Ask any committed boxing fan what the following have in common :-
, 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 and, until recently, Amir Khan and Joseph Agbeko)
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 Secretary General, 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 and Director Ed Pearson are both boxing record compilers 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.
Dennie Mancini The late Dennie Mancini (1933-2004) was one of the best known figures in the sport and had a role to play in the careers of some of the greatest Commonwealth Champions from the 1960's onwards including Lotte Mwale and Chisanda Mutti of Zambia,Lionel Rose, Johnny Famechon, Lester Ellis and Paul Ferrari of Australia,Franco Wanyama of Uganda, Lloyd Honeyghan,Billy Hardy and Billy Schwer of England, Gary Jacobs of Scotland and Howard Eastman of Guyana (to name a few).
As well as Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth he also had strong links with Italy, Holland and Germany, playing a substantial role in the career of German idols Henry Maske and Rene Weller.He held licences as a Promoter, Manager, International Agent and Second.In later years he established a reputation as a cornerman and cutsman of the first order, and Nigel Benn credits him as being the motivating force behind his historic and ultimately tragic win over Gerald McClellan in 1995, after surviving a first round knockdown and shellacking.
He became a member of the old Committee after its reconstitution in 1972 firstly as an adviser on behalf of Australia and later as a Director on behalf of the Australian National Boxing Federation, rarely, if ever, missing a meeting and then only as a result of the illness that eventually cost him his life.
He was also a Director of the iconic sportswear company Lonsdale, and their Beak St headquarters was a well known place to drop in for a chat, where you might run into not only a famous boxer, but stars from other sports and showbiz.
A formidable opponent but a steadfast friend Dennie was one of the great characters of the sport in the latter half of the last century and the beginnings of this, and his considerable contribution to the Commonwealth Boxing Council represented only a fraction of what he gave to boxers and boxing.The Directors could not let his passing go unmarked and instituted the 'Dennie Mancini Trophy' which is awarded each year to the person deemed to achieved the most in that year to the aims of Commonwealth Boxing.The trophy takes the form of a bronze bust of Dennie sculpted by artist Tanya Petersen of Creative Spiral, herself coincidentally a relative by marriage of former Empire Heavyweight Champion, the great Jack Petersen of Wales.
2006 TSHIFHIWA MUNYAI (SOUTH AFRICA) Commonwealth Bantamweight Champion who came to Britain as an unknown and achieved a World ranking as a result of his success there
2007 BRADLEY PRYCE (WALES) Commonwealth Lightmiddleweight Champion for his achievment of capturing the Commonwealth Title after a number of earlier career setbacks and having made his 4th successful defence in the previous 12 month period
2008 AZUMAH NELSON (GHANA) Former Commonwealth and World Featherweight Champion, and all time great, for the setting up of his charitable organization in Ghana to assist disadvantaged yougsters
2009 AMIR KHAN (ENGLAND) WBA Lightwelterweight Champion and former undefeated Commonwealth Lightweight Champion, for his activity as Commonwealth Champion, for re building his career after a shattering one round defeat last year to capture one of the recognized World Championships and the example he has set to young people in Britain
2010 RICKY BURNS (SCOTLAND) for his against the odds win for the World Championship over the favoured Champion, Roman Martinez in one of the 'fights of the year 2010'.
2011 JOSEPH AGBEKO (GHANA) for winning, then regaining the IBF World Bantamweight Championship, before controversially losing in circumstances which forced a rematch.
2012 CARL FROCH (England) for his successes in the Supermiddleweight 'SUPER SIX' Tournament and for capturing the IBF Title.
2013 JAMIE MCDONNELL (England) Went from Commonwealth to World (IBF) Champion
2014 BILLY JOE SAUNDERS (England) Six successful Commonwealth Middleweight Championship contests in two years.
CHIEF R A OGUNBUFUNMI (NIGERIA) 1987-89
LT.COL.W D M'BIYA (ZAMBIA) 1989- 91
V A RIVERO (TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO) 1991-94
PRINCE OLAIDE ADEBOYE (NIGERIA) 1994-96
WILFRED COAKLEY (THE BAHAMAS) 1996 -98
NII QUAYE MENSAH (GHANA) 1998-2000
REUBEN NDOLO MP (KENYA) 2000-02
CELESTINO MINDRA (UGANDA) 2002-04
DOUGLAS CARRICK BELTON (NEW ZEALAND) 2004-06
DR CALVIN INALSINGH (TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO) 2006-08
FREDERICK STURRUP JP (THE BAHAMAS) 2008-2010
ED PEARSON (Canada) 2010-2013
DR PETER NGATANE (South Africa) 2013 - 2015
FRANK HADLEY (Australia) 2015 -
J ONSLOW FANE 1954-77
ALEXANDER ELLIOT 1977-86
R L CLARKE OBE 1987- 2004
ERIC ARMIT 2004-2010
PHILIP BROOK-SMITH QC 2010-
E J (TEDDY) WALTHAM 1954-72
R L CLARKE OBE 1972-80
SIMON BLOCK 1980-