WBC News: Boxing, Pacquiao, Erik, and politics

By Jose Sulaiman -Boxing, Pacquiao, Erik, and politics.

It was a marathon-like trip from Thailand to Dallas to attend Manny Pacquiao’s fight, and from there to Chetumal to attend the report of the Governor of Quintana Roo, Felix Gonzalez Canto. The sportsman and politician honor me with their friendships. A long journey, but it became something truly unforgettable..

In the Far East, I lived moments that left a deep mark on me: my undeserved Honorary Doctorate which was presented to me by the Crown Prince of Thailand; the audience with the Prime Minister and his acceptance to requests in favor of people who are taking drug-rehab treatments and attention to children who are orphans, as well as the institution of Medical National Board for the protection of boxers and, finally, my visit to his Majesty the King who is at the hospital, a friend I admire so much because of his closeness to the people of that country I love. All that takes me to a deep recognition of the national leaders who act in favor of those who need it the most. Thailand has already become one of the greatest countries in professional boxing in the world.

Also, I have to mention that the very respectable and patriotic leadership of Governor Gonzalez Canto, who presented a report full of facts and not words, as the leader of the State. In videos, he showed countless deeds in all fields, even though Quintana Roo was the state most affected by adversity in the last five years. The most sadly recalled events are: Hurricanes Wilma, Katrina and Dean; the influenza that emptied its beaches and, to end, the national and world crisis, which turned the finances of the State into crumbles. It was the Governor, from my personal point of view, who supported the WBC to hold two important events: The Night of Champions, which was attended by 96 world champions from all over the world, and the fight for the WBC Heavyweight world title between Oleg Maskaev and Samuel Peter. All this happened in Cancun, and it was a splendid way to tell the world that Quintana Roo was already on its feet.

By the way - talking about tourism - I wish to express our gratitude to Humberto Elizondo for the extraordinary support given to boxing during his continuance as Tourism Secretary. He used our sport as an extraordinary means to promote the VIVE MEXICO program. We will always remember him with affection and we hope that his success continues in the future.

To conclude, on the night of March 13, Dallas’ Cowboys Stadium became the cathedral of world boxing. Over 50 thousand fans filled the seats to witness the event, which featured Manny Pacquiao (Philippines) vs. Joshua Clottey (Africa) as the main fight. Cowboys Stadium is impressive - to my taste, currently the best of the world with an extraordinary sound system, lighting like I had never seen before, TV screens for replays as long as Insurgentes avenue and the famous Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders singing the national anthem of the U.S.A, for a total success of its famous owner, Jerry Jones, with the indisputable boxing support of great promoter Bob Arum.

Manny Pacquiao confirmed his greatness. Without a doubt, he is the most respected fighter nowadays, and he dedicated his fight to those fans who clapped for him all night long, and he amused them. He faced a rival like Clottey, who was very far from his performances against Antonio Margarito and Miguel Angel Cotto, two great fighters. He spent the night with his elbows next to his body and covering his face with the gloves ... as if he knew he would not win. Fear of Pacquiao? In other words: he stepped in the ring only aiming to finish the 12th round standing up. And from there, to get paid. On the other hand, Pacquiao gave great importance to the bout. He won every single one of the 12 rounds and never stopped punching, thus responding to the commitment to fans that filled the stadium to see him fight. That is what I call being a great champion: the champion who feels the responsibility of performing well before his fans and does everything that should be done, and more, to satisfy those fans. So he did, and in what a way, up to the point of nobody caring about that rival who stepped in the ring just to play the role of punching bag, when he saw a Pacquiao that threw and landed more punches than the ones he threw and landed in his whole last week at the gym, for the jubilation of his fans.

Mexico obtained a new Lightweight world champion: Humberto “Zorrita” Soto. He is a great fighter, but he did not go out to give his best, perhaps due to his friendship with his rival David Diaz, who he hugged more times than the times you hug on New Year’s Eve. Soto can be a very good champion and gain popularity, because he has everything. However, he needs to stop going backwards and assume a full attack. That is the only way to gain the idolatry people give, like J.C. Chavez, “Puas” Olivares, “Chiquita” Gonzalez, Pipino Cuevas, Pacqiuao himself, and, among many others, Erik Morales did. Talking about Morales, with the strength he has worked hard to build, will be a great champion again. His debacle was, without a doubt, a consequence of that exaggeration of having him lose weight, and caused that, in his last fights, he stepped in the ring just like a ghost. Erik, the only Mexican who has beaten Manny, is someone who can make it happen once again, if returns as strong as an oak, within the limit of his natural weight.

Thank you very much and see you next Sunday.


March 26, 2010 – Mexico City.

From the office of WBC President Jose Sulaiman:


WBC President Jose Sulaiman has expressed concern on the free way that boxing organizations are using the approval of interim championships, when they should be used strictly when a champion leaves a title inactive for medical or legal problems.

President Sulaiman will present a recommendation to the WBC Governors at the coming 48th annual convention to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from November 7 to the 13, in regards to instituting a WBC silver world championship, with the prototype being absolutely beautiful, in substitution of an interim championship that does not represent a real title, when it is approved only for a fight without real significance.

The sport of boxing is changing, being now all the way into the 21st Century, and television and other types of promotional organizations, and ways must be found to keep the interest of boxing fans in the world, who are depending on reform that the WBC has been doing for three decades.

The objective is to have the WBC silver championship to be second only to a WBC World Championship, which is even lower how an interim title is being taken by the boxing fans.


President Sulaiman and the WBC team of WBC Cares visited the hospital for burned children in Querétaro, México, and presented the children with sweets and toys. Several former world champions were present on the visit, including Chiquita Gonzalez, Carlos Zárate, Chucho Castillo, Rodolfo Martinez, Victor Rabanales, and Toño Aguirre, among others.

President Sulaiman also gave the children a message to never lose faith, continue playing and studying, and always have dreams. He told them that as an adolescent, he also had a serious burn injury that has left him still today with barely visible fingerprints of both of his hands. He said that he overcame the problem, and came back strongly to continue his studies and work all of his life. It was a good visit, as most of the children at the hospital were very poor.

The WBC group, with all the champions and many other WBC members, including the WBC representative in Querétaro, were visiting Governor José Calzada and the First Lady of the State, with whom the first WBC training gym and school was inaugurated, as well visiting CRIC, a children’s rehabilitating center with more than 400 children who were also presented with candies, toys, miniature boxing gloves, many photos, and the empathic moral support of the presence of the world champions.

Article posted on 22.03.2010

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