by Ronnie Nathanielsz
HBO Sports boxing producer Jon Crystal is seeking permission to use some new technology on the non-televised undercards of the blockbuster Top Rank promotion at the Alamadome in San Antonio, Texas on February 4.
Crystal said he had made the request to the Texas Commission who asked HBO Sports to seek WBC approval.
In his communication with the WBC, the producer said “ For the past 3 years we have been working on wrist based sensor devices that would allow us to measure in real time the speed and force of punches thrown. To date, the sensors have been approved and used in Nevada, California, New Jersey, Michigan, Foxwoods and Washington, D.C. on close to 40 different professional bouts. In addition, 6 other commissions have indicated their support going forward.”
He indicated that they have “Worked with the 2/4 event promoter, Top Rank Inc., with regularity on our “Punch Force” testing and if approved would work closely with them and the local Commission to ensure that everyone was comfortable with the process and the bouts we’d test on.”
In his request to the WBC, the HBO Sports producer said “The unit itself is 1” x 1” and is applied to the inside of the wrist, on top of the commission approved wraps and protected by the padding in the wrist of the glove. The unit weighs 0.2 ounces. In addition to the 60 plus professional fighters who have worn these in sanctioned bouts, we’ve tested on hundreds of fighters at various gyms and amateur events and have yet to have anyone who was even aware they were wearing them.”
Crystal added, “ We believe we are on the verge of a very exciting technological breakthrough that could create much interest and entertainment for boxing fans and would greatly appreciate your support in approving us for testing on the upcoming event. ”
WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman and executive secretary Mauricio Sulaiman have asked WBC officials and others for their views on the proposal and will respond shortly even as Mauricio noted that the “Texas Commission was very respectful to the WBC and asked HBO to get WBC approval in order for them to use this system which is a very nice gesture by Texas.”