica Van Pelt, Toledo, Ohio
110 lbs/male: Tyrone Arzeno, Allentown, Pa.

114 lbs/male: Carlos Balderas, Santas Monica, Calif.
119 lbs/female: Jasmine Hampton, Ann Arbor, Mich.

119 lbs/male: Efren Lopez, Fresno, Calif.

125 lbs/male: Christian Bermudez, Brooklyn, N.Y.

132 lbs/male: Nasir Jones, Philadelphia, Pa.

138 lbs/male: Marc Dawson, Philadelphia, Pa.

145 lbs/male: Edgar Berlanga, New York, N.Y.

154 lbs/female: Samantha Kinchen, Lexington, Ky.

154 lbs/male: Malik Hawkins, Baltimore, Md.

165 lbs/male: Jason Bell, District Heights, Md.

178 lbs/male: Michael Barretto, Minneapolis, Minn.

201 lbs/male: Calvin Countesss, Abingdon, Md.

Open Division

108 lbs/male: Leroy Davila, North Brunswick, N.J.
114 lbs/male: Shawn Simpson, Chicago, Ill.

119 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y.
123 lbs/male: Gary Salazar, Fresno, Calif.

125 lbs/female: Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla.

132 lbs/female: Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass.

132 lbs/male: Kenneth Sims, Jr., Chicago, Ill.

141 lbs/female: Bertha Aracil, Yonkers, N.Y.

141 lbs/male: Erickson Lubin, Orlando, Fla.

152 lbs/male: Rashidi Ellis, Lynn, Mass.

165 lbs/female: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich.

165 lbs/male: Daniel Valdivia, Tulare, Calif.

178 lbs/male: D’Mitrius Ballard, Temple Hills, Md.

201 lbs/male: Joshua Temple, St. Louis, Mo.

201+ lbs/male: Charles Martin, Carson, Calif.


LBC Membership Growth Awards Presented at the Annual Meeting 

USA Boxing was pleased to present thirteen 2011 LBC Membership Growth Awards during the annual meeting in Toledo, Ohio last month.  Congratulations and a “job well done” to these LBCs which grew their athlete/non-athlete membership more than 10% over the previous year. 

South Dakota  34%                      North Dakota    27%             Niagara  25%

Dean Schrempp, President                  Dave Burtts, President              Don Simkin, President

Florida Gold Coast  21%                  Oregon  21%              Middle Atlantic  15%

Chico Rivas, President                 Jason Marquoit, President           Bill Billingham, Acting Pres.

Allegheny Mountain  14%           Northern California  14%       Border  13%

Mark Machi, President                       Ben Bautista, President            Herman Adams, President

New England  13%             South Texas  13%                South Atlantic  12%

Jim Perella, President               Mark Calo-oy, President       Marvin McDowell, President 

Ohio  11%

Gene Campbell, President

With the implementation of the Membership Growth Incentive Program, we look forward to greater and greater numbers of LBCs earning these awards.  The Incentive Program provides rebates to LBCs that exceed 5% membership growth in 2012.  The Membership Growth Rebates are a very easy way to earn revenue for your LBC to increase your programs and funding for tournament travel.  We challenge you to take advantage of this opportunity to help raise dollars for your local grassroots boxing program!

Medical Corner– Sports Drinks

I’ll start by introducing myself.  I am Dr. Robin Goodfellow, MD.  Many of you already know who I am as I go to many events and sometimes travel with the teams.  I am also involved with the Anti-Doping Program.  I have been asked to write a series of brief columns for you on dehydration issues, supplements and Antidoping.  As these will appear only once a month, if you have pressing questions about related things you may reach me home at 517-629-6732 or by email

The topic for this issue is Sports Drinks.  By this I will stick to drinks that are meant to be used to replenish your body’s resources after workouts or actual bouts.  I’d like you to start paying attention to the list of ingredients on the bottle for all the drinks and supplements you use. Keep in mind that the makers are not required to list everything in there – “high energy drinks” may have things that are prohibited or even not good for you.  That is for another column in the future.  For now we’ll stick to those meant to replace substances used up or lost with vigorous activity.  (Future articles will be shorter next time, I hope.  Don’t give up.)

