My Trip to Australia

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

Once again boxing fulfilled a dream I had since I was a child: to visit Australia. The influence that the rock group, one of the greatest in history, AC/DC, had on my childhood and adolescence was enormous.

My brothers Pepe, Héctor and Fernando encouraged my passion for music, and it was this band that captivated me, from the first time I heard a song by this Australian group, and hence that dream of one day visiting this beautiful country was kindled.

What a pleasant surprise to get to know this culture! Where people are kind and respectful, with a great love of sports, mainly rugby, Australian football, similar American football, and of course boxing.

Local idol George Kambosos faced American Devin Haney at the Marvel Stadium, in front of 50 thousand fans, fighting for the undisputed world championship at lightweight, with all four belts at stake.

The rivalry grew, and the insults escalated dramatically, but at the end of the fight, both boxers merged in a hug of mutual respect and recognition. On the night, Haney was superior and won a clear unanimous decision.

The respect that the public showed was exemplary, and Haney was applauded by the fans who lustily recognized his victory.

Devin Haney is a wonderful success story for our WBC. I was in Las Vegas one day after a big fight when legendary boxing agent Don Majeski called me into the room and introduced me to a dazzling young prospect. Opening the door, a boy with a big smile entered, along with his father, Bill.

We talked, he shared with me his dream of one day being champion and of cradling the WBC Green and Gold Belt in his arms; there and then, without thinking, I took a bracelet with the WBC logo, a unique edition as there is no other in the world like it, and I gave it to him.

Devin was too young to debut in the US, so he had four fights in Tijuana. Then, he continued, on the WBC platform, in which he won all the affiliated championships, which led him to flourish, with the graduation of title fights. Youth Champion, North American Champion (NABF), International, Silver, Interim and WBC world champion.

Today, at the age of 23, the glory of undisputed champion, adding to his Green and Gold the WBO, IBF and WBA belts, in addition to the distinction of Ring Magazine.

As in all trips, I had the opportunity to meet many people, old acquaintances and new faces as well. I had a memorable dinner with Jeff Fenech, the greatest in the history of that country. His trainer Angelo Hyder was there, who was close to me throughout my stay, along with his inseparable Tony. They put Dave Gleeson, singer of the group The Screaming Jets, on the phone to say hi.

Former world champion Danny Green visited me with his family, just to say hello and introduce me to his daughter and son; They both want to box one day. I also said hello to Billy Dib, who wants a shot at the title; the Maloney brothers, Timothy Bradley, and even ring announcer Michael Buffer.

Bob Arum, at ninety, with his wife Lovee, who were in the front row from the very first fight… at 9 in the morning! Schedule necessary for the show to be seen on ESPN, in the US, and ESPN Knockout, throughout Latin America.

Also, I had very interesting talks with promoter Lou DiBella, manager Peter Kahn and attorney John Honewer.

Australia is a young country, with modern architecture, very good cuisine… and there are great parties!

The WBC team consisted of Frank Hadley, President of the OPBF, Patrick Cusick ABCO, Malcolm and Samantha Bulner, and our ambassador against bullying, a 15-year-old autistic teenager Charlie Hall, who gives his all, day after day seeking respect, inclusion and, above all, peace.

The referee of the contest was Panamanian Héctor Afu, who did an impeccable job, imposing his authority from the first round.

Afu has become, without a doubt, one of the best in the world. He`s the Pride of Latin America.

Did you know…?

The first black world heavyweight champion was Jack Johnson, the Galveston Giant, who won the world championship in Australia, by knocking out then-champion Tommy Burns.

Another great fight that took place in Australia was the long-awaited rematch between Jeff Fenech and Azumah Nelson, who had fought a draw in Las Vegas. A great fight, since most saw the Australian winning, but then…the powerful Ghanaian ended the party at the soccer stadium, where 40,000 fans gathered, knocking out the local idol in seven rounds.

Today’s anecdote

One of the legendary Australian champions was Johnny Famechon, who was involved in a car accident.

The WBC Vice President sent a fax to my dad explaining the situation and asked for permission for us to buy him a motorized chair to help get about. Don José’s response was the cause of countless moments of laughter between him and Frank, and the members of the Board of Governors, since the reply fax said: “Dear Frank: after consulting with the Board of Governors, I am pleased to inform you that they have unanimously granted him an electric chair, please proceed.” A journalist wrote a story, and it went around the world, saying that he was being sentenced to the electric chair.

I appreciate feedback at [email protected]

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  • In other important news (which is true), Crawford’s and Spence’s teams are in talks right now for a possible matchup in October.

  • Unfortunately he never had a dream of being an honest human being,

  • I wonder what similarities he sees between Australian football (AFL) and NFL? Both are played by men I suppose…

  • No one cares about your trip to Australia. No one cares about you boxing mafia scum. Ruined the sport

    • His corrupt POS father helped further corrupt and ruin the sport, this imbecile is simply following in his papis stained shoes.

  • Hey MS,how about licencing kangeroos to fight for your belts , sanctioning fees mmmmm .

  • Don Juan,nice man had a few scrapes with the law…must be mistaken id.

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