It was on January 28, 2006, only a few months, since Hurricane Wilma had cannoned into Cancun with all its searing force, lasting seventy two unremittingly destructive hours, lashing the world famous resort with belts of torrential rains, and ferocious winds, gusting up to 295 kilometers per hour.
In its wake and its aftermath, it left behind a desolate trail of devastation and with it a lingering uncertainty of just how long economic recovery would take to achieve. Cancun had suffered a sapping body blow of epic proportions to its infrastructure, especially in the epicenter of its hotel zone and along its windswept, stripped beaches.
At that time, the President of the WBC, Don Jose Sulaiman, focused all of his energy, ingenuity and tenacious efforts into helping Cancun get up from this terrible knockdown, and regain its standing as well as equilibrium, by immediately gathering and sending all the necessary help, even dispatching two trucks laden with containers of water, food and blankets to support the urgent and immediate needs of the stricken, but stoically steadfast population.
However, the support did not stop there. As Don José always did, he bet on boxing, knowing that this would be the tangible impetus that Cancun so needed, as a way to contribute to the recovery of the state.
So with the great and loyal help of promoter Pepe Gómez, the WBC presented an unprecedented event “Night of Champions,” which brought together 92 world champions including Evander Holyfield, Ken Norton, Lennox Lewis, Roberto Durán, Julio César Chávez, Laila Ali, Michael Spinks, Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Ricardo López, Héctor Camacho, Alexis Argüello, Jackie Nava, Wilfredo Gómez, Jeff Fenech, Carlos Zarate, Raúl Macías, Rubén Olivares, Ana María Torres, Jelena Mrdjenovich, Daniel Zaragoza, Erik Morales, Humberto González, plus the famous promoter Don King.
In the words of our beloved President for Life: “The Night of Champions sends an announcement to the world that Cancun is back on its feet and on its way to a full recovery. Despite being hit hard, Cancun has had the tenacity to get off the canvas and to stay in the fight.”
Night of Champions was presented with an array of magnificently emotive events, where all these boxing legends participated. The message reached out to extend all around the world. Cancun had risen, being the headquarters of a historic and unforgettable mega event, that marked a before and after in that paradisiacal paradise, because from that celebration it grew into a world boxing hub.