By José Sulaimán
I thought in the past, that for a human being, prehistory, history, and the future after death do not exist. There is only life.
However, I would like to add that my feeling is that all life is born to die but leaves an indelible image as long as memory lasts.
Who did most? Who left more to this world, who served the needy, who triumphed the most? The larger his legacy in this world, the longer he will “live.” Thus, life is from birth to the last day that you are remembered.
Our DNA will remain with those who we left behind and those who will follow them. We carry it since perhaps thousands of years ago, but of which we still know little or nothing. Our DNA will continue on earth until the end of time.
That is why, I’ve personally dedicated time and energy to recreate the memory of the past. To remind boxing of those who have gone, or are about to leave. That way we lengthen the longevity and memory of our sport that we so love.
We want the youth of boxing to feel that they’re not only going to live from debut to retirement. That is why we are starting a program to help the elderly so they can live with dignity, those who before were glorious champions but now live in misery. Many have fallen victim to the cancer of modern living, and to drugs. Others have been ruthlessly exploited by mercenaries dressed up like promoters.
The first boxing champion was Hector in Greece, 2,600 years ago. Then came the opening of the elite clubs in England, and James Figg was champion 300 years ago.
After bestriding the Atlantic Ocean, boxing reached the United States. The mighty John L. Sullivan of Boston emerged as the first recognized world champion150 years ago. He lost his title, being already an old man early in the era of gloves, which replaced bare knuckles.
Then came, among others, the first black heavyweight world champion, the immortal Jack Johnson, son of slaves in America in the early 20th century, who was railroaded to jail for marrying a white woman.
There followed the great among greats, Jack Dempsey, and also the Cuban, Kid Chocolate. Then the great Brown Bomber, Joe Louis, whom many describe as the greatest heavyweight champion in history. Also another giant in the middle and welterweight divisions, Sugar Ray Robinson. And no one can forget the greatest of them all! – newly enthroned by the WBC as the King of Boxing, Muhammad Ali, who was born with the name of Cassius Clay.
We include Mike Tyson, orphaned and in prison at just 14 years old. Also, Sugar Ray Leonard and Julio Cesar Chavez, who holds the record of 37 WBC world championships fights. Julio reigned 14 years undefeated in his professional career and 10 years as world champion.
That is 2,600 years: Hector, Sullivan, Dempsey, Robinson, Louis, Ali and Tyson. They immortally exist as strong as ever. This is boxing greatness! – living with the mantle of fame for years and generations after death or retirement.
No other sport can say the same, except track maybe. And this, for me, is the example of life for all human beings: living with intensity, to the fullest, with honesty, passionate affection for the homeland, and to bestow a lasting legacy.
This is being achieved in our era by Vitali Klitschko, Sergio Martinez and Floyd Mayweather Jr., who through their greatness, will take their place among the immortals of all time as retirement for them beacons.
Until that happens, there will be many born in small humble cribs who will later climb up into the ring to emulate the greatest of the past, and blaze a lasting legacy of their own journey through life.
Thank you for reading my thoughts.