The 12th Round: Solid facts for the future of Boxing

By Mauricio Sulaiman
WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

For the first time since my father climbed a ring to fight in an official bout, 70 years ago, a Sulaiman participated in a boxing match. My nephew Jose Manuel “Chepi,” went into the ring and won 2-1 his first amateur fight. This was a dream that me and my brothers always had, to fight in the ring and Chepi one of the eleven male grandkids of Don Jose did it! It’s during moments like this, that one can really appreciate later what the sport of boxing is. The intimidation before the fight as the opponent had a good group of friends supporting him while Chepi was with his dad and one friend. The nerves to climb and go through the ropes knowing that when that bell rings it’s only you and your opponent. Then the aftermath, my nephew told me that even though he won, the most important moment came when he went to his opponent to shake hands and embrace.

Jose Sulaiman II and III in boxing … Pepe and Chepi.

While I was traveling this weekend I received countless emails and messages regarding the letter that AIBA apparently has put out expressing their position regarding the WBC Amateur program.

While it is a very poorly written letter, it simply states that AIBA is the only entity recognized by the International Olympic Committee, that AIBA only recognizes results of events organized within their organization and that AIBA’s primary goal is to preserve the participation of boxing in Olympic Games maintaining their Olympic letters principles.

AIBA is so confused and has fallen to the lowest ever, which unfortunately is hurting boxing all over the world. If AIBA would dedicate to what they should really be doing and would go back to basics, our sport would be in great shape worldwide.

The WBC formed an Amateur Committee to become a support platform to the so many countries suffering from the abusive practice es of AIBA. There are countless examples and actions that would take forever to write, but there are simple facts that exemplify what is happening

Differences between WBC and AIBA

Non-profitCombination of entities for profit
165 affiliated countries201 affiliated countries
Governing entity of boxingGoverning body, manager, promoter
No financial interestFinancial and commercial drive
Athletes health and safety is top priorityOnly commercial interest regardless of the athlete's safety
Inclusion / UnityAbuse of Power, Intimidation
Self-funded activityMillionaire funding from IOC and each country's sports system

The WBC has taken a very important role in today’s world of Amateur boxing because we simply support the promotion of events through our world platform. The WBC jointly works with anyone supporting amateur boxing to make sure events are properly organized with all medical examinations, medical protocols, and safety assurances.

It is very common to find resistance in some places from the Amateur federation of states or countries, using intimidation practices and trying to stop such events.

Spain, Uruguay, Canada, California, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut, and other states in the USA, many States in Mexico serve as an example of the incredible success of the WBC Amateur activity which has no other intention other than promote physical activity, support boxing events and give kids a memorable time.

Our official response to this letter to AIBA is very simple:

The WBC will continue to support Amateur boxing without any financial gain, will continue to fund events to support the sport of boxing with the only interest to promote the sport.

The WBC will continue to reject the irresponsible decision to allow professional fighters to fight in the Olympic Games as the way it is still presented is with an absolute lack of order, rules and highly risky. Amateur boxing and Professional boxing are 2 different sports.

The WBC will continue to reject the removal of headgear on amateur boxing and all WBC Amateur events are practiced with headgear.

The WBC will continue to support events and will continue to try to work together with the local authorities during these gatherings.

The WBC invites AIBA to study the Olympic letter and reevaluate the core activity of AIBA which should be AMATEUR BOXING and all that this sports means.

The WBC invites AIBA to again include the word “AMATEUR” in their official name as it currently read “International Boxing Association.”

The WBC invites AIBA not to punish fighters, trainers, officials, etc who participate in events not organized by affiliated federations of AIBA, as otherwise, in many cases, there would zero activity in those areas ……

History is clear and it is possible to go back to the great days of Olympic Boxing. Many of the great world champions came from Olympic glory, some of them, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar DelaHoya, Lenox Lewis and many more……

Thank you and I welcome any comments ideas or suggestions at

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