By Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán / President of the WBC
This time I will tell you everything that our organization does the week before a main event.
The World Boxing Council is a non-profit organization that actively participates in a large number of events related to boxing cards that are held around the world.
On this occasion, we were in San Antonio, Texas, for the tremendous card in which the WBC, IBF and WBA world champion, Jermell Charlo, faced the WBO world champion, Brian Castaño, in what was the first undisputed championship in the super welterweight division, in the era of four belts.
I went there accompanied by a great work team, with whom we did an intense job, making it a special event and not just a championship fight.
I had a meeting with the Mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, and we reached a series of agreements to develop various ideas to reactivate boxing in this great region; That same afternoon, he accompanied us to give a special recognition to the five world champions that this city has generated. The event was held at City Hall and was highly emotional; especially when the mother of champion Robert Quiroga, who had passed away, spoke and her words brought everyone to tears.
The reason for the existence of the WBC is and will always be the boxer and his/her wellbeing, before, during and after their glory years, which is why these ring warriors felt recognized and loved once again.
On Thursday we were at the Mexican Consulate, where Consul Rubén Minutti Zanatta and his excellent work team joined our organization to present medals of honor, under the banner of Heroes of Humanity program, to five people and institutions who with passion, bravery and dedication supported and saved thousands of lives during this pandemic.
Subsequently, we proceeded to inaugurate the Green Room Exhibition, in the cultural center of San Antonio, where the WBC world champion belts will be exhibited, and later we attended the closing press conference, where the fighters were able to give their final statements prior to the combat.
That same day, we visited the gym of the great former champion Jesse James Leija, where all the young men and women, children and relatives, were able to hear the motivational message of Oscar Cantu, as well as the reflection of Cory Hanes.
On Friday, there was a meeting with the boxing commission and the signing of an important number of documents required for the proper supervision of a world championship fight; followed by the official weigh-in, which was highly problematic, when an altercation between both teams surged, being close to becoming a pitched battle. The same happened in the rule reading ceremony and in the selection of gloves; even the fight was at risk of being canceled.
We spent the rest of the Friday making three more visits to local gyms, to be close to the boxing community.
Already in the arena, we had a final award ceremony for the honorary champion of the night. TDLR President Rick Figueroa accompanied me to the presentation of the champion medal to a young man with special abilities.
Fight night was wonderful; Uruguayan Amílcar Vidal had a sensational fight, in which he proved to be a real prospect, worthy of being ranked highly.
The main event was, without a doubt, one of the best battles in the history of the super welterweight division, and one of the best fights in recent years. the Argentine warrior Castaño severely pressured Charlo, who then rallied to fight his way back, coming very close to knocking out Castaño in the tenth round. He dominated the last part of the fight and it was a draw. That was a fair result, since the performance of both boxers was dramatic, spectacular and thrilling.
DID YOU KNOW…?
The five World Boxing Council San Antonio champions are Jesse James Leija, super featherweight; John Michael Johnson, bantamweight; Robert Quiroga, superfly; Mario Barrios, superlight, and Josh Franco, also at super fly.
From a very young age, I have the memory of accompanying my father to many events, press conferences, interviews and fights, and I always looked to him with admiration, as a superhero in action.
This time, my children accompanied me to this great card in San Antonio, and my wife captured a photograph, during the weigh-in ceremony, and she made me remember those moments when I was there with Don José.
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