September 6th, 2013 By Pedro Fernandez
San Francisco, CA- Being some 7 days removed from Budapest, Hungary and the 26th World Boxing Organization Congress, all I can say is that is that I think life in the shadows of the Swiss alps just might trump life in the U.S.A. In order to give this story a little background, as a member of the San Francisco Police, I was part of the “up close and personal” protection detail of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and other dignitaries. Now in the private sector we call it “Executive Protection.”
ALL THIS TO HEAR DON KING SPEAK?
So when a few media types and members of the World Boxing Organization arrived at the venue of our gala event that ended the WBO’s 26th annual Congress, a secluded lodge type some 55 minutes on bus from downtown Budapest, there was more than an air of mystique as we hopped off the buses. The normal eye, one not trained in Executive Protection, couldn’t see the blanket of security covering us. People on the roof. When the Security (later found out to be Hungarian Secret Service) asked the UK’s Box Nation and others to open up their video cameras, the mystery only increased.
WE WERE ALL CERTAINLY CHECKED OUT IN ADVANCE
With guys talking into their lapels, this at dusk, I soon found out from ex-WBO featherweight champ Istvan “Ko Ko” Kovacs that the guest of
honor would be none other than Hungarian President Janos Ader, thus now the secluded venue and the extreme security preparations made sense.
INTRODUCING PRESIDENT ADER AN HONOR
As the Master of Ceremonies, going from the probability of leading the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to promoter Don King, which with the exception of my singing went well, to introducing a Head of State, you can say it is bit of a pulse raiser.
SECRET SERVICE ZAPPED SOUND SYSTEM
When I introduced President Janos Ader, the Hungarian leader through an interpreter was doing his presidential thing when a Secret Service man hit his radio causing a giant squelch in the audio that got my attention in that I thought it might be some type of diversion with the president onstage.
PRESIDENT COUNTER PUNCHED WELL
Reacting with both wit and pun, President Ader spun the ear jolt into a joke and thanked WBO President Francisco Valcarcel and many others, including Hungarian former featherweight champ Isvan “Ko Ko” Kovacs, this prior to a duck dinner, chatting with Valcarcel and King before exiting stage right.
IS IS JUST WOMEN & CELL PHONES
Have to mention the beautiful Hungarian women. Some were quite assertive, others shy, but naturally pretty for the most part. Like here, cell phones are a generational thing, meaning women over 55 have some ancient “string to can” like devices, while the under 40 crowd have nothing but IPhones and the like.
HOW CAN HUNGARY BE LIKE COLOMBIA?
Americans haven’t mucked it up yet! Of all the places I’ve been, 33-passport stamps in all, I can tell you there maybe no place more beautiful than Budapest, Hungary.
“KO KO” MORE THAN NATIONAL HERO
In the next week, I will talk about national icon Istvan “Ko Ko” Kovacs, why this was the fastest awards ceremony in history, led by “Fighter of The Year” honors to Wladmir Klitschko.