The World Boxing Council and its President Mauricio Sulaiman, today commemorate, honor and celebrate Nelson Mandela Day, remembering the courageous, visionary heroic leader, passionate boxing fan and beacon of mankind.
Mandela dedicated his life to defeating apartheid, an evil form of racism developed in South Africa based on segregation. And for that he was imprisoned for 27 years. Two years after being released, he was elected by a landslide vote, as President of South Africa, exercising his mandate with equality, magnanimous wisdom, decency and humanity.
The WBC Lifetime President and dear friend of Mandela, Don Jose Sulaiman, named him “King of Human Equality” joining the tireless struggle to achieve this fundamental justice.
After experiencing the terrible racism on a trip that he made as a supervisor of the World Boxing Council to South Africa in 1971, and witnessing the appalling way people and boxers were mistreated due to rampant racism, Don Jose resolved to fight against odious apartheid.
His very first action as President of the WBC, was to expel South Africa, prohibiting any boxer to fight in this country, as well as promoters and managers of that nation. Following the lead of the World Boxing Council, other sports organizations joined the campaign of humanity to seek equality and to end discriminatory practices.
The culmination of this struggle was in 1985, when the United Nations Security Committee delivered an outstanding recognition to the WBC for this work, which with the rest of the World standing together, once and for all, ended the bankrupt wickedness of apartheid.
Although Rugby has always been South Africa’s favorite sport, Mandela was an avid boxing fan. He even an amateur boxer in his youth. He used to compare equality with boxing, because up in the ring, color, creed and social status are irrelevant.
Today we join the celebration of Nelson Mandela Day and we remember him with respect, awe, gratitude and eternal affection.