The NFL and Boxing

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

On Sunday, one of the most important sports events worldwide took place, Super Bowl LVIII, and my prediction was that the Kansas City Chiefs would win based on the experience of both quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his greatness, plus Brock Purdy, with his rookieness, but also because defenses usually win games and Kansas City showed at the end of the season great solidity, organization, and steadfast discipline in this area.

Football has had great coincidences over the years and for me, it was something that always brought me closer to my dad.

My passion for the Dallas Cowboys was born on a Sunday in 1976, when Don José took me from the Lindavista League baseball field to return home. He sat me down with him to watch the Super Bowl, between Dallas and Pittsburgh. Those Cowboys, with Roger Staubach, and the Steelers, with Terry Bradshaw.

Dallas lost in a heart stopping, heart wrenching game, and from that day on I became a loyal fan, a long-suffering fan because we haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 1995, and since I’m also a Cruz Azul fan, I’m already well seasoned and used to seeing glory pass on by … year after year.

On one of his many trips, Don José returned with a helmet of Tony Dorsett, and autographed photos of many Cowboys that is one of my most precious treasures.

Ed “Too Tall” Jones, a lineman for Dallas, ventured into boxing and had six professional fights, but he realized that the blows were harder in the ring than the hard knocks on the gridiron and it was better to hang up his gloves.

The Dallas Cowboys stadium has witnessed great boxing events when Manny Pacquiao defeated Joshua Clottey, and then Antonio Margarito. Meanwhile, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez set the attendance record in the United States for a fight in an indoor stadium with 73,126 fans when he TKOd Englishman Billy Joe Saunders in an unforgettable atmosphere. Also, Errol Spence Jr. achieved wins against Mikey García and the Cuban Yordenis Ugas.

One of the greatest memories of my life was that day when the owner of the Vaqueros, Jerry Jones, traveled to Mexico accompanied by two cheerleaders to promote the fight between Pacquiao and Margarito. After the press conference, my dad was invited to an unforgettable meal at Televisión Azteca, and I joined him. It was a unique experience.

The Azteca executives, who were responsible for creating La Casa del Boxeo, welcomed us with traditional Mexican hospitality. There was Rodrigo Fernández, Mauricio Majul, Carlos Díaz, and Rodolfo Vargas, among others, and as guests were my dear friend Fernando Beltrán from Zanfer, Todd DuBoef, president of Top Rank, and Bob Arum, its founder.

The boxing talk soon died down and after a couple of tequilas, we all witnessed one of the most interesting conversations that could take place as Jerry Jones, Bob Arum, and Don José Sulaimán told all kinds of anecdotes and stories, which left us in awe.

My dad didn’t drink much alcohol, from time to time a margarita, an occasional glass of wine, or an anise after the meal, but that day, Bob decided to open the bottle of Reserva de la Familia that they had given him, and he poured several tequilas for Don José.

It is well known that there was always a distance between Arum and my dad, but that day they both enjoyed each other to the fullest with sparkling conversation. Imagine how it was that when my dad stopped to say goodbye, Bob gave him a kiss and a big hug! The two of us left relatively early, but there is much more to that party, as they followed it on upon returning to the hotel.

The football player is very fond of boxing. By nature, they find in our sport a passion that leads them to commonly be present at the big boxing cards.

At last year’s show in Jalisco, when Canelo filled the Akron Stadium, Pittsburgh player Najee Harris was present, and I had the opportunity to invite him to an experience in CDMX days after the fight. I took him and his friends to the Cantina del Bosque and he loved the tequila, the tacos, and the quesadillas, and he loved playing cupilete.

I lost track of him this entire season until last December, when he was there at the Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis fight, and suddenly this giant comes to hug me. It was Najee, happy to be in boxing.

Did you know…?

On November 19, 2017, the New England Patriots played the Oakland Raiders at Azteca Stadium. We were fortunate to be able to organize the halftime show, based on the tribute to the Heroes of Mexico, since only two months had passed since the earthquake that shook our city.

My dear Pepe Cantoral performed his song: Mexico is Counting on Me. Manuel Mijares sang the National Anthem, and there was a parade in which the heroes were acclaimed from firefighters, nurses, doctors, police officers, and even prominent athletes: Ana María Torres, Ana Gabriela Guevara, Manuel Negrete, Carlos Mercenario, and GGG Golovkin, who was in our country, and paraded with the team’s green shirt.

Today’s anecdote

It was in 1980 when Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Durán gave Sugar Ray Leonard his rematch at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Days before, my dad arrived and told me: “Mijito, let’s go to the stadium. There’s an NFL game and the fight is going to be promoted.” When we arrived we saw many fans with paper bags over their heads, as a sign of complaint of how bad the Saints were.

Once we were seated, Don José told us, “I haven’t eaten anything all day, I’ll be back right now.” Minutes later, he arrived with two hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, and his diet coke … because of his diet.

I appreciate your comments at [email protected].

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  • He liked cowboys

    I hate cowboys that’s why I’m 49er because they were archi rivals and because my favorite player the super dynamic Dion sanders played by 49 ers

    I have to accept that cowboys made history with that powerful team in 1990’s with Troy aikman Emmitt smith , newton , Murray etc etc etc but I never liked them

    Since then I adopted 49ers up to today

    Unfortunately they lost against chiefs but I’m still 49er

    And the only thing I don’t forgive to sanders was to have played by cowboys after played by st Francisco

    Sanders just missed to play by Los Angeles lakers in order to be the only sport player to have in best teams ever like:


  • For me Dion sanders and Jerry rice are the best players ever in the nfl
    The third one could be Tom Brady
    Unfortunetly the quarterbacks get a lot of credit that’s why the best nfl players are:
    John elway
    Dan Marino
    Patrick Mahomes
    Joe Montana
    Brett Favre
    Peyton manning
    etc etc etc

    • Don’t forget Steve Young. 93-94 Niners were the best team ever. Rolled through everyone with ease in the playoffs. The good old days before Roger Goodell took over started basing Superbowls on the “story”, WWE style, scripts and all.

      Oops, the last part was supposed to be inside words.

      • Steve Young for sure
        I just mention those whom i could remember
        But yea cmon Steve Young belong to the group of the greatest

  • Did you know…?

    Om February 14th, 2024, I don’t remember asking Mauricio, son of Jose Sulaiman, father of Mauricio Sulaimán if his father enjoyed a drink once in a while.

    Happy Valentine’s day to the brothers and sisters here.

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