By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán & President of the WBC
I sit down to write this column with an indescribable feeling, it is Father’s Day, and I received the best possible gift, as my dad visited me, appearing in my dream and I perfectly remember everything that happened, which is unusual for me.
I do not believe in coincidence, Don José was present for various reasons, to celebrate the historic event in Mexico City as a Guinness Record was stablished , and above all, to be with his children on this Father’s Day, confirming that he will never leave us. Precisely one Sunday my brother Fernando underwent a medical procedure as he was found with heart failure and three stents were placed with great success. Yet another warning on how health is the most important thing in the world.
I hope with all my heart that last Sunday, was special for everyone in the company of their loved ones.
Saturday was a historic day for Mexico City, boxing, sports and humanity. After months of preparation, with the demanding job to train thousands of people in the different municipalities, a huge number of classes by Zoom and social networks, with videos of many champions, the Guinness Record of the largest boxing class was achieved.
What began as a dream of federal deputy Miguel Torruco Garza, today is a reality and a triumph.. The head of Mexico City`s Government Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, unfortunately could not be there, due to having contracted COVID-19 only two days before the class, but she was definitely present receiving the affection of all those who participated when seeing her via Zoom on the giant screens.
Mexico City accomplished this event with an exemplary organization. Javier Hidalgo, Director of Mexico City Sports Program, led the thousands who dedicated themselves body and soul, with passion and dedication. Instructors, teachers and the boxing community of the city and other states, champions, managers and trainers.
The World Boxing Council, together with the Mexico City Boxing Commission, and its President Ciro Nucci, brought together more than 100 boxers, at least 50 world champions: Andy Ruiz, Érik Morales, Ana María Torres, Jackie Nava, Barbie Juárez, Chiquita González, Carlos Zárate, Lupe Pintor, Pipino Cuevas, Miguel Ángel Berchelt, Óscar Valdez, and many others filled the platforms to witness what the people of Mexico achieved.
The morning surprised with a light rain threatening a shower that would have changed everything; but thinking about it, it was not the rain, but the tears of happiness that fell from the sky of all those friends of Mexico and boxing who saw from the sky the green, white and red flag, which was formed in the Zócalo, with the thousands of enthusiasts who were present since five in the morning.
Boxing is national heritage. It is the sport that has given our country 13 Olympic medals and more than 200 world champions.
The people have enjoyed the triumphs of Aztec fighters for decades, with their glorious performances inside the ring, in all corners of the world. On Saturday it was the people, who now dressed in the colors of our National flag and gave great satisfaction to the boxers, showing the unity of community, which characterizes Boxing. So it was now the time for the boxers to be so proud of the Communitty , the people, who managed to set a world record for eternity.
Just as we savored with great emotion in the city, the WBC was also present in other places, and we celebrated the successes achieved, thanks to the dedication of thousands of people who are part of this great WBC family all around the world.
The amateur tournament called the Green Belt Challenge was held in Los Angeles. My brother Pepe decided to start this activity eight years ago, which has grown impressively year after year.
Nancy Rodríguez, from the WBC office in that city, Pepe Sulaimán and his wife Ceci have created a great team for this tournament. There were three days of competition under the official sanctioning of USA Boxing, thus being an official tournament. A family atmosphere, but highly competitive. The best of the best sought to obtain the coveted Green and Gold amateur belts and medals Dr Paul Wallace and his team provided the medical services to ensure everything was at the best level or greatness.
We had the presence of various world champions, who attended to enjoy the greatness of our sport, since this is where it all begins. Leo SantaCruz, Israel Vázquez, Michael Nunn, Mark Magsayo, Sean Gibbons, Tom Loeffler and many more celebrities.
The winners of this 2022 tournament were: Joey Abudy and Maya Hernández, in the men’s and women’s branch. In the Courage Belt: Joaquín López. And the champions of the Green Belt Challenge are: Ciana Chávez, Giselle Luján, Marqués Tovar, Abel Alba, Criztec Bazaldúa, Sam Larios and Moisés Saldaña.
On the same way, the Sugar Bert amateur tournament was held, organized by Bert Wells, with the support of the WBC Amateur in Florida, Carolina and Las Vegas… Total representation in amateur boxing to give opportunities to those who dream of one day going very far and all the way in boxing.
On Friday, ring officials seminars were held in various parts of the world. In Dubai, Daniel Van de Wiele , Ali Oubaali, along with Kevin Noone and Oksana Semeneshina continued with the process of training and certification of judges and referees.
While Héctor Afú, together with Alberto Guerra and Jimmy Salas, held a meeting in Panama for the initiation of young people into boxing. Judges, referees, commissioners, inspectors. The very best who will be the future of boxing in that country.
In China, You Yin was crowned national champion with a great celebration, seeing boxing return in that country, being the first major boxing match since the pandemic. Also in Torreón, Coahuila, the fight between the champion Yulihan Luna against the interim champion Jéssica González took place and in a great fight, Luna managed to successfully her WBC undisputed bantamweight championship. And also in New York , Artur Beterbiev made a statement winning his 18th fight, all of those have been by knockout while blowing out Joe smith in just 2 rounds , he is now The WBC-WBO-IBF light heavyweight champion .
There are real problems for those who like to make the famous list of the best pound per pound are always keen to show their skills and mettle … This year there have been great fights with important results. Tyson Fury, brilliant heavyweight domination , Jermell Charlo, undisputed in super welterweight; Devin Haney, at lightweight; Naoya Inoue, a monster in bantamweight, Artur Beterbiev, dominating light heavyweight; Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, at welterweight, and of course our super middleweight champion, Saúl Canelo Álvarez.
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My dad always found a way to make each of the six children believe that we were his favorite. He made us feel the most important, the most loved and the only one in his eyes. Sometimes I doubted if I was the favorite. I always thought Fernando was. Don José took him everywhere to take pictures and that was their greatest union.
My dad enjoyed telling an anecdote with Fernando: “I took Fery to Chapultepec to try out my new Hasselblad camera, I asked him to take several poses in different places and I visualized a great photo; I told him to get into a big concrete tube that was in the middle of the park… I got ready for the photo and when he was about to take it, I told him to turn to the camera, he had fallen asleep!!! ! Fery can fall sleep anywhere even standing up!!!”.
Thanks to my dad for being the best father in the world, although we had to share him with thousands, because he always lived to be like a father to all boxers.
I appreciate the feedback from him at firstname.lastname@example.org