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December 9, 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 have been published in El Universal every Sunday for the last five years and written by WBC President Jose Sulaiman.

This column was written by his children – Pepe, Lucy, Hector, Fernando, Mauricio, and Claudia – while he recovers from surgery. From December 8, translated from Spanish:


In Memory of Our Magnificent Nelson Mandela

Jose Sulaiman turned 38 years as WBC President last Thursday – sadly – the same day as his dear, close friend Nelson Mandela passed away.

When we all thought that he would be out of intensive care, unfortunately, various complications have delayed the departure of our beloved father, Don Jose Sulaiman, from this room.

He continues with steadfast determination, doing everything necessary – and more – to continue this long process, which has kept him 68 days in intensive care and 85 away from home.

This is also a week full of fateful events, intertwined with destiny.

Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to our father, who joined as the humblest student to a teacher to seek, through a relentless struggle, the balm of human equality.

After experiencing, in the flesh, the terrible inequity of racism on a trip he made as supervisor of the World Boxing Council to South Africa in 1971, and seeing such an inhumane way a black boxer was shamefully abused, Don Jose decided that once he reached a position of power and decision at any level, he would fight against the utter injustice of apartheid.

His first act as President of the WBC was to expel South Africa from boxing, banning any boxer to fight in that country, as well as promoters and managers of the nation.

This tireless struggle, that was joined and championed by the WBC, was later taken up by many other sports organizations as a banner to seek equality and to once and for all end this odious discriminatory practice.

The recognition of this valiant ongoing battle culminated in 1985, when the Security Committee of the United Nations presented an award as an emotional recognition into the hands of Jose Sulaiman for the invaluable example, support, and work of the WBC, together with the rest of humanity, hastening the end to the abominable system of apartheid.

It was a very sad fact for our dad to learn about the passing of Nelson Mandela, and all he could say is that with Mandela’s uniquely courageous, selfless, wise, example, we shall continue forever fighting for human equality, unity and justice.

Thank you and until next week.

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