WELL, I had to go to Montréal last week for the IBF convention – this is something all of the officials must do to obtain appointments and keep ahead with what is going on and, of course, it is also a public relations job.
I left from Heathrow with referees Marcus McDonnell, Steve Gray, and Howard Foster. It started off on the wrong foot when my electric toothbrush in my hand luggage decided to start vibrating and bought a few uncomfortable moments with security. We arrived at the hotel the following morning, and when we entered the hotel Marcus started shouting “Randy! Randy!” at someone he presumed to be former heavyweight, Randy Neumann. It so happened that it was John Williamson, the BBBof C representative from Ireland. The mistaken identity made me wonder how Marcus manages to referee without his glasses on.
Steve Gray was supposed to be staying in another hotel with Howard Foster, but made a rick with the booking and poor Howard was left without a hotel or a bed to sleep in so he ended up sleeping on our floor. Dave Parris and Phil Edwards were coming a couple of days later, and Howard was then going to share with Dave.
We had a couple of days before the convention started so we were able to take in the sights of Montreal. Steve Gray took on the role of deciding where to eat and took us to an Italian restaurant but it turned out it was a rib shack. So we decided to give him a second chance. He said he knew of a very nice Irish pub. That ended up being a gay bar. It wasn’t all bad news though, with me being a lightweight when it comes to drinking I was back at the hotel by 11pm but I must compliment Howard and Marcus, who never woke me up when they crawled in five hours later (Howard didn’t make it upstairs every morning, and slept on the sofa one time in the foyer). We could hold our heads up high though as Phil Edwards won the six-kilometre road race that was held one morning at 6:30am round the streets of Montréal. I believe that Howard Foster was going to take part but didn’t arrive back at the hotel early enough from the previous night’s liquid excursions in time.
It is always strange when sharing a room with a friend, and awkward when both of us need the bathroom at the same time. Marcus was cleaning his teeth before we went to a meeting, I was also waiting to do mine, so I took them out and handed them to him as I thought he could clean mine at the same time. He nearly died of a fright.
We spent one full day in the referees’ seminar, being educated on refereeing by Mark Nelson and in all honestly it was quite interesting. We also had a judges’ seminar another day which was also very good and we all took our ABC test which, if you are an official working in America, is mandatory. Carl Frampton and his team with Barry McGuigan were also in our hotel for a couple of days and we watched them doing their pad work. After all the seminars there was the gala night with champions including Carl Frampton, Steve Molitor, and Lucien Bute. On the last day there is the open forum and among other subjects it is decided on where to hold following years convention will be, and although not confirmed yet for Visa reasons it looks like being Beijing.
But back to the real business. On the last night, madness and mayhem ruled the day again. Dennis Hobson, the Sheffield promoter, joined us and as we had a few bevvies he sang to us, the only down side to that was Steve Gray being fined by the police $42 for jaywalking.
You couldn’t make it up.