By Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán – WBC President
Sports has been successful in giving all of us a much-needed break and great happiness in the face of the current situation the world is going through.
A pandemic that has hurt the entire planet so much, in every imaginable way, in addition to the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, which shook the planet, with the ripple reaction of the various powers and the threat of a possible world war added to the uncertainty that exists everywhere, seeing so many conflicts and constant threats. So much negativism.
Sports are the natural outlet that society uses to find distraction, entertainment, passion, and fulfils a social task with solutions to community problems, fights all social illnesses such as addictions, sedentary lifestyle, vandalism, and helps to integrate families. Mexico has stood out in an important way in sports in this 2022, both with the actions on the playing fields and with the events held in Mexico, as we have seen in recent events, and which is an example of what happens in different countries as they benefit from the world of sports.
That massive class that took place in the Zócalo of Mexico City, the initiative of congressman Miguel Torruco, the infrastructure of the Sports Institute and the tremendous participation of the boxing community under the leadership of the World Boxing Council, put our country on the world map. A Guinness Record that reached all corners of the planet, demonstrating that sport is peace, health, wellness and happiness.
The baseball season that has returned in a big way in Mexico, under the great direction of the Mexican League (LMB), and its president, Horacio de la Vega. The soccer league, with successful tournaments under the direction of Mikel Arriola.
Julio César Urías, with his great season with the Dodgers, was so close to winning the most important trophy of the king of sports, the Cy Young Award.
Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez with his great victory in his third fight against Gennady Golovkin, which took place on September 16, and which raised the cry of Viva Mexico! in Las Vegas.
The great Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix, which our country hosted during that magical weekend; the city took its place on the world sports podium, on a par with Paris, Tokyo, New York or any other of those capitals that capture the imagination of those who dream of visiting them and experiencing their greatness. The sold-out hotels, the restaurants with long waiting lists, the city illuminated with the happiness of thousands of people from many countries.
It is already a custom that F1 presents Mexico the award for the Best Event of the season. Our nation is seen in all corners of the world and is celebrated by all, generating great economic benefits and promoting the country. The brand best of tourism.
Then it was boxing’s turn to put on our event, which was a tremendous success. Acapulco became the global capital and epicenter of boxing by greeting more than 1,600 delegates from all over the world to celebrate the 60th WBC World Convention. It was very gratifying to achieve such a successful event in Mexico. We achieved it by overcoming many obstacles. Boxing, very unfortunately, is the ugly duckling of sport. It turns out that multinational companies, that is, those that manage million-dollar budgets, have a ridiculous clause that states that they cannot sponsor contact sports and reject any request that comes from our sport, but we do see them advertising in football, motor racing and many others, which are veritably contact sports, as well. Boxing suffers discrimination and that is a fact.
Ford refused to put up units to transport the champions attending the convention, claiming in writing “Ford cannot be associated to boxing.” Other companies didn’t even have the decency to respond to the sponsorship request letter, and someone I’d rather not mention made the sponsorship conditional on us awarding him a championship belt at the opening ceremony! And there are also a few others who are great to get on the superstars’ bandwagon and are great to be in the picture, pure opportunists.
Even with the pain of this rejection by some of the giants, we had the very pleasant surprise of being supported by companies and people who understand that boxing is the one that has given Mexico the most glories: 13 Olympic medals and more than 200 world champions; economic sponsorship or in kind, everything added up to achieve the best Convention that we can remember in our country. Thanks to Teiken Promotions, Ballys, Sorrento Therapeutics, IBH Group, Smart Fit, JAB Gym, Nabohi, Industrias Reyes, Afirme, Electrolit, Armenian Boxing Federation, Rentable, Cerezo and Coneccion Facil.
Magnificent Palacio Mundo Imperial Hotel provided with spectacular care in its fabulous facilities. It was a paradise for all who attended and the traditional Mexican hospitality shone through, giving unforgettable memories.
The dedication and passion of the State Secretary Tourism, Santos Ramírez, and the Mexican idol Manuel Negrete, who is the director of Fidetur, was essential to achieve success.
On Monday night, the NFL had the most watched game of the week, from the monumental Estadio Azteca. The San Francisco 49ers faced off against the Arizona Cardinals. An event that once again marked the world, to position Mexico at the highest level, making it aspirational to be visited and enjoyed.
I want to congratulate Arturo Olive, NFL General Director in Mexico, who has done a titanic job.
The world’s attention has already turned to the Middle East, the World Cup has started and today our team will face Poland. It is a different World Cup in various aspects, without alcohol, without an atmosphere as seen in other parts of the world, but Mexico has already made its presence felt. Our countrymen arrived in Qatar and on social networks they have shown themselves with the traditional ingenuity that only Mexicans manage to have. The friend walking around with the horn and the recording of “They buy: mattresses, washing machines, stoves.” (which is a very famous meme) The costumes with hats that invite all nationalities to join the pachanga.
I am confident that our team will have a wonderful World Cup and they will put our Mexico on high.
Did you know…?
The Mexican Social Security Institute signed an agreement with the World Boxing Council during the last annual convention in Acapulco in which the process to provide social security to boxers and members of the boxing community will begin and boxing centers will be built within the multiple IMSS facilities nationwide; the first will be in Acapulco and will bear the name of Eddy Reynoso.
Speaking of the great events and shows that give fans so many emotions and memories, I remember the moments when my brothers and I were able to enjoy my dad attending an event, as fans. The baseball park to see the Diablos Rojos del México, the Azteca to see Cruz Azul or during the 1986 World Cup; a couple of times to Dodger Stadium or, even, the most fun was going to the movies with him. It was quite a spectacle to see him enjoy the games or the movies with nachos, hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts or whatever was snack; obviously, in the Parque del Seguro Social they were the exquisite cochinita tacos. On one occasion we went to the cinema in Los Angeles, there was my uncle Toy, my brothers Héctor, Fernando and me. We were late for the premiere of the movie The Untouchables, but we couldn’t miss stopping at the candy store: “Give us five hot dogs, three nachos with extra cheese, three large buttered popcorn, two M&M’s, and two Milkyways, and a few other things and a Diet Coke.” The young lady was so impressed that instead of saying “enjoy the movie,” she told us: “enjoy your lunch.” My father was a simple man, a real fan of sports. He loved his Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Celtics, and every time the Soccer National Team played he would follow as any regular fan with passion.
Let’s not ever lose that kid that is inside of us and enjoy sports, promote and support sports in any way we can.
I welcome your feedback at [email protected].