By Mauricio Sulaiman
WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son
The passing away of Frank Quill in Australia has closed yet another chapter in the history books of boxing and the WBC history. Frank wrote with golden letters several pages with his dedication and passion to make boxing better. A boxing historian who served as President in Australian National Boxing Federation, he was a member of the WBC Board of Governors and Chairman of the WBC Ratings Committee – a man with a sweet smile, always positive, and a natural friend to all. The funeral will be held on August 16 at 10 am at Heritage Funerals in Melbourne, Australia.
This past weekend, the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame honored some of the great heroes of the sport in a memorable event organized by Rich Marotta, who has passed the torch to Michelle Corrales Lewis, who will serve as President of the NBHF.
Caesars Palace was the perfect place to celebrate this year’s induction ceremony. So many historic fights and drama occurred precisely at Caesars Palace, which owned the boxing activity in the golden eras of the 1970’s and 80’s.
Each inductee was presented and a video clip was shown, bringing all attendees to cheer and relive the glory moments. Many of them happened at Caesars.
Ken Norton fought and lost his WBC heavyweight title against Larry Holmes via split decision at Caesars, featuring the most dramatic 15th round. Leon Spinks shook the world, defeating Muhammad Ali while his brother Michael fought several important fights. Salvador Sanchez knocked out undefeated champion and heavy favorite Wilfredo Gomez. Tommy Hearns featured in the best first round ever against Marvelous Marvin Hagler, knocked out Roberto Duran in Round 2, and battled Sugar Ray Leonard in epic battles. Even Erik Morales fought in Caesars parking lot when he defeated Hector Acero-Sanchez to win his shot at the WBC title. Richie Sandoval, a local hero, fought there many times. Debbie Munch was also the PR queen for decades at Caesars.
Every Hall of Fame induction brings out great memories and nostalgia. We will always compare eras, and it is often said, “The way it used to be” with certain sadness and regret. There is truth in this precept. Fighters used to fight for pride, for honor, for greatness. Not for money – money came later.
It seems that, as everything else in the world, fighters go through a very fast, limited career, the cycles are not closed and consequently champions’ reigns have become much shorter. Everybody has the urge to cash in FAST.
Erik Morales waited two years for his shot at the WBC title. That process allowed him to reach the title fight with great possibilities of winning and helped him create a legendary career in the ring. Today, any fighter jumps at the first opportunity to win any title and move on, make some money and see his career come to an end much sooner.
Any 12-0 fighter is now regarded a monster! Just doing some research, we can appreciate those records from the past.
Yes, boxing was different from today, but today boxing is doing great all over the world and we can only hope to see all work together to make better decisions in the making off our great sport.
I was so happy to see my hero Sugar Ray Leonard presenting his former archrival in the ring, but now friend and brother in life, Tommy Hearns, and did it with such class and praise.
It was very emotional to see trainer Rafael Garcia on the stage, and so many of his family and friends hugging him as the tears flowed from his special words.
Lucia Rijker, one of the greatest female boxers ever, shared her life experience and journey with a dramatic end to her career just days away from her Million Dollar Baby fight due to a tendon rupture.
Dr. Elias Ghanem was one of the best-ever boxing commissioners in Nevada and served as WBC Vice President for many years, back in the days when boxing commissioners could actively participate in the world of boxing. The Muhammad Ali Act, which is a law in the USA, prohibits any member of a boxing commission from being a member of the WBC, creating a huge distance – and an unnecessary one – between the WBC and boxing commissioners in the greatest country of boxing.
The Hall of Fame. Certainly, a dream for anyone and a reality for very few. Saturday, August 12 is now part of the memories for eternity for those few enthroned to honor their journey through boxing, being the best of the best.
Thank you and I welcome any comments, ideas, or suggestions at email@example.com.