“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” PETER DRUCKER
Mauricio Sulaiman and Alex P. Vidal in Mexico City
By Alex P. Vidal
I exhort all my friends and colleagues in the world boxing fraternity to support Mauricio Sulaiman as the next president of the World Boxing Council (WBC). I am making a personal endorsement of Mauricio, knowing him as a truly competent, dedicated and sincere person both as a boxing leader and son of the late and highly-regarded Don Jose Sulaiman Chagnon.
Most of us know that Don Jose had tremendous trust and confidence on his son, who, as secretary general, is actually his right hand in running the affairs of the biggest professional boxing organization in the world with headquarters in Mexico City. If Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quixote had Sancho Panza, Don Jose had Mauricio.
Like King Philip II of Macedon, who wanted his son, Alexander the Great, to succeed him in his throne, Don Pepe had seen the potentials of Mauricio to lead the WBC in the future ever since Mauricio officially joined the WBC family in 1992 as public relations director.
“With Mauricio around, I can see the renaissance of the WBC in this millennium,” Don Jose said during a one-on-one exclusive interview with this writer in Mexico City in 2008. “His heart is in boxing and he gets along very well with everyone involved in this sport.”
Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy Sr. saw his dreams dashed to pieces when his favorite son, Joseph Jr., was killed in a naval airplane crash in 1944, but was rewarded by God when his other son, John Fitzgerald or JFK, became president of the United States in 1961.
Don Jose’s dream was not only to ensure that the WBC will continue to expand and reach out with promoters and boxers in the four corners of the globe, but to see to it that the WBC is safe and sound under the able leadership of Mauricio even if on some occasions, he expressed reservations of his son taking over the helm of the organization as he did not want Mauricio to be victimized by intrigues and attacks mostly from American press.
The elder Sulaiman had protested the “hurtful” and “humiliating” attacks he suffered from writers mostly in the United States over the way he managed the ruled the organization.
Don Jose had lamented that during his 36 years as WBC president, he’s been “the victim of tremendous of public scrutiny by boxing and sports media outlets who based their reports on innuendo and insufficient data,” he told writer Richard Powell.
Don Jose, however, remarked in the same interview: “Mauricio, my son, is the one who decided to help me in the WBC and without his efforts and his work, it would not be possible for me to do what we are doing now. Mauricio would do a fantastic job (as president). Better than me!”
Like his father, Mauricio treats people in boxing like his extended family. He deals with them equally and does not discriminate them whether they are Asians, Africans, Europeans, Latinos or Americans.
Mauricio also remembers faces wherever he goes and lends his time to chat with them even for a few minutes. When he spotted me during the WBO welterweight tussle between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Angel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2011, he stopped and gave me some boxing memorabilia for souvenir. He was there to represent the WBC which awarded Pacquiao diamond belt.
In all the boxing promotions, conventions and other related activities that we attended, Mauricio was a regular acquaintance, accompanying Don Jose and helping push the wheelchair of the immortal WBC chieftain.
When Texas-based Dr. Allan Recto and I went to visit Don Jose in Mexico City in July 2008, Mauricio was our gracious host; he awarded this writer with a WBC silver medal in the WBC headquarters. Despite their not-so-pleasant experiences with the press, Sulaiman father and son have high regards for journalists.
We expect the WBC Board of Governors and all the prominent personalities — promoters, boxers, managers, trainers, writers — to throw their strong support behind Mauricio Sulaiman as the next WBC president.