José Sulaimán: Boxing’s Many Difficult Moments
January 26, 2011 – Mexico City.
From the office of WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán:
HOOK TO THE LIVER
By José Sulaimán
The world of boxing is today going through very difficult moments, with the retirement of many of the boxing idols of the last decade and the coming of others. This is also a transition period in regards to promotion styles and opportunities, mainly because of the fact that promoters today do not want to promote fights when there is no TV date available for them, and some powerful TV companies only give opportunities to a few boxers and promoters of their selection and leave so many in the USA and the rest of the world away from any opportunity, all which could lead to what the great promoter George Parnassus and the immortal manager-trainer Cuyo Hernandez used to say about the probability of the television powers killing boxing as a sport.
While this transition process is leading to have promoters who care only to fill TV monitors with boxing, while forgetting about the essence of boxing being a great sport for the crowds, there are still promoters who think first of offer great spectacle and drama to the boxing fans, which automatically translates to the same passion for the TV audience. These are the authentic promoters who will carry the banner to keep boxing as great as it has always been for the crowds and TV at the same time, as it was done with heroes like Chávez, Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya – the greatest moneymaker of all time – and is now being done with Pacquiao.
Boxing is also confronting a dangerous period of boxers changing their smell and view only for the green paper as the only motive in their lives, and following only those whose melodies are the offer of millions and millions of dollars, while moving into a mental process of amnesia to forget their past and also those who built them from the very beginning, building bridge by bridge of their careers. Those are gone …. no shame, no mercy, no gratitude, no loyalty …. the boss today is MONEY.
The leaders of boxing should understand that the dirtier and more disgusting the business practices, the sooner that professional boxing will die as a great sport no later than 25 years !!! Boxing should always be kept in the hands of boxing people who will always give their best to work and protect the sport of our love.
Boxing should plan: A) To find and strongly support a system to offer opportunities for all promoters and boxers of the world, without discrimination, under a reorganized and unified national structure; B) Promote the return of the crowds, with boxing promoters going back to the traditional system where the excitement, the heat and the passion of the arena is transferred to the boxing fans of the TV; C) To establish a boxers’ rights rule to protect and not leave helpless all those who have given their lives to build boxing heroes; and D) Plan a world structure with unity and reciprocity, where all could participate for the betterment of boxing matches, with more competitiveness to preserve the drama and passion, as well as safety of the sport of boxing.
The WBC is planning in 2011 to look for good opportunities, good fights, and the establishment of tournaments to bring more interest into the sport, instead of just having routine boxing matches.
We hope to have the rematch between the great light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal against Bernard Hopkins in a new attempt to win the WBC Diamond Belt, after their draw in a fantastic, exciting first fight in Quebec, Canada.
We extended the special status of WBC Emeritus champion, given only to eight fighters in the 48 years of the WBC, to the great WBC middleweight world champion Sergio Martínez, who will have a competitive defense of his title in March.
One of the best Japanese champions of the last decade and now the WBC featherweight world champion, Hozumi Hasegawa, will have a dangerous bout in a mandatory title defense – and a highly-anticipated match – against one of the top Mexican fighters, Jhonny González.
If Julio César Chávez Jr., The Son of the Legend, wins on Saturday, he will next fight WBC middleweight world champion Sebastian Zbik of Germany in a fight that is now commanding the full attention of Mexico, where Chávez is one of its greatest boxing heroes today.
The great WBC heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko’s mandatory defense against Odlanier Solís will be in Germany in March, and there are many more great matches scheduled to make the year of 2011 a great year for boxing, as well as many projects being planned on matters related to safety and the welfare of professional boxers.
The WBC is today at the top of its 48th year of leadership in the sport of boxing. We will do whatever is necessary to bring mutual cooperation with other international organizations, and we will strive for the boxing community to bury their hatchets and find a way of amicable promotion and participation for the betterment of the sport.
It would be nice to see a new co-promotion of Bob Arum and Don King, who, by the way, will celebrate their 80th birthdays this year.
We must move a little into the 21st Century, and continue to carry boxing to the top of its ideals.