15 glorious years of producing hope, inspiration and joy

Wbc CaresBy Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán / President of the WBC

It all started with an email sent to the general account of our organization. One of the great virtues of my dear late father, Don José Sulaimán, was to attend to absolutely all the issues that came, and from whoever sought him out by letter, email, call or visit.

Jill Diamond wrote a long email calling for women’s boxing to be dignified. Jill lost her husband to the terrible demon of cancer, and fate led her to find meaning when boxing appeared in her life. She began training in this discipline at the Mendez Gym in Manhattan, and she found the brotherhood and sisterhood that exists in the noble sport of boxing.

That email was answered by my dad, and from there and that precise moment followed a historic meeting in Los Angeles and an endless chain of communications, until Jill traveled to Torremolinos, in Spain, to join the WBC at the organization’s annual Convention.

The women’s world championship committee was created, and it was precisely Jackie Nava, “La Princesa Azteca,” the first woman to win a WBC championship. Women’s boxing is a reality and maintains prodigious growth year after year.

Jill continued to recognize the nobility of boxers, of the sport and of all the members of the World Boxing Council, and then she presented her proposal to create a unique program, based on the principles of social responsibility. This is how WBC Cares “Big Champions Supporting Little Champions” was born.

Champions, members of the Board of Governors, ring officials, members of the media, promoters, managers, trainers; In short, any member of the boxing community of the 170 countries affiliated to the WBC actively participates in the WBC Cares events, which include visits to children’s hospitals, schools, gyms, orphanages, rehabilitation centers and even prisons.

Visits full of love, messages of hope, inspiration and resilience. Toys, gifts, autographs and photographs, unforgettable moments and eternal memories for so many people in situations of fragility that need a signal to understand that, like the champions in the ring, with work, perseverance, faith, sacrifice and trust obstacles that occur in life can be overcome and resolved.

We are celebrating the 15th anniversary of this beautiful initiative that José Sulaimán and Jill Diamond created and to which, over the years, thousands of people have joined. We have 26 chapters with continuous programs throughout the year, as well as visits and recurring events around the world.

My wife, Christiane Manzur, directs WBC Cares activities in Mexico, and this has forever changed her life. Being able to serve with heart in hand and living with passion each action, each moment, each visit, has helped her understand why my dad and now I dedicate our lives to this great sport.

DID YOU KNOW…?

The first WBC Cares visit was scheduled at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.

Days before, we received a communication that shocked us, as some hospital committee spoke out against receiving “boxers” to visit their patients; something that our sport commonly suffers from, in that irresponsible prejudice that borders on discrimination.

Finally, the visit was approved, and Genaro “Chicanito” Hernández and Érik “El Terrible” Morales, accompanied by Jill, toured various wards and greeted children and relatives fighting cancer. It was a moment that sowed the foundation of what is lived today throughout the world. The event was a success, it exceeded expectations, and everyone’s smiles and enthusiasm were so very impressive.

Chicanito Hernández was impressed and deeply moved by the emotions he experienced that day. A few days later he returned on his own account and brought Nintendos to give to all the little ones that he visited days before.

Later it turned out that our beloved champion was diagnosed with cancer. One day he received a letter from a little boy encouraging him to recover, encouraging him to continue as a champion. Chicanito lost the battle and passed away, and since then he has served as an inspiration to WBC Cares as our eternal champ.

In this 15th anniversary, we have created the official mascot for WBC Cares and has been proudly named “Chicanito.”

TODAY’S ANECDOTE:

Jill Diamond had communicated with my dad by email and a few calls. They finally agreed to meet in Los Angeles, as he was there for gallbladder surgery.

Jill arrived at the Westwood Marquis hotel, one of Don José’s favorite places, and called my dad, who was not in the best of health. She told him: “Please don’t worry, we can meet in the future. I see that you don’t feel very well.”

So, characteristically and resiliently, my dad replied: “No, Jill, don’t worry, we will go to the restaurant and we can talk there. I’m really hungry.” That’s how Don José was. Good food, great companionship and friendship were his passions, and during that momentous talk… WBC Cares was born.

