The World Boxing Council Los Angeles Office was in celebration mode yesterday, November 2nd, as we were honored to have so many great Champions and members of the Boxing Community to celebrate two things, Dia De Los Muertos, a day to celebrate our loved ones who have passed on and very honored to have our WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, present Father and Trainer of our WBC Diamond Featherweight Champion, Leo Santacruz, Don Jose Santacruz with his Championship Trainer’s Belt.
The festivities began Friday morning as Champions and fighters began to arrive, Former three time World Champion, Israel “El Magnifico” Vazquez was first to arrive, followed by Golden Boy Prospect, Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez, Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete, Former Champion Daniel Ponce De Leon, WBC Diamond Featherweight Champion, Leo Santacruz with his parents, Don Jose and Leodegaria Santacruz, Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo, WBC World Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter and friends in the Boxing Community like Elliot Phillips of Grant Gloves, Matt Tucker, Marcos Villegas of FightHub, Enrique Gutierrez of Univision and Elie Seckbach along with our WBC team.
Don Jose Santacruz earned his Championship Trainer’s Belt back in June when Leo Santacruz defeated Abner Mares for the second time via Unanimous Decision. WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, wanted to personally present the belt to Don Jose. Being Mauricio Sulaiman was in Los Angeles for a few days, we took advantage of organizing this special moment for Don Jose Santacruz. With the presence of legendary Champions, current Champions, future Champions and our WBC Family, Don Jose received his belt.
His words were, ” I don’t feel as if I deserve this, I always wanted one. I remember when my son Leo won his first belt, I am a strong man, but I had tears, tears of happiness because I always wanted to see my son as a Champion, and there he was with his belt, and now I have my own. Thank you Mauricio, thank you WBC.”
Leo Santacruz then came and said, ” My Dad does deserve this, he suffers and sacrifices just like we do. Even when he is not feeling well, he is there at the gym, pushing us. I didn’t start Boxing because of me, I started Boxing because of him. It was his dream to become a Boxer, but when he realized that, it was too late. So I train hard for him and my first Championship belt, I gave it to him. I do it all for him and my family. It makes me happy be be here in this moment, seeing my dad as a Champion, as he deserves.”
Mauricio Sulaiman words to Don Jose and Dona Leodegaria., ” Thank you for raising such great children like Leo, who is a great Champion, not only inside the ring, but also where it is most important, outside of the ring. His smile, his humbleness are not words, they’re actions. His actions for years that I have known him have spoken louder than words and that is priceless. Something children only learn from their parents. Thank you for raising a great human being, a great Champion.”
After that very special beautiful moment, WBC LA Office went on with their 2nd Annual Dia De Los Muertos Celebration at the office with the fighters and media. Together built an alter with loved ones and fighters who have passed on. Jousce Gonzalez brought special crosses with his uncle and grandfather. Oscar Negrete says he is blessed to say he has all his loved ones. We had special Nevada Boxing Hall Of Fame Bottles commemorating the late Diego Corrales and Rafael Garcia, Of course Don Jose Sulaiman, Salvador Sanchez, Arturo Gatti, Don Chargin and more. Included in the alter were beautiful flowers, candy skulls, tamales, champurrado, tequila, candy and more. Champion Shawn Porter was familiar with the celebration thanks to the movie Coco he said smiling. Former Champions Israel Vazquez, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Enrique Gutierrez were gracious enough to join us for the 2nd year which grew from our first.
Words from Mauricio Sulaiman about yesterday in the LA Office, “Yesterday was a very special day for me as I had the great honor to spend time with various fighters from today and yesterday, from prospects to great Champions and legendary ones. As for presenting the Trainer’s Belt to Don Jose Santacruz in the presence of Leo and Don Jose’s wife Leodegaria was another special moment because trainers are very important and should be acknowledged as they form a team. Now all trainers who crown a WBC Champion will have their belt and have the satisfaction of being successful .”
Overall, it was a great reunion for our WBC Family, uniting fighters from different promoters, different places, all together for the love of Boxing as it should be. That is something special the WBC has, unite together with respect. It’s like a true family and like Mauricio Sulaiman always says, we are always in your corner.
Photo Credit to Matt Tucker @matttuckerphotography Click on link for more great photos of yesterday’s festivities