By José Sulaimán: I have been through some time of reflexion. Our lives today are so different than in my years of youth. It is not easy to adapt. I traveled to Cancún for the WBC convention absolutely convinced to step down from the presidency of the WBC after such a long 37-year period – a lifetime. I was not allowed. It made me pause for a mental attitude renewal and my great gratitude and love for all those that trust me.
My mind went back to December 5, 1975, when during my first election I asked my colleagues to define as priorities: Safety in boxing; to join in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa; to devote for unity among all boxing commissions of the world; to drastically change rules and regulations for good rule and order. Boxing today has been taken to the highest levels ever in history from those days of a savage legalised sport as it was in the past. We at the WBC are very proud of it. It was not easy and there have been many sacrifices, disillusions, and sadness, but we got it and we continue going.
After my election, I needed new objectives, new challenges. Two came to my mind: to devote with a passion to get a piece of bread for those heroes of the past who live in misery today, and to struggle against any institution or individual who takes steps to damage the sport of our love. Boxing has no owner, other than the people of the world who keep our sport alive, and the boxers who are boxing – from four-rounders to a champion of the world. Boxing was the first sport on the face of earth, since the cave era. It was one of the four founders of the Olympic Games about 600 years before Christ. So we must fight … put on our gloves … and go the distance if necessary against anyone who wants to bring monopoly and deny opportunities to all those who deserve it in a violation of the restraint of trade laws.
Only Ministers of Sports or the National Olympic Committees should have the free authority to designate the athletes to represent a nation, without illegal conditions, without AIBA in boxing and the IOC at the Olympics imposing monopoly by accepting only their professional boxers and not any one else, without stepping on the sovereignty of the nations by ordering national federations to change their laws to suit AIBA, without using the unquestionable power of the IOC to back their egotistical and monetary ambitions, as well as their monopolistic actions.
The president of AIBA, Mr. Wu, has circulated among its affiliates that the IOC is absolutely behind their institution. If that statement means that the IOC only recognises AIBA, I would say that it is correct. There are almost 100 years that AIBA is the organisation that takes care of boxing at the IOC. However, not if it comes into professional boxing and only their boxers can participate at the Olympiads. That is pure monopoly, which is unconstitutional in most countries of the world. Monopoly is not allowing professional promoters, managers, trainers, and boxing organisations to participate in activities that should be free for all those that fill the requirements to participate, just as AIBA does.
But that move is only one step of the many wrong doings of AIBA. It has stated that they are looking to become the one and only master-leader of boxing in all its areas, including professionals, just like FIFA, for example. For that he has presented to many investors a request for 165 million Swiss francs. That is also okay, as anybody can form professional boxing organisations if they are within the law. But they are offering a venture with Golden Boy Promotions which will lead to WBC and other champions to step down from us and move to their system. This is a threat to damage the WBC, even when Richard Schaefer called that agreement untrue.
The danger is that all those that are not inclined to accept there actions are expelled. They did it to Romania and Africa and, believe it or not, they did it to the USA, and let them back only when they changed their officers who now kneel down to AIBA. The United States? The most important boxing country in the world? The wealthiest? The most powerful? The King of the Media? Yes, the USA. It’s hard to believe because of the autonomy of the States, where many do not agree with others in regards to laws … but they did it !!!!!!!
As it seems that there is indifference and total disregard of the boxing world, they may think that it’s a joke !! Or that some are concerned only about what happens in their area. My commitment to fight for what is right in the defence of boxing took effect in my mind. I have 67 years in boxing and the WBC is celebrating 50 years !!!! There is absolute unity among the 164 national commissions that form the WBC. We must jump into the ring, put on our gloves, and step forward for as many rounds as it might take – justice, respect of the laws, human equality, respect to the rights of all, to stop their abuse of power to impose what AIBA wants not only with the smaller countries, but also on the large ones, like the USA.
What is even more serious is the attitude of IOC. They write a letter of recognition to AIBA. The president of the IOC did not respond to three letters from the WBC, before it went to press as a courtesy, asking him if he and the IOC are in support of all the doings of AIBA including monopoly, restraint of trade, stepping on the sovereignty of the nations and all other wrong doings. Mr. Rogge did not answer. He said that he did in a press interview, but with all due respect to the press, that is not an answer and the world of boxing wants it.
Mr. Rogge, are you and the IOC behind all those moves of AIBA that will affect the Olympic Games? Please do not take much of your important time. Just say YES or NO.
My thanks to all who read my thoughts.