Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Round 12: Working Together For The Good Of Boxing!

By Mauricio Sulaimán – son of José Sulaimán – President of the WBC

(February 20th) A historic meeting took place during the month of January in which the most important promoters in the world met for an informal talk that was highly positive, and for which I am infinitely grateful for the trust from all of them, to serve as facilitator of said meeting that was held at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Bob Arum and Carl Moretti of Top Rank, Tom Brown, TGB, Luis de Cubas from PBC, Fernando Beltrán from Zanfer, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, Salvatore and Christian Cherchi of Opi2000, and Tom Loeffler of 360 Promotions were present, while others, due to health or scheduling reasons, were unable to attend.


The main theme unanimously accepted is the unity and respect that must exist between all members of the boxing industry, working together to make the fights that the fans wants to see happen, and leaving behind individual egos and pretensions. As Don King has always said, “Working together works.” By the way, Don was confirmed to attend, but medical issues have prevented him from flying for some time now. However, he keeps on working and is active.


With great pleasure we have already seen the result of these discussions as there have been fights with boxers from different companies on the same card. I am sure that 2024 will be equal to or bigger than the historic year 2023.

Oaxaca welcomed the world of boxing in what was an event to remember and leaves this beautiful Mexican state on the map of this sport. The Guelaguetza auditorium looked majestic before a full house. With the participation of the British company Matchroom, Eddie Hearn and all his team present, Mexican promoter Bxstrs, and the support that Zanfer provided by lending its boxer, the Oaxacan idol Oscar Chirino, so that he could fight before his people.


The Governor, Salomón Jara Cruz, formed a great team led by the sports director, Arturo de Jesús Chávez, better known as Tocho, so that this became a true success.


There were motivational talks by Mariana “La Barby” Juárez and Jackie Nava, Humberto “Chiquita” González and Pipino Cuevas. Also talks for prevention of addictions by Rocky Heron, and the former champion, José Luis “Maestrito” López, against harassment and bullying by Beka Romero, as well as massive fitness boxing classes with instructor Rosy Olvera.

A unique exhibition of the WBC museum in the Municipal Palace was shown and will remain for one month, visits to Monte Albán and other archeological landscapes, and several activities that made the entire community feel part of the event which culminated with a world-class boxing card, and of course, supported by an amateur boxing tournament to give new values an opportunity.


After returning from Thailand and enjoying the Super Bowl, I flew to Rome where I had unbelievable positive accomplishments which I will share sometime soon. I met Salvatore Cherchi and other WBC friends like Mauro Betti, referee Massimo Barrovecchio, and Albanian commissioner Orial Kolaj. Italian promoter Alessandra Branco visited me with our proud WBC silver champion, Michael Magnesi, as they are excited about the upcoming defense on March 22.

Sandor Martin, the WBC lightweight mandatory contender, flew from Spain to meet with me and discuss his future. Martin is an outstanding boxer with 44 fights only 2 losses, a former WBC Youth champion, a former EBU champion, and he defeated Mikey Garcia a couple of years ago and dropped Teofimo Lopez twice losing a controversial split decision.


After an unforgettable stop in Rome, I arrived in London for a series of very successful meetings. I met with Frank and George Warren from the Queensberry company, the most important in England and one of the strongest in the world.

I also visited the Repton Gym, founded in 1894 and exclusively for amateurs, to have a meeting with a lot of children and young people, their families, and those unsung heroes, the trainers and coaches who dedicate their lives to teaching and training to keep youth off the streets. Geraldine Davies, our public relations director in England, David Walker and Scott Welch, who run the WBC Cares program, Adrian Pallarols, and my brother Héctor Sulaiman spent a wonderful morning in the company of Michael Watson, that boxer who was on the verge of death and now is a social responsibility ambassador for the WBC.

I had a great meeting with Ash Habib, the creator of the Undisputed video game, the first boxing game in 13 years, which is a worldwide success, and a very important announcement will be made soon.


I enjoyed the traditional WBC Walk in the famous Hyde Park, and to close the day I had a meeting with Karl Fowler, president of the large format book publishing house Opus, to finalize details of the launch of WBC Opus. A true highlight of my trip was meeting with one from my great friends, the legendary champion Naseem Hamed. We talked about our parents, and he was so vocal on how he loved conquering the green and gold and how that was the greatest achievement as he had that dream since childhood, laughed and cried and share a wonderful afternoon.

Being in London, and thanks to technology, I was able to enjoy three great boxing promotions: the already mentioned Campeones de la Guelaguetza, from Oaxaca, Mexico, on the DAZN platform; the defense of the WBC super featherweight championship, by O’Shaquie Foster against Abraham Nova in a great split decision fight from New York on the ESPN+ platform; and from Florida, the WBC Latin championship fight between Israel Picazo and Ramón Cárdenas on ProBox TV.

