The old adage ‘If something can go wrong, it usually does’
seems a perfect fit for last weeks IBA Title Fight in
The number one rule given to any fighter before the start of
combat is to ‘protect yourself at all times’. Who could
argue with that? But if during that protecting or
‘defending’ of one’s self a rule is broken it is up to the
referee to enforce the rules. Those rules are clearly
established by the Association of Boxing Commissions in
America and are mandated in each and every IBA sanctioned
event regardless of location. A viewing of last weeks IBA
title fight in Nashville, Tennessee will clearly show the
State assigned referee did not enforce the A.B.C. rules
despite taking part in two rules meetings with the IBA
Supervisor Norm Longtin.
The IBA cannot overrule the official decision in the ring
the night of March 31, 2006. That decision, despite a solid
protest from Team Gunn, can only be changed by the Tennessee
State Athletic Commission. It appears the Tennessee
Commission as of this writing is unable to do so. Unless
they change their ruling down the road the official record
will read ‘Shelby Gross TKO 2 Bobby Gunn’.
What the IBA can do is to submit the fight videotape to an
IBA review board. That has been done. The review board and
President Tim Lueckenhoff of the Association of Boxing
Commission are in agreement with the opinion expressed by
the on-site IBA Supervisor. Simply put the Tennessee State
official violated or simply ignored not one but numerous
A.B.C. Rules over the course of this event. That ignorance
of the established rules put the integrity of this event
somewhere between ‘ear biting’ and a ‘post fight mugging’ of
a winning fighter by his beaten opponent.
Based on the opinions of the IBA review board; the
International Boxing Association along with President Dean
Chance, has declared the IBA Cruiserweight title to be
vacated as of 4-10-06. This opinion is once again supported
by Mr. Tim Lueckenhoff.
Where do we go from here?
It is hereby mandated that all roads to the vacant IBA World
Cruiserweight Title must go through Shelby Gross and Bobby
Gunn under the following conditions:
(1) Both Shelby Gross and Bobby Gunn agree to a rematch of
their March 31, 2006 fight in Nashville, Tennessee at a site
and date to be determined later.
(2) The negotiation period for both camps to finalize an
agreement on all business related matters pertaining to the
rematch shall extend to but not to exceed ninety (90) days
or until June 30th, 2006. The rematch cannot take place
before June 30th, 2006 unless approved by the IBA. If an
agreement has not been reached between both camps within the
ninety day period (June 30th, 2006) the IBA will consider
the rematch as undoable and will open the IBA Cruiserweight
title to all bidders including Shelby Gross and Bobby Gunn
against different opponents.
(3) The IBA recommends that Shelby Gross and Bobby Gunn do
not engage in another match under any rules before their
rematch is complete. A loss or a win which produces injury
could be a major stumbling block as we head toward the
(4) Both fighters must clear up any and all medical issues
that the Tennessee State Commission has forwarded to the
Association of Boxing Commissions and clear any and all
medical concerns that the State or Local Commission
overseeing their rematch might have.
All questions and concerns can be discussed with IBA
President Dean Chance at your earliest convenience. Dean can
be reached at 330-264-5423
Norm Longtin/IBA Ratings