By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán – President of the WBC
I would normally be writing this column sitting on the plane on my way back home from our annual WBC Convention.
On this occasion, instead of taking the flight from St Petersburg, Russia, to Mexico City, I am in my living room. I can assure you that the feeling of satisfaction did not change one bit after the great success of our global event.
I also feel bitter sweet melancholy, after having closed the sessions, and saying goodbye to all those who attended, tinged with the emotion of having lived unforgettable moments. We all pulled it out together to make it.
The preliminary closing statistics gave us 5,670 people enrolled from 123 countries. The participation of 250 champions and great media coverage. I wish to thank in a very special and humble way the Viernes Media agency, and the digital platform Rebus, who were our technology gurus and partners. As well as the entire staff of the WBC, who under the leadership of José Antonio Arreola Sulaimán, Víctor Silva and Gabriel González, dedicated countless days and hours of work And sheer effort, to make this dream come true. Also to Talaria Marketing, and the members of the Green Team.
The nine Continental Federations have placed their trust in me, to preside over our beloved WBC for four more years.
I am heart and soul committed with this honor and the mantle of responsibility conferred upon on me by the members of the Board of governors. And at the same time, we are together and united, in the constant quest to make our sport safer, fairer, and ever better for all those involved .
There were great moments during this Virtual Convention, with wonderfully memorable highlights.
Bridger Walker, The Bravest Young Man on the Planet. This incredibly brave boy placed himself in the jaws of extreme danger to save his little sister from a savage and sustained dog attack, and was our Special Convention Guest. Seeing his amazement and joy when he realized that he talking with Mike Tyson, with Marvin Marvelous Hagler, and our current champion José Carlos Ramírez, was the most precious highlight, that will forever stay with me as a cherished memory.
José Santa Cruz, father of champion Leo, was awarded the Champion of Life 2020 recognition. Nancy Rodríguez came to his home by surprise, with absolute care, and handed him a plaque plus a ring. He beat cancer in recent years, and recently, he came out on top, from COVID-19. He is a warrior of life.
Rosendo Álvarez, who is the WBC Cares Ambassador in Nicaragua, received the 2020 Humanitarian award. He supports social responsibility programs. He decisively and humanely took the necessary step to admit former champion Ricardo Mayorga to a rehabilitation clinic. They will fly to Culiacán, as Julio César Chávez is ready to receive and help Ricardo at his Baja del Sol clinic.
Following Don Majeski’s proposal, we returned to the original use of strawweight (105 pounds). For some years the name of minimum was used to define the lightest of the 17 divisions. In addition, a tribute will be paid to Ricardo Finito López, who defended the WBC Green and Gold Belt on… 22 occasions!
With another of Majeski’s recommendation, a process was also started to study the creation of a new category. Today there is a big difference between heavyweight champions (260-270 pounds), and others who are far below.
The proposal is to create one from 200 to 225, with the heavyweight division starting at 225. Former champ Tony Bellew was put in charge of the committee for this thorough consultation process.
More than 40 male and female champs sang “We are the World”. My friend José Cantoral did the music and editing of the video, which was Melodic, magnificent and very emotional.
The humanitarian campaign in support of Lebanon was created, in which people are invited to donate. The Global Citizen platform will be used, which guarantees that donations will,swiftly, directly and efficiently reach their final and vital destination.
World rankings for each division were released, and all mandatory fights were ordered for 2021.
The Heroes for Humanity were honored in a fantastic ceremony led by Jill Diamond, WBC Cares World Director, and my wife Christiane Manzur, who is heading up the Mexico headquarters.
It is impossible for me to relate everything, but there is a great plan for 2021. I am more motivated than ever. We are moving forward, and whoever is willing to get on the winner’s train, there is always a place in the WBC family here and globally.
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