I appreciate your comments at [email protected]

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  • When not creating belts, taking selfies with world champions and skimming from their purses Mr. S. is a part time writer who creates and supports “programs” where pugilists visit young people who have something in common: they are “fighters” vs a common cause of death: cancer. Almost 20M people annually catch the Big C so Mr S. writes 800 word articles about all the good his “programs” do. He also has this great “program” he has run for over a decade-doing great things- supposedly that other program keeps fighters away from PED type drugs, and that keeps the adults on a level fighting field. When he doesn’t write about his old fighters visiting young fighters in the hospital he writes about the huge strides his “Clean” boxing program has made. And if you disagree when he makes his latest exception to a rule, that means you are not a expert. He is the expert. He runs “programs”. That means he doesn’t care about fighters $. We all should know by now that he only cares about:
    -Consistent enforcement of governing body rules
    -fighter safety (of course) above all else
    -kids safety (stay off drugs kids and be like the champion belted who NEVER did drugs)
    -stewardship and efficient/effective use of WBC funds/contributions (using gov. as a example)

    I wonder how many groups and individuals have visited a childrens hospital (or for that matter donated Huge sums) and how the “WBC Cares” visit stands apart or has huge significance. And I sometimes wonder how many of those young children have any idea who the celebrity’s are prior to the visit where these people are thrust upon them as opposed to regular folk who do this kind of thing day in and day out volunteering their time, energy, funds, resources etc. I’m a fan of those groups and individuals who do the work and then do not broadcast their “accomplishments” as if they are doing something so significant/tangible vs the naturally occuring work that is done without them each day.

    Well I’m certainly impressed by these articles over actual reporting of the athletic contests. You can tell. So much so that I’m going to go to a WBC website and read all about these “programs” there where they should be.

  • The most common other achievement that Mr S. touts of WBC caring for fighter safety is the move in the early 80’s to the 12 rd fight from 15 rds. Other gov bodies copied of course because in that climate they did not want to be the outlier. He has referred to it 100’s of times and then usually follows up with the WBC clean program 2nd as a way to differentiate from other groups.
    This came after the infamous Ray Mancini fight where the poor starved/dehydrated Korean opponent died after a grueling 15rd fight in the heat of Vegas of course. So the conditions and context matters..
    In the initial 20 year period of the inception of WBC 1963-1982 (pre-Mancini but post Benny Paret vs Emile Griffith) the Wikipedia list of boxing deaths tallies just 11 worldwide.
    The relevance however is just 3 that were world title fights. Why? Because the WBC is so proud about reducing title fights, so the other deaths are non-applicable to the rule (despite ALL death being sad) as they were 10 rounds or less.
    Of the 3 title fights Davey Moore’s fight only went 10 rds, and Johnny Owen was knocked out in the 12th also. I learned of this when I saw his statue in a visit to Merthyr Tidfill.
    So that leaves us with the ONLY occurance of a POST 12th rd KO. And that’s the Kim Duk-Koo vs Ray Mancini fight in which the WBC’s action taken at the time could more accurately be described as knee jerk to the overall worldwide anti-boxing disgust. Theoretical but like many actions in this world not applicable to fixing the actual problem.
    It is about 38 years further since that infamous bout so let’s see if there were sufficient fighters “SAVED” in world title fights from themselves due to the 15rd reduction.
    Nope. but there were a lot more deaths in general.
    Of the 50 deaths wikipedia tallies since 83 in pro boxing only 3 were from WORLD title fights.
    -Garcia vs Ruelas only lasts 11 rds (Not applicable)
    -Alcazar vs Montiel-6 rounds (Not applicable)
    -Leavander Johnson vs Jesus Chavez-11 rds (N/A)

    Despite most of the world advancing referee/doctor and other methods to achieve ring safety it is possible that 2 other factors that continue continues to contribute to ring deaths that are in 12 rd or less fights:
    -very young inexperienced fighters or of questionable health approved by bogus/dirty commissions
    -the advancement of boxing to “170+” nations and some fighters connected to particular promoters who have special connections to ANY of the gov bodies who get a REGIONAL title shot (since now there are a Host of them) when their fighter would otherwise NOT be qualified via objective rankings. So the unqualified fighter is in a HUGE mismatch and dies in a regional title fight.
    Often in under 12 rounds.

    These ongoing situations more than offset the 1 yes 1 time in history that a fighter has died after going at least 12 rds (up to 15) in a WORLD TITLE match. So it’s been 38 years and I’m not seeing 1 example. The other fights were regional/interim and largely most of them may not have existed prior to the era of the early 80’s when WBC-and then IBF/WBA etc followed suit.

    So less rds, MANY more titles, same annual avg death total 1-2, but nonstop touting of “SAFETY FIRST”

    We all want safety, but the claim of 15 to 12 rd reduction RESULTING in safety is B.S. 38 years is more time than you need of a sample size.

    And there have been roughly 5,000 title fights covering the 4 gov bodies.
    0 deaths post 1983 of WORLD title fighters who went the full 12 rds. Cause you have to go 12 first before you could have gone 15…

    If wikipedia list is wrong then perhaps somebody will find 1 at most on boxrec

    • I could never understand why Jose Sulaiman claimed he was of Mexican heritage, when he was actually Lebanese/Syrian. Very bizarre!

  • We boxing fans always look forward to hear your opinion on all subjects.Pres M Sulaiman when will the next election be held for the vice president of this great organization the WBC?

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