I miss so much writing my weekly column, which I will certainly continue from now on. This year began with extreme demands for travel, meetings, and activities all over which is shaping 2018 as yet another unbelievable year for boxing.
My dear father, Jose Sulaiman, often described boxing as “a volcano in constant eruption” – one day a huge problem or controversy arises, then it is resolved just to wake up the following day with a new one. The WBC has 166 affiliated nations and thus the complexities in administering the activities worldwide. Different standards, practices, and cultures make effective and efficient communications a real challenge.
There have been incredibly high moments so far this year – and a few lows – which remind us that there is still much to do to make boxing safer and better.
The heavyweight fight between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz was one of those magic nights that brought back the so many memories of the greatest division in our sport. A fight between two undefeated warriors with a combined record of 68 wins, 63 by KO, could only give boxing fans a thriller. Wilder is finally recognized for his greatness and Ortiz reminded all that the American dream is a possibility.
SUPERFLY 2 was a tremendous success. McWilliams Arroyo surprised Carlos Cuadras and WBC champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defeated tough former champ Juan Francisco Estrada in a sensational fight – that 12th round is one of the best ever. The table is set for SUPERFLY 3.
A highly regarded rematch was ruined by Luis Nery who lost his WBC bantamweight title on the scale. This irresponsible act caused tremendous damage to boxing in Japan. It has brought to our attention to the fact that there are dangerous methods being practiced on boxers, such as a weight reduction plan which can lead to kidney failure, liver and heart disease, and even death. We will take on this topic to the fullest to try to eradicate these practices.
The news about the highly anticipated second fight between WBC Middleweight champion “GGG” Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez ignited the interest all over the world. Unfortunately, the news has now turned to the adverse finding of Clenbuterol on Canelo. There is much speculation and GGG has, for the first time ever, spoken in a very aggressive manner and has finally shown that he is human. GGG has every right to demand clarity on the issue, and I am certain that the Nevada Commission will handle the matter appropriately.
The WBC celebrated its 55th anniversary, time in which boxing has changed dramatically through the efforts of many great boxing men from around the world. Boxing is now safer than ever, and we continue to find procedures to minimize the risk for all boxers.
The 2000th WBC world title fight took place in New York, and destiny made this iconic fight to be one promoted by Don King and Bob Arum, the greatest promoters in boxing history.
I had a wonderful lunch with one of the greatest ambassadors of boxing, Sylvester Stallone. We presented him the WBC tribute belt to commemorate Rocky’s 40th anniversary.