I have already returned to my beloved Mexico, as there is a lot of work ahead.


The Mexican Alexandro Santiago will fight this weekend in Japan, in which he will defend his WBC bantamweight title against the very tough challenger, former champion Junto Nakatani.

Did you know...?


Mexico is second in number of world boxing champions. The U.S. is positioned in first place, and behind Mexico are others such as England, Japan, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Thailand.


Today's anecdote

In that December of 1975, my mother, Martha, accompanied my father to the Convention in Tunisia, when Don José was elected President of the WBC. On the way back, they stopped one night in London to take the flight home. Very happy with the honor of having being elected president of the WBC, he invited my mother to dinner to celebrate in a special fancy restaurant.

My dad said to the waiter, “Bring me the biggest lobster you have.” And my mother asked that they bring her the daughter of said lobster, among jokes.


The waiter returns and with a little shame, whispered in Don José's ear that the lobster is 12 pounds, and my dad confirmed his order immediately. “Martha, can you believe this? This guy comes and he tells me the lobster is 12 pounds. What a shame! Don't you think? They had never told me the price of a dish.” A while later two waiters showed up, carrying a large tray containing a gigantic lobster. Turns out the waiter told him about the 12-pound weight, and not the cost as my dad understood! My parents’ laughter could be heard throughout the restaurant.



The WBC was established as an initiative of the then President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, to create an organization that would unify all the commissions of the world and  develop the expansion of boxing.


This is how on February 14, 1963 the World Boxing Council was founded, initially created by 11 countries: the United States, Argentina, England, France, Mexico, the Philippines, Panama, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil.


Its main founders were the Mexican Luis Spota and Professor Ramón G.


Velasquez, who were Presidents of the World Boxing Council, as well as Onslow Fane, from England and Filipino Justiniano Montaño.


So far there have been six honorable men who have held the position of President of the World Boxing Council; However, Dr. José Sulaimán Chagnón, who became President on December 5, 1975 in the city of Tunisia and remained as Leader for more than 38 years, was the one who consolidated the organization as the most important at international and global level.


Thanks to his unstinting efforts, innovation and guidelines, the WBC evolved, grew and transformed the way this noble sport is viewed. For the WBC the most important thing has always been to promote and safeguard, safety, health plus respect for the boxer, who gets into the ring with a hunger and thirst to win, and to entertain the fans, in spite of the risks.


The World Boxing Council is a non-profit organization that works motivated by the love for boxing with dedicated, loyal people who seek to safeguard the safety of boxers. Consisting of 166 countries with their respective confederations, its main function is to make boxing a fair and safe sport.


Today, with the leadership of its President Mr. Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC continues to work to enhance boxing, as well as to protect the health and well-being of all boxers, above any interest, always promoting our values: loyalty, justice, integrity and respecting the social commitment that supports our history.



1. The reduction of the length of title fights from 15 to 12 rounds.

2. The official weigh-in required 24 hours before the fights.

3. The creation of divisions.

4. The four-rope ring.

5.The thumb-attached glove.

6.Doping tests after each fight sanctioned by the WBC.

7. Donations to UCLA for research.

8. Annual medical examinations for champions and classified boxers.

9. Life and hospitalization insurance for those fighters involved in title fights.

10. Retirement plans to support boxers in need throughout the world.

11. The struggle against apartheid in South African boxing, which earned our president an acknowledgement from the United Nations.



Mauricio was born on December 30, 1969 in Mexico City, Federal District, the youngest son of Jose Sulaiman Chagnon and Martha Saldivar Morales.


A man passionate about music and sports, who from his childhood, followed the footsteps of his father, the man who taught him to serve others.


Mauricio graduated in Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Estado de Mexico, whose academic achievements include two more specialties, in finance and another in High Responsibility Management by the Association of Presidents from America.


He was President and CEO of Controles Graficos Enterprise, a manufacturing company with three business divisions: printing, security and digital solutions. In 1992 the WBC appointed him Director of Public Relations and in 1994 he was elected Vice President of the North American Boxing Federation.


In 2004 Mauricio became Executive Secretary of the World Boxing Council.


On February 12, 2014 he was unanimously elected President of the World Boxing Council.


During his time as the head of the organization, Mauricio has worked, guided by the values that his father instilled in him in more than 38 years as the head of the WBC, focusing on honesty, responsibility, respect, solidarity, loyalty and friendship.


Five years after being elected WBC President, Mauricio has developed various initiatives, such as amateur and professional tournaments, active participation in social and reintegration programs, women’s boxing advancement with the organization of three Conventions, monitoring the “José Sulaimán” Fund that helps the boxers in need, creation of special belts to commemorate great fights, seminars for judges and referees around the world.


