José Sulaimán, who presided over the WBC for 38 years until his death in 2014, was responsible for all the major changes introduced by the body to make boxing better and safer.
Don José was dedicated to protecting boxers. He also fought against apartheid as well as any type of discrimination and abuse of power. He was recognized by the United Nations and an endless list of organizations around the world.
He suffered seeing fighters who were once national and world heroes end up living in poverty and forgotten by the world. His dream of creating a fund to help boxers in need came true in 2012 when Hublot’s Jean Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe joined the WBC and raised a significant amount at an auction of luxury Hublot watches, one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the most great legendary champions.
With that million dollars raised, the operation of the fund began in the Nevada Community Foundation (NCF); NCF is an independent, nonprofit organization that administers the Fund and coordinates payments to eligible individuals. The NCF reviews all requests for assistance to ensure that the Fund’s guidelines are followed, ensuring that all operations are conducted with integrity, honesty and fairness.
In 2014, the WBC and the Ring Telmex-Telcel Foundation reached an agreement in which it was agreed to provide financial support to the Fund, in exchange for ring officials who participated in fights sanctioned by the organization use the Ring Telmex-Tecel logo on their uniforms. Don Carlos Slim accepted this program in which he agreed to collaborate with $150,000 dollars per year for 5 years, making a total contribution of $750,000.
Another Hublot/WBC Gala Dinner was held in 2019, raising $1.2 million for the Fund. Stars in attendance at this gala event included: Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Vitali Klitschko, Oscar De La Hoya, Jeff Fenech, Bernard Hopkins, Hozumi Hasegawa and Lou Shiming. The event included a great tribute to the legendary musician Carlos Santana.
For 10 years, the NCF has done an incredible job analyzing all cases, developing new ideas, but above all supporting boxers through the registration process with great quality and dedication.
The José Sulaimán Boxers Fund has awarded more than $2 million dollars in support to fighters and former fighters from Nicaragua, Argentina, Thailand, China, Colombia, Spain, the United States, the Philippines, Panama, Mexico, among many other countries.