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August 27, 2013 – Mexico City.

From the office of WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán:

The following is one of the weekly “Hook to the Liver” columns that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From August 25, translated from Spanish:


By José Sulaimán

The Greatness Of Boxing

Sport in general is an important activity for humans.

It prepares us physically to be on the highest level. It also teaches us to win with humility and to lose with dignity.

But boxing is a unique sport that so many other athletes admire. It is different from all others because it is about giving and receiving blows. Boxers live a supreme life and they rigorously exercise daily. From running till exhaustion, they practice every day and learn how to connect with blows while avoiding incoming ones.

A professional must encompass everything. To graduate in this profession contains exacting degrees of difficulty. An amateur will learn the primary aspects but not for a living, and has little time to devote himself fully to the demanding sport.

In this, I base my invariable point of view that a professional can damage and even kill an amateur boxer if they open the doors to them at the Olympic Games. There are at least 100 countries with little or no professional boxing. We should be protecting them, not threatening them!

There is nothing greater in professional boxing than the big fights. They are called great when two idols enter the ring to fight, as we witnessed in Los Angeles with Victor Terrazas and Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares and Jhonny Gonzalez, and as they will do next September 14th in Las Vegas with Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse plus the long expected megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

These are a quartet of supreme fights of which the WBC feels very proud.

These fights can be historic, like those of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden or The Thrilla in Manila on that unforgettable night in 1975, when Joe didn’t come out for round 15 and Ali then sank to the canvas, slipping close to the shadow of exhaustion. That fight was considered one of the most dramatic of all time.

Also Larry Holmes against Ken Norton in Las Vegas in 1978, where at the end of a titanic battle of wills and the most grueling final round, Larry jumped into the hotel’s pool still wearing his boxing trunks with the famous green belt he has just conquered still attached! Carlos Monzon and “Mantequilla” Napoles in Paris was another all time classic.

There’s the unforgettable fight between two legends, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard in Montreal, Canada. Then the battle that eternally has branded into it the most intense three rounds in history between Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns. And so many more that could take me a lot of pages to write about…

I sincerely hope that on September 14th we can live another of those truly great boxing nights, that will make the fans proud of the WBC.

Thanks for reading my thoughts.

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