Body Shots by WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán
By Special Report on Doghouse Boxing (Feb 9, 2011)
From the office of WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán:

The following is one of the weekly columns - now called “Body Shots” - by WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From February 6, translated from Spanish:


By José Sulaimán

I would like to follow what is known of boxing and the foundation and participation of the WBC. The more science advances in the study of the cosmos, I am most marveled with the continuing universal mystery, with an overwhelming majority, including Einstein, believing that the only explanation could be the existence of a Superior Being, who we call on earth the Almighty God.

Boxing appeared in the immeasurable matter called time - does time exist? - of thousands of millions of years, and what is that? Through the homo sapiens, considered the first human beings on our planet, as the beginning of the fifth evolution of the earth, who started boxing-wrestling from their imperious need for food, women, and becoming the leaders of the tribes, all of which was done for their need of life, contrary to today, when fighting all over the world today is done by diabolical minds with the only reason to destroy the material, the mind and mankind.

Concentrating ourselves in an infinitesimal measure of time on earth, a stone with two naked men with bare hands confronting each other, was found in Ethiopia in Africa 12,000 years ago, as a show of boxing as a spectacle or way of physical confrontation after the era of the cavemen, followed with hieroglyphics found in Egypt, a bronze in Mesopotamia, and history in Crete and Greece, where boxing was one of the first four sports at the Olympic Games which then continued at the Circus in Rome where boxers fought to the death with taped and steel gloves, to jump after the middle ages, about 300 years, to Great Britain at elite gentleman clubs, to continue after governmental prohibition of boxing in barns, ships, fields and the like, with advertising only by word of mouth, to jump next into the USA and afterwards, the world.

If I think about the millions of years of our planet in the universe and the birth of life at the second evolution in earth, and we compare them to the time of boxing and the over one century in America, I will have to conclude that I am nothing and will go someday into nothing again, as the bible says: “Dust you are and, dust you will become.” But while we go through our time in boxing during this infinitesimal part in history, I must extend my profound recognition to those who thought in the foundation of the WBC to devote their best efforts for safety and unity in our sport, with the first world boxing convention ever in 1963 in Mexico, with the attendance of 11 constitutional nations.

Before our time, history says that the first champion of “the world” was the Englishman James Figg, but next came the authentic first world recognized heavyweight champion in John L. Sullivan, who used to K.O. every “son of a beach” in all the bars of New England and New York, until the day, after his prime, when he confronted Gentleman Jim Corbett with two-ounce gloves for the first time, to lose his title and hang up the gloves. James Jeffries became the super idol with an undefeated career, and retired as a champion to come back 10 years after retirement to fight the terror of the heavyweights, Jack Johnson, who sent him back into retirement with a K.O. win and gain a deep discriminatory hate in those years of inhuman racism. Muhammad Ali himself told me once that Johnson was his idol in boxing. Jack Johnson, used to go to parties and pride himself with the company of beautiful white women, for which he was sent to jail by a racist judge who stated in his ruling that it was intended to send a warning to all the black people in America.

After Johnson came many boxing heroes, like the charismatic Jack Dempsey, the great “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis, who knocked out the German Max Schmeling to provoke a phenomenal act of outrage to Adolph Hitler, who saw Schmeling on the canvas as a defeat of his supreme Aryan Race. Sugar Ray Robinson became in his career, with Muhammad Ali, the two that are considered as the greatest boxers in the history of the sport. Robinson used to travel with about 30 people - his hairdresser, his cook, his secretary, his musical group and even his favorite clowns. Sugar Ray became one of my dear friends and told me once that at the time, the only fighter in the world that would have stood up at his time was the Cuban-Mexican José “Mantequilla” Nápoles.

I cannot leave without mentioning the only simultaneous three-division world champion Henry Armstrong; the golden Jewish Benny Leonard; the French Georges Carpentier, “The Orchid Man,” who was the only boxer ever to fight from the flyweights to the heavyweights – he was also the love of Edith Piaf and the hero of France and Algeria, his birth country; the great Willie Pep, who fought his hated enemy Sandy Saddler several times, with whom all boxing rules were always broken; the great Joe Gans, who for me was very close to the heights of Ali and Robinson; Rocky Graziano, whose life was shown in a movie called “Somebody Up There Likes Me;” Jake La Motta, the “Raging Bull” played in a film by Robert De Niro; and so many other great boxing heroes that would take long to mention, but who left their names with golden letters in their passing through life, but all who lived at times when boxing was a legalized savage and bloody sport.

I have mentioned a part of the times before the constitution of the WBC in 1963, almost 50 years ago, that I will try to remember in a different occasion, but I cannot close without mentioning that the WBC, apologizing for my immodesty, has built itself into the premier and most respected boxing institution of the world with its dedication to change boxing from its savage past to one which is today a more humanized sport, where safety, equality and opportunities for all with disregard to race, nationality, or religion, without exception.

Thank you for reading my thoughts.

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