Don King’s Florida Card and Boxing Hall of Fame

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

Once again, I entered the time warp sun beamed, by the magic of attending a card promoted by the legendary one and only Don King, still going strong at 92 years of age, at the Hard Rock Hotel in Florida.

Everything that is his creation has a different unique vibe, and that’s just how I felt back in the ’80s.

I found people I hadn’t seen in years, their press conference and weigh-in with their unique touch, and a kilometer boxing show of 13 fights, 120 scheduled rounds, and with boxing from 3:30 in the afternoon until midnight. A Bonanza Box.

Don King looks happy, yet quiet and perhaps a little tired, but if a microphone with a camera is suddenly held up to him, that promotional genius revives, energizes and he talks until he can’t.

He went into the ring five times, and a large group of his family helped him up the ring steps and ropes to ascend and come back down. He was close and I approached to support him, and when I touched his calf, he surprised me because he is a rock!

It was a show with excellent fights, with a sold-out capacity, but his fighter Adrien Broner lost. However, the magical moment was when, before the star show, Don King paid an emotional tribute to his dear friend, José Sulaimán.

A video was broadcast with images of my dad’s career, while they read a wonderful biography, and it ended with the 10 bells ringing in his honor and everlasting memory.

Furthermore, the ring canvas was dedicated to the memory of Don José, an action that I will never forget.

That early Saturday, I took a couple of planes to get to the northwest part of New York State and be present at the 2024 Induction class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, USA.

This time warp led me to a florid pasture of dreams, as it is here where a handful of people are immortalized each year, consecrating their eternal memory for the sport of boxing.

Canastota is a small town of five thousand people, where this museum and Hall of Fame is located. Here forever are Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, and Roberto Durán, the legendary Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, and Sugar Ray Robinson, as well as personalities who, from the outside the ring, have contributed to the greatness of the sport of fists.

Mexico is very well represented in the gallery of immortals. 24 boxers preceded the new induction of La Guerrera, Ana María Torres. Anita is the second Mexican woman elected after Laura Serrano, and she will surely be followed by Jackie Nava and Mariana “Barby” Juárez once they hang up their gloves.

Torres is considered by experts to be the finest woman Mexican fighter of all time.

It was very emotional to see the plaque of my dad, who received that great honor, in 2007.

I have enjoyed the company of great champions who are so very loved. It’s all smiles, hugs, anecdotes, and an atmosphere in which the language barrier does not exist, as everyone speaks from the heart.

From referees Kenny Bayless and Tony Weeks, Alycia Ashley, Kelly Pavlik, Michael Spinks, Érik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Jorge Linares, and Lamon Brewster, and even Gabriela and Sebastián Fundora, Cory Spinks, Jessie James Leija, Ray Mercer, Micky Ward, and Teddy Atlas, in addition to Julian Jackson, President of the IBHOF Ed Brophy, Cecilia Comunales, announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr., and Miguel Cotto.

Did you know…?

Don José Sulaimán was known for his long speeches. To this day he is still remembered in the Hall of Fame for holding the record for the longest speech in the history of the hall of immortals.

Today’s anecdote

That trip to the Hall of Fame in 2007 was quite a journey.

Some of us flew, via Atlanta, others through Charlotte, and some more through New York.

Dear Raúl “Ratón” Macías traveled with our brother, Poncho Díaz, who accompanied and supported him, since his Alzheimer’s was beginning to have some episodes and required support. Meanwhile, it turns out that his suitcase did not arrive.

The next day we were all gathered at the restaurant having breakfast, and “El Ratoncito” appears, dressed in a suit that looked great on him. He was always dapper and immaculate.

My father said to him: “What happened, Raúl? And those clothes?”…

“Just look Pepe. They put these clothes on me in my room.”

And we all turned to see Poncho, who had to wear his clothes from the day before!

I appreciate your comments at [email protected].

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  • I hope you keep your word Mr. S. . and follow through with granting Benavidez his mandatory title shot at the supermiddle weight title. It will probably be a vacant title as i doubt Alvarez will fight Benavidez. i have completely given up on that.

  • – I watched that Don King card on the Fire Stick and can state that it looked like an amateur production that was an Infomercial for the great Don King.
    – In other more important news: sunny, hot and humid in Southern Zoo Jersey………

    • Thank you Gary for the weather report. In my neck of the woods, we have been getting non-stop, much needed rain in South Florida. Everything that was normally green, looked like hay. Roads are flooded and I miss having an SUV as a daily.

      • Meanwhile our predicted 4-8 inches of rain in Tampa Bay fizzled into half an inch, and we are still in a drought. Sympathies to all dealing with the flooding.

        • My parents now live in Riverview and they’re not too happy with the lack of rain.

    • yes, it was a little sad to see that D.K. Card production . But oh well , at least its more boxing to watch and at his advanced age god bless him.

    • Ohio is hot, humid, and will reach mid 90s this coming start of next week.

      Mauricio writes these articles to brag off his connection to WBC. It’s all about him. In addition, he blows more smoke than fire. Fightnews I think just keeps posting them, so they are entertained reading our trashy, but truthful feedback comments.

      I am still waiting for years for Mauricio to submit an article on how corruption in the WBC will be remedied to improve better opportunities for fighters and fans that keep the sport alive.

      • – I only see Mr. Sillyman writing for Fight News.
        – I don’t see him posting this garbage on any other Boxing site……..

  • Speaking of Mauricio Sulaimán, son of Jose Sulaiman, has he given up on his “Carlos” alias? We haven’t seen him post in a while.

  • It was a terrible night of boxing! Who ever paid for that PPV event, must be nuttz, nuttier worst than ryan garcia and kanye west put together! Youtube was showing the fight live, it was so boring after the knockdown, I watch netflix instead! The only part of the show that was a bit interesting were the hot ring girls but, that was it! Terrible, most likely don king took a huge loss in the earnings from the ppv sales…patheteic!

    • How would you know it was a terrible night if you didnt pay for the event? YouTube only showed the earlier fights. Sounds like you were looking to neg since the event was first announced.
      I supported the event like I said I would. I see the bigger picture, King still working and putting on shows at 92 years young is the biggest inspiration in the sport.
      If you are looking for something bad its never hard to find.

  • Mr MJ boxing, it was terrible! And most importantly, I didn’t had to pay for it to watch it free on youtube! Broner is a done fighter and much less a ppv attraction….that itself can tell you how good that card was!!!!!! Since there was not much boxing to watch on saturday night, I tried to prove myself wrong that it was going to be a terrible card…….it was!!!!!! Thank you youtubers for posting it live! And for those who paid……….I feel it for you brothers!

  • Did you know…? Don José Sulaimán was known for his long speeches. WTF.

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