IBO President Ed Levine joined the IBO in 1999 becoming a major shareholder in the corporation originally founded by John Daddono. Levine has held the presidency going on 14 years now.
Levine got a law degree from Syracuse University in 1967. He spent 40 years in FL as a lawyer. He was a local boxing judge in FL as well as an international boxing judge.
KEN HISSNER: I covered Tony Ferrante’s fight with Isa Akberayev on the GGG Rosado undercard for IBO 175 title. Ferrante came back to win in a great fight but tested positive afterwards. Is there any chance of a rematch?
ED LEVINE: No chance. If a fighter comes up dirty, he doesn’t get a rematch. Same thing could happen again.
KEN HISSNER: Harry Simon fought Geard Ajetovis 9/13 for IBF Int’l 175 title. Wasn’t the IBO title supposed to be at stake?
ED LEVINE: The only connection we had with Ajetovis is that he was a challenger to Daniel Geale when Geale held the IBO world title. Ajetovis has never held any IBO title.
KEN HISSNER: Sky Sports wouldn’t broadcast the IBO in 2005. Why?
ED LEVINE: At that time Sky Sports was broadcasting many lesser titles. WBU, WBF, etc. and unfortunately we were painted with the same brush and they decided not to televise these anymore. Needless to say we bare no resemblance to those lesser sanctioning bodies. Since that time Sky Sports has occasionally broadcast IBO World title fights such as Lovemore NDou vs. Matthew Hatton.
KEN HISSNER: IBO 168 champ Thomas Oosthuizen 22-0-2 drew in 6/13 with Brandon Gonzales. Is a rematch planned?
ED LEVINE: My understanding from Oosthuizen’s promoter is that his next fight will be at light heavyweight. No rematch is planned with Brandon Gonzales.
KEN HISSNER: What I enjoy about your ratings is they show 100 names of boxers in each division. It’s great to refer to being a record keeper myself. You said “You can’t buy a computer a drink? “ Are you trying to say the other 4 organizations ratings can be bought?
ED LEVINE: What I’m saying is that they can be influenced by other factors such as relationships with the organization or their respective ratings chairman.
KEN HISSNER: You attended the Wladimir Klitschko-Alexander Povetkin heavyweight title fight recently. Were you surprised though Klitschko won about his performance and do you think not having the late Manny Steward in the corner may have affected him?
ED LEVINE: While the fight was no pretty to watch it was a situation where styles make fights. With the discrepancy in their size coupled with Povetkin bending over, it wasn’t pretty but Klitschko did what he had to do. I don’t place any blame on Klitschko’s corner. In fact, Manny Steward would have trained any big man to lean on a smaller heavyweight in this very same situation.
KEN HISSNER: Speaking of Golvkin you allowed Philly’s Gabe Rosado who was ranked No. 8 in the IBO light middleweight division to challenge the champion for his middleweight title. I felt in interviewing Rosado he should have challenged for the light middleweight title held by K9 Bundrage. He said “if I beat Triple G I will be a super star”. I had just interviewed Triple G and his 2 Philly sparring partners Dhafir Smith and Farah Ennis and they had nothing but the highest regard for Triple G. I didn’t tell Rosado what they said but knew he was in over his head for a bigger payday. It was a blood bath. Rosado did much better against Peter Quillin in his next fight. Did you regret putting Rosado in with Triple G afterwards?
ED LEVINE: Sanctioning bodies are not matchmakers, or at least they shouldn’t be. I actually thought Rosado was impressive against GGG. He came to fight and I agree he was in over his head. Then again, every fighter that has fought Gennady has been in over his head. Although he lost, it did not hurt his career. He showed he is a true warrior.
KEN HISSNER: Back in 2008 I covered the Ishmail Arvin-Anthony Thompson fight. I felt the referee did a poor job in missing the obvious head butt received by Thompson who was the victim of the decision going against him. I was pleased that the IBO withdrew recognition of the title after reviewing the cause of the cut. I wish other organization heads would review such fights endings. Did you get complaints from Arvin’s people?
ED LEVINE: We felt we did the right thing and never did hear from Arvin’s people.
KEN HISSNER: I saw where you got a boxing achievement award from the FL HOF last summer. Was it unexpected?
ED LEVINE: It was a surprise and an honor they gave me this award. I’m not in boxing for awards but to make some constructive change. Never the less, I sincerely appreciated it.
KEN HISSNER: When Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson met with both the IBO and IBF titles on the line Tarver made the statement “the IBO will be the leading sanctioning body” were you pleased by that statement?
ED LEVINE: Antonio Tarver has always shown the greatest respect for the IBO. Having been our former champion, he knows that we are transparent, honest and make sure the playing field is level for both fighters.
KEN HISSNER: What happened with the breakdown in negotiations for a Thomas Oosthuizenzzo and Gennady Golovkin bout next month?
ED LEVINE: I do not know why the fight did not take place. I know there were some preliminary discussions about it. It could be a weight issue. Oosthuizenzzo is moving to 175’s in his next fight.
I want to thank Ed Levine for taking time away from his busy schedule with the IBO organization whom deserves to be included at the same level with the other 4 organizations.