By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán

WORLD BOXING COUNCIL Mauricio Sulaimán, President Rio Bamba No. 835, Col. Linda Vista México City, D.F., México, 07300 Phones +52 (55) 57150309 | +52 (55) 51195276   R.I.P. – WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán – 1931-2014     June 7, 2023   ROUND 12: BOXVAL, BOXING WITH VALUES By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán   Boxing is the purest sport and without a doubt, the oldest, since the caveman era when humans fought for rudimentary supremacy.   There is plenty of evidence to the history of boxing in various stages and eras of humanity: Mesopotamia, Rome, Egypt, and Constantinople, to name a few, until the Middle Ages erased the history of this sport and almost everything in humanity for the dark ages lasting centuries.  
However, modern boxing evolved, finding its home in England. People would gather to watch two men fight bare-knuckle and without rules, and so it went on for decades. The first attempt to formulate rules was by the Marquess of Queensberry, but it actually took many more years for it to become a properly regulated sport.   Boxing itself was a violent, wild, and brutal sport, a barbaric one which went to the limits of inhumanity. There was no minimum protection, prevention, and care before or after the fights. Many lives were lost, and the quality of those who managed to reach retirement was precarious and fragile, without money and suffering significant damage to their health.     It was the World Boxing Council (WBC) who humanized boxing and, with the cooperation of national federations and boxing commissions from many countries, established rules and procedures to make it fair and a far safer sport.   The boxer is born in humble cribs, rocked in modest cradles, and fights to get ahead, finding in the gym the ways and means to change his life and conquer glory. The boxer is the most humane person there is. His simplicity and humbleness is evident, respect for discipline, work, sacrifice and, especially, his temple shrine sublime … the gym. His trainer is a father figure, the other boxers in the gym are his colleagues, and his respect for his rivals is admirable. Imagine the nature of boxing is to hit each other trying to win the fight, and when the bell rings ending the fight, both melt into a huge and sincere hug recognizing the virtues and courage of their rival, and generally become friends for life.     The boxer is noble. When fame and money arrive, the first thing they do is share their fortune with their family, buy their mother a house, support their brothers, uncles, and also meet the needs of friends and strangers without limit.   When the Holy Father Francis entrusted the World Boxing Council to organize and carry out the BoxVal (Boxing with Values) program, we took a path that has been gratifying, since thousands of children, youth and adults have been touched with the spirit of maintaining values that has so much been lost in the society in which we live, and that our sport spreads day after day in all corners of the world. The description of boxing in the words of his Holiness has amazed those who listen to it.       Boxing is like nature. Your strength does not matter, but knowing what your abilities are, and finding your opponent’s weaknesses. Flaws can floor him. Similar to the fearsome king cobra when it confronts the mongoose, it would seem an easy battle for the serpent. However, the mongoose uses its speed, sway, and guile to avoid the bites and defeats the cobra through lightning strikes.   Pope Francis has received Julio César Chávez, Julio César Chávez Jr. and Deontay Wilder. He also held a live videoconference, with La Chiquita González, Carlos Zárate, Pipino Cuevas, José Luis Bueno, and many more champions, as well as dozens of beginner boxers, in that historic day from the Ring Central gym, of the Central de Abastos of Mexico City.               He has given his blessing to plant El Olivo de La Paz for a significant number of fights such as Saúl Álvarez vs. Amir Khan, Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs, Chocolatito Gonzalez vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and recently for Canelo vs. Ryder in which the Crown of Laurels was delivered, a masterpiece made by Adrián Pallarols, official goldsmith of the Holy Father.         We have learned the vital need to serve others without expecting anything in return, to be empathetic, to have compassion and to do everything possible, day after day, to provide opportunities for those who need it most. The boxer has unshakable faith. He prays before going into the ring, asking that they both return safe and sound with loved ones. After a true battle, the bell finally rings, and it’s all over. They hug and recognize each other, and go on with their lives.   Did you know…? Pope John Paul II was an amateur boxer in Poland. It was the sport of his love, and it served him for his physical and spiritual formation.     Today’s anecdote Former light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson suffered a knockout on December 1, 2018. He was rushed into hospital for brain surgery and was left in a coma, with a bleak prognosis. On December 18 of that year, I traveled to Toronto to visit him in the hospital and the promoter Yvon Michel and Lamont Jones from PBC, who stayed for months with Adonis in an exemplary manner, accompanied me to intensive care. Experts and specialists there were watching over and acutely monitoring Adonis.   I gently took Adonis’ left hand, and I placed a rosary in it which had the direct blessing of Pope Francis. I prayed, then I offered him a few words of encouragement from the thousands of messages from boxing people around the world in which they hoped for his recovery. I sat in front of him with two of his companions and after half an hour, Adonis began to cough, and make movements to want to get up. Many doctors entered and took us out of the room. That day he woke up and today he lives happily, in the company of his family. He devotes and dedicates his life to being the Champion of Hope.   Coincidence?   The Miracle of Pope Francis?   That’s what I feel and believe having lived that unforgettable moment.     I appreciate your feedback at
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