R.I.P. — WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán — 1931-2014
March 13, 2014
One month has gone by after The WBC Board of Governors placed their trust in me and voted unanimously to honor my father, José Sulaimán, by appointing me as his successor in the presidency of the organization.
It has been a confusing process, with mixed feelings and very long days of endless commitments. The so many demonstrations of care received from all over the world have given my family the greatest feeling of pride we could ever imagine. It has been a month full of great moments in honor of the memory of Don Jose.
I wish to acknowledge some of those who have made this month special, and have given me the motivation to take on this task in which I will work relentlessly to continue the work of my father and try to make boxing better and safer.
The memorial aired by Showtime and beautiful words by Jimmy Lennon, Televisa, TV Azteca, Cadena 3, Lo Mejor del Boxeo, Telemundo, Univision, WAPA, and all the promoters involved in those shows, the 12-bell count, the photos, the messages … thank you so much to all.
The horse racetrack “Hipodromo de las Americas” instituted the “Jose Sulaiman Derby,” which will be raced every second Saturday of February.
Archbishop Antonio Chedraui, head of the Orthodox Church in Mexico, presented the “Medal of St. George of Honor” in a beautiful ceremony in Mexico.
Sport City and Marti named the 6 and 12k race “The Jose Sulaiman Champions Race,” and 4500 ran in Mexico City. It has also been instituted as a yearly event.
“The European Memorial Mass of Thanksgiving and Celebration of the Life of Jose Sulaiman” was organized in London, and the British Boxing Board of Control, the European Boxing Union, and many members of the boxing community gathered together in this celebration. It was very special to be with great champions including Ricky Hatton, John Conteh, John Stracey, Barry McGuigan, Scott Welch, as well as dear promoters including Barry and Eddie Hearn, Salvatore Cherchi, Philippe Fondu, Nisse Sauerland, ring officials, and many other members and friends.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. dedicated his rematch versus Bryan Vera to the memory of my dear father — touching moments coming from the Chavez family, who have been so dear to the Sulaiman family. On the same day, Zulina Muñoz defended her WBC Female Championship and dedicated her victory to my father.
The National Chamber of Communications dedicated its yearly celebration of “The Day of the Family”, a celebration which gathered 30,000 people in Mexico City.
Don King visited Mexico with Dana Jamison, confused and shaken up, as this is the first time he ever arrived in Mexico and his friend Jose was not there to greet him.
I attended my first megafight in Las Vegas with heavy emotions, and was humbled by the so many kind attentions received from everyone. The Nevada State Athletic Commission was incredible — I felt so welcome, so special. Golden Boy Promotions members were extremely kind and caring, as well as Al Haymon, many friends extended beautiful messages — especially the boxers! I am still vibrating from seeing “Perro Angulo” and his team walking into the ring with an uniform designed to honor my father, Jorge Linares wearing a black ribbon on his shorts, and Leo Santa Cruz and “Yeyo” Thompson dedicating their fights to the honor of my father.
Finally, Puerto Rico — to witness the tour to promote the megafight between WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto. The Puerto Rico Commission, and all the promoters present — Lou DiBella, Sampson Lewkowicz, Cotto Promotions and Top Rank, all sharing special words about my father, Todd duBoef, Carl Moretti, Gaby Penagaricano, and Miguel de Pablos, and both Martinez and Cotto acknowledging my dad in front of thousand of fans.
A busy month, a heavy burden, many memories, some sad, quiet times, but overall a great month of joy — celebrating the life of my dear father.