Sulaimán - The WBC didn't strip Bradley of his title; he's 'champion in recess'

August 2, 2011 – Mexico City. From the office of World Boxing Council (WBC) President Dr. José Sulaimán:

As president of the WBC, I feel that I should make a brief press note in answer to several criticisms received from some writers in regards to the Timothy Bradley case.

Bradley is a great fighter and a pride of the WBC. We gave him first the opportunity before any other even noticed him, and he has won the WBC title twice. The WBC is a not-for-profit organization that has its rules, which should be abided by, if any boxer wants to become a WBC Champion.

There are traffic laws that are respected: if you don’t stop at a red light, you are violating the law and will be fined. If you don’t have a driving license you should not drive, or you will be fined. If you issue a check without funds, that is fraud.

Our rules for champions state that each champion should defend the title at least three times a year and when you reach six months of inactivity, the title might be withdrawn, The WBC wrote three times to Timothy, and neither he nor his representatives wrote back, nor have they announced at any time any scheduled fight at all to defend his title. They seemed not to care that there are many other classified boxers who wish to contend for the title, which the champion has frozen.

However, the WBC did not “strip” Bradley. We declared him still “champion in recess” so that he will have the doors of the WBC opened for when he is able to return, while we declared the active championship vacant with the new champion to fight Bradley when he returns to boxing.

As simple as that.


The following is one of the weekly “Hook to the Body” columns by WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From July 31, translated from Spanish:


By José Sulaimán

The WBC Reason for Intermediate Divisions.

Even when it was an unexpected honor in my life, my election as president of the WBC, back

on December 5, 1975, I placed as a condition the committment of the affiliates to change our goals for a priority for safety, as there was nothing else at those times than a medical exam during weigh-ins of the blood pressure, heart rate, open your mouth, and God bless you, which was enthusiastically accepted, for the starting of the WBC's efforts for the protection of the boxers that has taken almost four decades with countless modifications of the boxing rules.

During my early youth I had the biggest boxing hero, and later my closest friend, Raul “Ratón”

Macías, a bantamweight champion of the world, who was always forced into inhuman sacrifices to reduce weight for all of his fights, which reduced the size of his stomach with the passing of time. He did not want to move to the featherweights, as there were more than 5 kilos - 11 pounds - and he was short in height, so he decided to retire from boxing at the age of 24.

This, of the many problems that I had through the many years in boxing, made me ask the doctors of the WBC Medical Board to help us in regards to weights. The super bantamweight division was born at 122 pounds, and it produced one of the greatest champions in history with the Puerto Rican Wilfredo Gómez, who won his 18 defenses of the superbantam title by knockout.

The intermediate divisions have become very important in professional boxing and they have produced champions of the highest caliber like Gómez, Alexis Argüello, Julio César Chávez, Oscar de la Hoya, Joe Calzaghe, Eric Morales, Jung Ku Chang, Chiquita González, and even Evander Holyfield in the cruiserweight division.

This one step, of the many others that the WBC has brought into boxing, raised furor back in 1982 when this step was taken, among some of the writers, especially in the north east of the USA, who have found a Mexican to keep blasting during the almost 36 years of my presidency.

It seems that us Mexicans have no right to lead a world organization. However, nothing has stopped the WBC from continuing the struggle to lead boxing to its highest goals of safety, for the sake of protecting the health and lives of boxers as the human beings that they are.

I have the highest esteem, admiration, and respect for the press of the world, including the USA, the country of my father’s family and the country where my sons, now my grandsons, and even myself have had and are having our educations. I deeply respect many of the writers in the world and I read with attention their positive articles even of criticism as they lead me to restudy our steps to confirm or modify our actions, but all those written by those who get up in the morning and as a good morning to themselves, they swear when they look at themselves in the mirror ………. of those, I never, ever, read their columns, as they are people who write without the slightest knowledge of what and who they are writing about, and they love to express their negativity as their way of life. I follow President Lyndon Johnson’s saying: “He who doesn’t like heat should get out of the kitchen,” and i have decided to stay in. Heat is good; it shows if you have the guts or not to do well what you are doing.

I was under heavy artillery when we withdrew recognition of Leon Spinks for not fighting his committed fight against Ken Norton. The artillery was as heavy when we approved Ray Leonard coming back to fight Marvin Hagler, after he successfully passed the medical exams required by WBC rules, of the three highly respected ophthalmologists on his retina which had had surgery.

We were also attacked when we authorized No. 6 Julio César Chávez to fight Mario Martínez for the vacant super featherweight title, the first of his 37 world title fights ! The same happened when they also blasted us for authorizing Sal Sánchez to fight Indian Red López, who he KOd for his first title, later to become one of the greatest Mexicans ever.

And to go on with my polemic style, I was even taken to a TV jury for supporting Saúl Álvarez to go for the title, which he won, and the same thing happened for going in favor of Julio César Chavez Jr., a title that he also won.

So, my dear friends, what am I going to do ? The WBC is a great group of distinguished citizens from all over the world who are not afraid to step forward to reform, and we do it with passion, perseverance, and determination, and we are proud to belong to those coming from the 20th Century who have done the very best, in the best way that we know, for the accomplishment of the goal of our ideals, and we shall continue for as long as our Great God keeps us in this land.

Thank you for reading my thoughts, and until next week…

Article posted on 03.08.2011

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