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Mauricio Sulaiman, right man to succeed Don Jose as WBC president

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” PETER DRUCKER

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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.

RENAISSANCE

“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.

PROTEST

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.

REMEMBERS

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.

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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Adios, Don Jose Sulaiman!

“All the misery of the world is nothing next to a farewell.” DANIEL BALAVOINE

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By Alex P. Vidal

When Don Jose Sulaiman ascended as president of the World Boxing Council (WBC) in 1975, the biggest and the greatest ever world heavyweight championship match in history unfolded in the Philippines known as “Thrilla in Manila” with Muhammad Ali emerging victorious after 11th round via technical knockout (TKO) over Joe Frazier.
Since then, Sulaiman never relinquished the presidency of the Mexico-based world boxing body until his death due to heart ailment last January 16 at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
A Mexican of Lebanese descent, Sulaiman, 82, was scheduled for cremation on January 19, Sunday, and a Monday Mass was to be offered in his honor at the iconic Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

WISH

Before he died, Sulaiman’s wish was granted. This was to see the WBC belt once again strapped around the waste of Manny Pacquiao, whom he considered to be “the best boxer in history next to Muhammad Ali.”
This happened on November 13, 2010 in Arlington, Texas when Pacquiao annexed the WBC light middleweight title via 12-round unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito.
In my one-on-one exclusive interview with Sulaiman inside Polanco, his favorite restaurant in Mexico City shortly after Pacquiao demolished David Diaz via 9th round TKO for WBC lightweight belt in Las Vegas on June 28, 2008, Sulaiman expressed sadness that Pacquiao would leave the WBC and embrace the rival WBO.

FIRST

“Pacquiao is with the WBC ever since he won his first world crown (via 8th round KO of Chatchai Sasakul in Thailand on December 4, 1998) and I want him to continue fighting with the WBC,” Sulaiman said.
After humiliating Oscar De La Hoya via 8th round TKO in Las Vegas on December 6, 2008, Pacquiao fought for rival IBO light welterweight title and obliterated Ricky Hatton in two rounds in Las Vegas on May 2, 2009.
From IBO, Pacquiao went to the WBO where he destroyed Angel Miguel Cotto (TKO 12) on Nov.14, 2009 and Joshua Clottey (UD 12) on March 13, 2010 in welterweight rumbles.
Then came Pacquaio’s comeback fight under the WBC against Margarito where Sulaiman flew all the way from Mexico to act as supervisor.

HAPPIEST

“I’m the happiest person in the world because Pacquiao is once again with the WBC,” beamed the wheelchair-bound Sulaiman, who was born on May 30, 1931 in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico to immigrant parents from Lebanon.
For unknown reason, Pacquiao, however, discarded anew the biggest and most prestigious boxing body in the world and fought his last five fights under the WBO: Shane Mosley (UD 12), Juan Manuel Marquez III (majority decision 12), Timothy Bradley (lost, split decision 12), Juan Manuel Marquez IV (lost, KO 6), and Brandon Rios (UD 12).

TENACIOUS

“Was Jose Sulaiman tenacious? You bet,” boxing analyst Bob Newman remarked. “Dedicated to the sport he loved? Without a doubt. Was he unconventional? Perhaps. Then again, what is conventional in the irregularly regulated sport of boxing? There are so many contradictory rules and disagreements in this sport, who is to say who’s right and who’s wrong? In keeping with the theme song that accompanied slideshows at the annual conventions, he did it his way. As he often did during the portion of the WBC convention where members of boxing’s fraternity were remembered, we now sound the bell for a count of ten in remembering and paying respect to him.”
Sulaiman, who was the longest president in any world sports body according to the Guinness Book of Records, is survived by his six children- Jose, Lucy, Hector, Fernando, Mauricio and Claudia and his loving wife of over 50 Martha.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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