FIRST of all is water.  Mainly for this discussion we are talking about sweat and water lost with heavy breathing.  This can be replaced by – you guessed it – water.  It doesn’t have to be expensive spring water or water that bubbles or has a pretty color.  In the USA, tap water would be OK, but when we are out of the country we want you to use bottled to be sure the water doesn’t have germs in it.  Even at home it is often convenient to carry bottled water so you can use it when you want/need it.  FREE, IMPORTANT TIP #1:  by the time you are actually thirsty, you are already partially dehydrated.  Sip often during exercise and throughout the day.

SECOND - there are some electrolytes in sweat, mainly Sodium (Na), Potassium (K) and chloride (CL).  There really are not huge amounts in sweat.  If you eating regularly, you most likely will get enough of these in your food if you include some fresh fruit and leafy vegetables.  However, the Sport Drinks do add some electrolytes which often include Magnesium (Mg) and Zinc (Z) as well.  Look at the labels and you will see they are usually fairly small percentages of your daily requirements.

If you were to take into you body no food and drink only water to replenish, you would get low on electrolytes because our bodies naturally loose electrolytes every day.  If you get too many electrolytes, your body will naturally get rid of the excess as long as you are making normal amounts of urine.  IMPORTANT TIP #2: Sports drinks will generally contain electrolytes, but so does real food.  Avoid drinks athletes can lose enough electrolytes to require replenishment with properly balanced drinks along the way. 

THIRD-many sports drinks advertise adding vitamins.  This is true.  However, read the label.  Many give you a lot more than you need and many others don’t give you a full day’s supply.  Usually what they add is also what is in a multivitamin pill and the pill is a whole lot cheaper.  IMPORTANT TIP #3:  most of us get our essential vitamins in food, but a vitamin pill a day is more than enough and saves money.

FOURTH – is energy sources.  Your main energy source is carbohydrates.  Sugars are carbohydrates and are used first to supply fast energy.  They are fast carbs and are what you use first when boxing or working out.  They are stored in long chains called glycogen in our liver and in our muscle where we can get to them fast.  Slow carbs like pasta can be broken down into sugars and sent to the bloodstream a bit slower.  These are our main energy sources.  In situations where we don’t get enough of these, our body can convert proteins to sugar but it takes time to adapt.  Burning fat for energy takes time.  DO YOU WANT your muscles devoured to provide energy??  IMPORTANT POINT #4:  if you are going to use Sport Drinks anyway, consider whether they have sugar in them.  It’s up to you whether you want to get the carbohydrate calories in your drink or in what you eat. 

FIFTH - it is becoming popular to add amino acids to Sports Drinks.  There are only a few amino acids which our bodies cannot make ourselves, called essential amino acids.  Even vegetarians learn how to get their protein building blocks from their diet, This adds to the price of the Sports Drink. 

If you have a favorite Sports Drink that you are convinced helps you enough to justify the expense you are paying for it, I’m not telling you to stop taking it.  However, please start reading the labels. IMPORTANT TIP #5:  Rehydration and Carbing-up are important after workouts and exercising in general.  Do you need your Sports Drink or can you do it more cost effectively with another brand or with water and attention to what you eat?

Next time– do high energy drinks really work and if so how?

Grass Roots Boxing Program in Colorado Springs

USA Boxing coach Brian Arrington works with dozens of athlete scholars several days each week at the Atlas Preparatory School in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He teaches boxing as part of Atlas’s After School Program which provides students the opportunity to participate in numerous community, sport and enrichment activities.  When Brian initially signed up for the program he believed he would coach 10 – 20 students once a week but then the school received 60 applications for the boxing after school program.   Brian enlisted the help of two other area coaches, Ron Melvin and Robert Meeks to help introduce the sport of boxing to these young people.  After school boxing is now in its second semester with 51 new students signed up. 

USA Boxing staff was invited to attend the October 4th “Showcase” presentation of the Atlas After School Program.  What a treat to see so many enthusiastic youth perform and report on their after school activities.  The boxing portion provided demonstrations of Push-ups, Mitt Drills, Jump Rope, Squats and Punching Bag.  The energy of these athlete scholars had the whole room buzzing!  With the support of Atlas Preparatory School as well as many local partners and sponsors, Brian and his coaching staff are hopeful that they will be able to establish a new boxing club at the school in 2013.  More information about the Atlas Preparatory School may be found at

USA Boxing is currently working to implement more school boxing programs across the U.S.  We are interested in receiving information on a successful boxing program in a school near you.