By Keith Terceira

Mississippi Boxing Commissioner Jon Lewis has been instructed by his department attorney to discontinue any communication with the WBC regarding the judging issues and sanctioning of the Timothy Bradley-Edner Cherry bout at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi.

In a couple of lengthy conversations with and an appearance last night on the Talkin’ Boxing with Billy C radio broadcast Lewis explained his position on the WBC ‘s strong arm tactics and attempts to control the officiating of two of the three title fights on the card.

“I have a real problem with someone that has a financial interest in the outcome of these fights dictating who the officals are. I don’t want anyone to be able to question the integrity of boxing in this state”


Lewis disputed a published report by Michael Marley that stated that the Mississippi Commissioner worked an arraignment with the WBO to place judges in the Campbell - Guzman championship bout.

“That report was totally false, I don’t know whom Marley spoke with but it wasn’t with myself. The WBO had no say as to the crew I appointed. It is the same officiating crew as was originally set by me with no changes. Fact is the WBO was on the same footing as the WBC .. The WBO accepted the crew and the WBC attempted to bully my office.”

Commissioner Lewis verified that the WBC had made two attempts today to contact his office but that no return correspondence was planned .

“We have nothing further to discuss with the WBC our plans are set concerning the event Saturday and I have been instructed by our attorney not to discuss the matter further with them. Frankly , they have backed me into such a corner now that to change course now would reflect badly on my state and my office.”

The WBC refusal to accept the judges and referee appointed by the State Commission will also create and issue with the Hector Velazquez and Elio Rojas eliminator and one wonders if their action may have contractual issues for several of these fighters.

All four of these fighters have taken their bouts on the preface that their would be something more in the pot than just money. Should the WBC not change its stance on the matter then we may just see a very large legal battle arise between Showtime, Promoters; Shaw and King, The Beau Rivage, and the WBC.

ABC President Tim Lueckenhoff publicly released a letter to Jose Sulaiman of the WBC basically taking the legs out from under the WBC stance and warning of the Mississippi Commissions right to take the action they have as well as asking Sulaima n to reconsider plans to judge fights as spectators from the stands.

"I have made myself very clear on the issue of judging fights from the stands and how that is a felony in our state punishable by up to one year in our state prison . I will turn over to our state attorney that matter for prosecution should that happen” Lewis confirmed today by phone.

Boxing Commissions in the United States have no legal requirement to allow sanctioning bodies to place judges or referees in fights. It has been done in this country as a courtesy rather than a right to the Belt Bodies. Based on several of the latest fights perhaps this commissioner has gotten it right.

“Once this went public and I did not change my mind on this I have received a great many calls in support of this action by other commissions. My people are qualified and have been accepted by the other major three. “ Lewis states.

Last night on the TalkinBoxing with Billy C Show , Jon revealed a bit about his character as a person and as a manager.

“ It is not in my character to give someone a job and then have to call them and fire them. Our crew is set and it is the same crew less one person that did the Hanshaw -Roy Jones Jr. fight 14 months ago.”

Jon Lewis’ interview will be available on tomorrow morning and it includes Nate Campbell live from the Beau Rivage.


Keith Terceira is a long time BoxingScene staff member, UBC North American and Ratings Chairman, and the Co-Host of the TalkinBoxing with Billy C radio show. Forward replies to