By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán
We enter the final stretch of this wonderful 2023, a year full of great things for boxing worldwide.
Some of the most important fights have taken place around the world, packed arenas and stadiums, high ratings on multiple television stations and platforms; Women’s boxing has already established itself as a great force in the sport, Saudi Arabia has already positioned itself as a reality to promote mega-cards, and the WBC reaffirmed its convening power and leadership in the sport, with its recent annual Convention in Uzbekistan, which produced an extensive plan of action for 2024.
One of the great purposes for the WBC will be to continue the process of unity in all areas of boxing: respect and collaboration between promoters, platforms, organizations and all members of this industry which is totally fragmented.
Boxing is a sport different from all others in terms of the structure of the business, since everything falls on the promoters, who, in turn, leverage themselves with the most important thing there is: television / streaming platforms, and with such contracts the sponsorship possibilities join, and obviously, the ticket sales on gate. There are many vested interests, since sometimes these are multimillion-dollar contracts or events, and therefore, there is competition that is not always honorable.
There is another component in the business that is the media, who by covering sports can earn significant income.
Finally, we have the governing bodies of the sport, be they continental and national federations, as well as local boxing commissions, and those who administer the world championships like the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF.
The WBC is a non-profit organization which has the affiliation from 170 countries in the world, and our purpose of existence is the boxer, before, during and after their years of life in the ring, and every penny generated, returns in one way or another to boxing. Everything that the WBC has done, does and will do is on behalf of all the boxers and promoters who have participated in our organization’s title fights; together we have changed this sport by making it more humane, safe and great.
The WBC does not like fighting, we try to avoid confrontations, we are mediators, we always propose to move forward, to add, not subtract, that has always been our nature ; We try not to get into confrontations, but there are times when we cannot accept irresponsible actions that aim to harm boxing or our proud and honorable WBC.
There is a USA based publication called The Ring, which was born in 1922, which unfortunately, stopped printing copies last year, and is now only available in digital form. A magazine which has reported boxing for more than one century which is one of the most important media outlets the sport has ever had.
The popularity it had in the last century led them to make wrong attributions, since the work of a media platform should be limited to communicating. They created ratings of boxers by division, which is perfect, because that is what the fans like, topics of discussion, unofficial rankings that create talk about the sport, however later began to award champion belts to those they considered the best in the division; Even so, perhaps it could be acceptable as a popularity issue, but that grew, filled their heads with smoke, and led them to seek to be the boxing authority around the world and have continued to attack relentlessly organizations like ours.
The WBC has always maintained friendly relations; In fact, for many years, until it stopped printing last year, we acquired 500 magazines monthly, which we sent to the membership of our organization.
Before starting our annual Convention, The Ring published that its rankings were the only ones that matter, that those of organizations like the WBC are corrupt, manipulable, and even a very low class bad word was used as an adjective…
That was one of the many offenses and attempts to intimidate third parties because of the power that having a publication gives, and it was then that I responded publicly. The facts are very clear, The Ring is a publication that belongs to a boxing promoter, and with that it loses absolutely all credibility and authority as a media platform.
The Ring is a magazine that is a business, it is a company, and that mistakenly believes that awarding belts to champions gives them authority and belonging in the administration of the sport. It is very easy to award belts to champions, who for many years made their careers and reached the top through the WBC, and the other three governing bodies of boxing.
The Ring does absolutely nothing in boxing other than publish notes, make their rankings and choose who to give belts to.
The WBC has 170 affiliated countries, operations in many countries, research committees, million-dollar investments in programs to make boxing safer, social responsibility programs, and an infinite number of activities that need a book to be properly explained in detail.
I hereby invite my dear friend Oscar and Ring Magazine to bury the bad feelings and move forward in unity for the betterment of our great sport of boxing.
Turning to a different topic, David Benavidez established himself with a spectacular knockout over the undefeated double champion Demetrius Andrade, and was confirmed as the official challenger. Benavidez is a 3 time WBC champion in the Super Middleweight division, undefeated and has a tremendous future.
Jermall Charlo returned after 29 months of inactivity and looked great in a career resurgence, after overcoming many obstacles including mental health problems. He is back, and we are proud to see how well he is doing, now is an ambassador for mental wellness and a success story that will help many around the world .
DID YOU KNOW…?
Golden Boy Promotions is the company that owns The Ring magazine, and Oscar de la Hoya was the WBC world champion, at super lightweight, by defeating Julio César Chávez; At welterweight he defeated Pernell Whitaker, and twice at super welterweight against Javier Castillejo and Ricardo Mayorga. Oscar is one of the great icons of the WBC, and of the Sulaimán family, and has always received all the unconditional support since he is a pride of world and Mexican boxing.
Oscar de la Hoya was one of my dad’s most beloved champions… “My son: how great Oscar is! He is a great fighter, brave and strong; He has great charisma, and how happy I am that now as a promoter he is having success!” The WBC supported Golden Boy promotions since day one and so many great WBC fights have been promoted under such promotional company.
Oscar visited Mexico on one occasion, and was invited, with his team, to a dinner at my brother Héctor’s house, and after a deep and sensitive conversation, where tears were shed, concerning my father’s memory, Héctor brought from his room his most precious possession, a glove signed by The Holy Father Francis and gave it to Oscar to be placed in the hospital that Oscar has for the care of cancer patients… Oscar will always have a special place in the hearts of the Sulaimán family and the WBC.
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