By Mauricio Sulaiman
Son of José Sulaiman / President of the WBC
This time, I’m going to tell you everything our organization does the week before a main event.
The World Boxing Council is a non-profit organization that actively participates in a large number of boxing card-related events that take place around the world.
On this occasion, we were in San Antonio, Texas, for the formidable card in which WBC, IBF and WBA world champion Jermell Charlo faced WBO world champion Brian Castaño in what was the undisputed first championship of the super welterweight. division, in the era of the four belts.
I went there with a great work team, with whom we did an intense job, making a special event and not just a championship fight.
I had a meeting with the mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, and we made a series of agreements to develop various ideas to reactivate boxing in this great region; That same afternoon, he accompanied us to give special recognition to the five world champions that this city has generated. The event took place at the town hall and was very moving; especially when the mother of the late champion Robert Quiroga spoke up and his words made everyone cry.
The reason for the existence of the WBC is and always will be the boxer and his well-being, before, during and after their glory years, which is why these ring warriors felt recognized and loved again.
On Thursday we were at the Mexican Consulate, where Consul Rubén Minutti Zanatta and his excellent work team joined our organization to present medals of honor, under the banner of the Heroes of Humanity program, to five people and institutions that , with passion, bravery and dedication, have supported and saved thousands of lives during this pandemic.
Afterwards, we proceeded to the inauguration of the Green Room exhibition, in the cultural center of San Antonio, where the WBC world champion’s belts will be exhibited, and later we attended the press conference of fence, where the fighters could make their final statements before the fight.
That same day, we visited the gymnasium of great former champion Jesse James Leija, where all young men and women, children and loved ones, could hear Oscar Cantu’s motivational message, as well as Cory Hanes’ reflection.
On Friday there was a meeting with the boxing commission and the signing of a significant number of documents necessary for the proper supervision of a world championship fight; followed by the official weigh-in, which was very problematic, when an altercation between the two teams erupted, being on the verge of becoming a pitched battle. The same happened in the rule reading ceremony and in the selection of gloves; even the fight was in danger of being called off.
We spent the rest of Friday making three more visits to local gyms, to be close to the boxing community.
Already in the arena we had a final award ceremony for the honorary champion of the night. TDLR President Rick Figueroa accompanied me to the presentation of the champion’s medal to a young man with special abilities.
The night of combat was wonderful; Uruguayan Amílcar Vidal had a sensational fight, in which he turned out to be a real prospect, worthy of being ranked high.
The main event was, without a doubt, one of the best battles in the history of the super welterweight division, and one of the best fights in recent years. Argentinian warrior Castaño put a lot of pressure on Charlo, who then rallied to fight his way, coming very close to knocking Castaño out in the tenth round. He dominated the latter part of the fight and it was a draw. It was a fair result, as the performance of both boxers was dramatic, spectacular and thrilling.
DID YOU KNOW…?
The five World Boxing Council San Antonio champions are super featherweight Jesse James Leija; John Michael Johnson, bantamweight; Robert Quiroga, superfly; Mario Barrios, superlight, and Josh Franco, also super fly.
ANECDOTE OF THE DAY
From a young age, I remember accompanying my father to many events, press conferences, interviews and fights, and I always watched him with awe, like a superhero in action.
This time my kids walked me to this big map in San Antonio, and my wife took a picture, at the weighing ceremony, and she reminded me of those times when I was there with Don José.
I appreciate your comments to [email protected]