By Mauricio Sulaimán / Son of José Sulaimán / President of the WBC
October 17, 2023 This last week was one of significant activity, and one of the most important events was the sensational meeting with General Luis Cresencio Sandoval González, Secretary of National Defense of Mexico. I had the honor of accompanying a great leader of national sports, Daniel Aceves, medalist in Los Angeles 1984, who is President of the Association of Mexican Olympians, and my brother Héctor, President of Valores del Deporte por el Desarrollo y la Paz, to notify the General of the nomination for the National Sports Award (PND), in the field of protection and promotion of the practice of sports.
Sedena has organized a significant number of sporting events, and a good number of athletes from this institution have won medals in the Central American, Pan American and Olympic Games. During the meeting, we reached a series of agreements for activations for our sport of boxing. The World Boxing Council will coordinate with Sedena the celebration of the Honors to the Flag and National Anthem at all boxing cards in the Mexican Republic. And we started this past Saturday, with the enthusiastic support of promoter Mario Abraham. It was done in an emotional way during the great boxing event presented in Mérida, Yucatán.
We celebrated World Mental Health Day on the traditional “Tuesday coffee” weekly press conference. The world is going through a terrible crisis in every sense; the wars that are happening, the violence that exists in society, the consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag down millions of people, and above all, the lack of principles and values with which we live.
Have you ever checked your children’s phone? I was surprised when I reviewed a chat and learned the way the kids interact, what violence and swear words they all use! It is today’s reality, everything is violence in video games, movies and news. It is stark world, involving everything that happens in the chats and us parents can be so far away from reality and what happens day after day in our kid’s lives. Mental health begins with oneself. It is necessary to exercise, meditate, eat properly and healthy, distractions with hobbies, work, have discipline and promote positivity and good practices and relationships. Have empathy and compassion for others, forgive and know how to apologize. We need to have dreams, dream, and work to accomplish those dreams.
October is the month to fight breast cancer, promote awareness of the issue, self-examination and seek early detection. There are great possibilities for a cure if action is taken promptly. There are so many things that happen in boxing, and they remain hidden without any repercussion. Even though progress has been made in caring for the fighter, the fight against abuses and bad practices that put the physical integrity of boxers at risk is incredible and continues to happen around the world. In recent days we have been aware of very regrettable events in non-title fights, but we feel the obligation to attend and seek to raise awareness and take precautions for the future. Recently a South American fighter fought in his country at his natural weight. A few days later, a boxer was injured on a scheduled card in another country, and was called as a substitute, but to fight three divisions below his division. Due to great economic need, he accepted, traveled, did inhumane practices to make the weight, and ended up in the hospital, close to losing his life. Thank God he recovered, and is now back home. Last week, a top-level boxer from Mexico City who had been training for two months for his fight in the south of the country, was notified that his fight had been canceled because his rival was of a very low level, and the Boxing Commission correctly had not accepted it. This created a huge problem with the fighter and his camp. It is the promoter’s responsibility to secure opponents and seek approval of the bouts by the commission.
Incredibly, the promoter’s staff told the fighter that if he paid for his own fight and his rival, they would put him on the card. With the hope of fighting and not throwing away the two months of work, he took his car with his father, they drove to collect his opponent in another state, and headed to Mérida, Yucatán, a 16-hour drive to arrive for the weigh-in on Friday morning. Finally, for various reasons, he did not fight. Fortunately, the authorities were aware, strict and honorable and did not fall in the promoter’s traps. The Boxing Commission protected the fighter and the fans. It is incredible that even in 2023, these things are happening. I call on everyone to think before you act in every aspect of your life. There may be tragic repercussions. Did you know…? It is so unfortunate that many of the so-called influencer boxing cards are held under zero official supervision. Those events in the U.K. are not sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control and the results are clear. We live in a world in which anarchy rule. There is no respect to authority, rule, and order. Today’s anecdote
One of those unforgettable Sundays at the Miguel Alemán Park baseball field, in the Lindavista League in Mexico City, I connected the game winning double. I was only 10 years old, my emotion surpassed my feelings, and I made fun of the pitcher. I showed off. My dad called me aside, and walked me to center field. “My son, what you just did erased the great moment I lived. I felt so proud to see you win the game, and now I feel ashamed and embarrassed from your acts of arrogance. That kid who is there crying, you trampled on him, and he will be the object of ridicule from all his teammates and even kids in school.” I have never been able to get that image out of my mind. We all learn in different ways, and that day was a life lesson for me.
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