Also and significantly, the creation of the Clean Boxing Program (CBP) that in alliance with VADA, does anti-doping tests, and strives to educate athletes about the dangers and disadvantages that doping wreaks, in addition to the penalties that testing positive for prohibited substances, inside or outside of a competition result in.


Another important aspect during Mauricio`s leadership is the work with the Pope Francis foundation, Scholas Occurrentes, with the task of serving children in search of a better future, regardless of religion, race or color, through sports. He also worked hard to get Jack Johnson´s pardon. Justice for the first African American heavyweight champion.


2020 was a challenging year for everyone and sport. The World Boxing Council  led by Sulaiman, sought ways to stay active and unite the entire boxing during the pandemic.


Starting with the “Stay at Home” campaign, later with champions involving everyone in workouts, so as to remain active at home. Daily WBC talks in English and Spanish from Monday to Friday, so that the boxing and sports community kept in communication, entertained and above all active.


The WBC designed a medical-administrative protocol, to return boxing without an audience, so that events could be held. This document was shared throughout the world and has been very successful.


Various social responsibility activities including food supplies delivery in order to support the boxing community, especially older people who cannot leave home.


The Heroes for Humanity program was one of the most important initiatives as it seeks to recognize those who contribute to their communities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, via extraordinary, selfless and courageous actions.



To speak of the history of the most important organization the World Boxing Council, it is necessary to go back in time, back to the origins of the sport that has brought glory to the people: boxing.


Fighting with the fists as a competition and show is one of the oldest sports of all time. Such skills have been practiced since ancient times on almost every continent except America.


Although very few people know the facts, boxing was born in Africa and dates back to 6000 BC, in what is now known as Ethiopia; it first spread to the ancient Egyptian civilization and from there to Mesopotamia.


In the beginning, the Egyptian boxers used a type of glove that was worn up to the elbow, however, this custom was also found in Crete and ancient Greece, where references were made to boxing in Homer’s Iliad.


By the year 688 B. C. boxing was included in the XXIII Olympic Games of ancient times by the name of pygmea or pygmachia, Greek for fistfight. Boxing was also practiced in the early days of ancient Rome, but was virtually eliminated as a business throughout Europe with the rise of Christianity. Contrary to what happened in Europe, boxing was widespread throughout Asia. It is estimated that in the early Christian era, Muay Boran or ancient boxing appeared in Southeast Asia.


China has attributed the appearance of this sport to Bodhidharma, an Indian monk and Buddhist patriarch who lived in the V century, in the shao lin chuan, who claimed that the practice of boxing is intimately connected to the control of qi or chi, an internal energy that is attributed to living beings:


“Without the Chi, there is no force. A boxer who screams and throws his punches fiercely has no real power in his fists. A true boxer is not really a show, but is one whose blows are as hard as a rock. This is because he possesses what is called the Chi.”


In the eighteenth century, boxing became a widespread sport in Great Britain and its colonies, from whence it got to the American continent.


Boxer Jack Broughton introduced a technical and methodical approach to the practicing of this sport, optimizing punches and movements. In 1741, he defeated George Stevenson in a battle that lasted 35 minutes, unfortunately Stevenson died a few days later. Because of this, Broughton abandoned the sport, but later came back and created rules to prevent boxers from suffering irreversible damage.


Years later Jack Broughton came up with and began to spread in his amphitheater of Tottenham Court Road what would become the first rules of modern boxing, which became known by his name and eventually gave him the acknowledgement as the “father of English boxing.”



1.- Retreat to your corner of the ring before a fallen opponent.

2.- The count of half a minute after a fall and to be able to get back to the center of the ring and restart the fight or be considered “man out of action”.

3.- Only the boxers and their seconds could climb into the ring.

4.- The prohibition of private arrangements between boxers in terms of money.

5.- The selection of referees to settle disputes between boxers.

6.- The prohibition of hitting an opponent when he/she is down.

7.- Locks can only be used above the waistline.


Broughton’s Rules were maintained with some modifications until 1838 when they were replaced by the London Prize Ring Rules.


During this time, boxing was introduced to the American continent and at the end of the nineteenth century boxing fever began to spread in non-whites countries, especially in those where there was British or American influence, such as Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, South Africa and Spain.


In a relatively short time afterwards, Mexico established itself as one of the central places of boxing; the history of Mexican champions began to plant its roots in the sport with some of the finest boxing, as the then President of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos, decided to create an organization to manage the unification of all world committees to control the spread of the sport called boxing; this is how on February 14, 1963 the World Boxing Council came into existence.

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