By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán & President of the WBC
We`re just two weeks away from the official opening of our 60th annual Convention. Since that February 14, 1963, when 11 countries met in Mexico City to found the World Boxing Council, year after year, the world of this sport meets at these congresses, where a wide variety of topics are discussed.
The creme de la creme meet and the most important decisions for the development of boxing are made.
Kazajstan was ready to host this important event; The commitment was signed three years ago, and Suleimen Promotions actually made a significant number of preparations to receive the world of boxing in their country.
Unfortunately, the war that is taking place in the region forced us to change the location. It was so, that in a very short time, we managed to find one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico.
Palacio Mundo Imperial will be the host, the meeting place for all of us to greet each other just as we do every year. I am very impressed at the facilities; the hotel is beautiful, and very accessible, with a convention cebter at the level of the very finest congress venue in the world.
We are preparing a series of surprises that will undoubtedly fill our work meetings and social activities with memorable moments and memories.
Don King comes along, with great enthusiasm from him. At 91 years old, he is ready to wave his flags, screaming everywhere: “Viva México! Long live Acapulco! I love you very much! and I am very hungry!
Jackie Nava will be crowned The Queen of Boxing, after her retirement from the ring, after a 20-year career, 17 of them, as world champion.
Julio César Chávez and Canelo Álvarez will be the representatives of the greatness of Mexican boxing in the company of at least 40 other champions.
Miguel Cotto, Jeff Fenech, Vinny Paz, Fernando Vargas, Jessie James Leija, John H. Stracey, Antonio Tarver, Christy Martin and Mia St. John, among many others, will be at the beautiful Port of Acapulco.
A significant number of current champions and monarchs of the future will also attend.
José Cantoral is confirmed to sing the Mexican National Anthem. The son of the greatest composer in our country, Mr. Roberto Cantoral; José is my soul brother, and has collaborated with the WBC and boxing on many occasions. He will provide the power, the glory and the honour, and will also give us one more surprise with an unbelievable song .
Conventions are the time to review research, studies and programs to adjust and implement new rules that make boxing safer; in these meetings the decisions that have changed boxing have been made, through
In 1982 it was decided to reduce world championship fights from 15 to 12 rounds, the most important rule in the history of boxing. It has saved countless lives and guaranteed quality of life, after years of activity in the ring, just to name one.
The committees meticulously prepare during several months to work and achieve their goals.
The ratings committee, the legal committee, WBC Cares, the doctors, and so on, each one meets in work sessions to later present the task plan for the following year in plenary session.
Referees and judges receive training, education, and certification; WBC Cares will visit a children’s home to bring enthusiasm and motivation to those in need, and we also have great moments of fun at the awards dinners, cocktails and the talent show.
There will be two boxing cards within the framework of the Convention; one will be held at Ola Fest, by Mundo Imperial at the GNP Arena facilities, and the other, at the city’s Convention Center, where Promociones Zanfer and TV Azteca will have the show live for their international broadcast.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Mexico has hosted a quite a few World Boxing Council Conventions. Mexico City on eight occasions (1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1980, 1988, 2000 and 2021), while Cancun on four (1992, 2010, 2012 and 2019), and this will be the first time that Acapulco receives the WBC, with its 170 affiliated countries.
Well, I’ll tell you that Conventions are where the most anecdotes have occurred. It was always the happiest moment for my dad. It was then that he saw and enjoyed the company of the entire world boxing community in a week full of joy: promoters, boxers, judges, referees, commissioners, doctors, and the press, in short, the entire boxing community in one place.
There were always private meetings hosted with various groups that sought his attention. I remember the Convention in Tokyo, the Ukrainian delegation requested a meeting, which was agreed at seven in the morning, in Don José’s suite.
I arrived early with my brother Fernando to receive them and prepare everything. Mr. Chistov got a bottle of vodka out of a bag, and unwrapped a mega piece of raw bacon, because that is the tradition in his country. My dad discreetly told us in Spanish: “My son: take the glass of vodka and the piece of bacon from my hands and loudly say that I can’t take them because of my diet.” So, there we were chewing raw bacon and shots of vodka with singular joy! In Torremolinos, Spain, during one of the dinners, my dad says to Don King: “What do you think of this flamenco show? Look what dance and what music! Don King jumped to his feet and ran up on stage, took five thousand dollars in cash out of his pocket and began to show it off and yelled, “Yes, they’re for you! Keep the music going!” And he starts dancing to the music. Suddenly he took a misstep, lost his balance, and bang! he fell on his back, stood up immediately and the funny thing was that not a single bill fell from his hands… My dad couldn’t stop laughing. In Bangkok, Thailand, Duane Ford, and other friends were drinking beer in the hotel bar, it was already late, two in the morning and they thought of playing a prank on some conventioneers… Duane called their rooms and with Thai accent told them crews were waiting for them in the lobby for an interview on the local TV channel. So, down they came, some dripping water after recently showered, and then realizing that they had fallen for the joke, they joined the group in the hotel bar.
And so, in each meeting there are countless memories that, for the rest of our lives, bring us forever marvelous recollections of what it was like to live these moments in the company of our boxing family.
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