Nothing could please a father more than for his children to say “my father’s my hero.” This is how WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman viewed his father Jose Sulaiman.
The legendary Jose Sulaiman passed away in June of 2014 at age 82. He was the President of the WBC since 1975 for a total of 39 years. His son Mauricio was then voted in as President. This was not an “inheritance” but something the younger Sulaiman at 45 had earned.
Sulaiman was serving as the Executive Secretary of the WBC. In the past he has been only too helpful and very approachable when I have asked him to comment on officials that the WBC has used for my articles.
The WBC has always led the way in the four organizations which include the WBA, WBO and IBF. Some recognized the IBO as the “outside” organization and they have a good source to go to with 100 boxers listed in each division.
When I do interviews of boxers especially who have been retired I try not to ask them what they are doing today except if they are involved in boxing in some way. Most have gone through all they earned and usually with a little help from their “friends”! Sulaiman and his father have the same thought pattern but being in a position to be able to help these past boxers!
Sulaiman has a degree in Business Administration and as the youngest son in the family has taken over his father’s position in the family manufacturing business upon his father’s passing. He grew up in Mexico and remembers as far back as being six years old following his father and learning the business of boxing. He got to a point where he was making decisions along with his father in recent years. The sport of boxing doesn’t usually work that way with boxer’s and officials but in the case of Sulaiman it’s been a blessing to the sport that he had such an interest in what his father did for the past 39 years.
Sulaiman said he is open to any questions so here we go.
KEN HISSNER: I notice you have Floyd Mayweather listed as champion in both Super Welterweight and Welterweight divisions. In 2013 he only defended the Welterweight title once. Since winning the Super Welterweight title in September of 2013 he fought Marcos Maidana twice with both divisions on the line. How can that be? Maidana is not a Super Welterweight which means Mayweather hasn’t defended the super welterweight title in 16 months against one of the super welterweight contenders since winning it unless you obviously count the Maidana fights. Wouldn’t it be best for Mayweather to vacate the super welterweight tite?
The WBC voted in favor of doing everything possible to make the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight, so there were no impositions of any kind at Welter or Superwelter. Floyd had been fighting at both divisions up and down and the WBC passed a rule accepting dual division’s championship and a tournament has been accepted to keep the activity in the Superwelter division.
KEN HISSNER: The one fight I would love to see is Gennady Golovkin dropping down to Super Welterweight which he claims he could do and fighting Mayweather. The talk continues to be fighting WBO Welterweight champion Manny Pacquaio which means the Super Welterweight title still won’t be defended. Would you recognize a Golovkin and Mayweather title at Super Welterweight?
Such a fight would be a dream match. GGG is a tremendous fighter. There are so many great matches that could be made either in super welter or middleweight involving so many fighters like: Floyd, Pacquiao, Cotto, Canelo, GGG.
KEN HISSNER: In 2014 you established the interim title but only in the Super Welterweight division with Marco Rubio winning it. Now that Gennady Golovkin the WBA Middleweight champion won the WBC interim Middleweight title from Rubio would it be likely that he and the WBC Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto to fight?
WBC accepted the interim title GGG vs Rubio in middleweight. Cotto was granted a voluntary defense which will now take place on June 6. GGG will fight May 15. Both winners will be fighting for the undisputed middleweight crown.
KEN HISSNER: I thought the March 2013 Danny Garcia and Mauricio Herrera fight was a disputed decision with Garcia retaining his title. Garcia hasn’t defended his title since while only having a non-title fight. When I interviewed him prior to the non-title fight I asked him who made the decision to fight Rod Salka who was only 131 in his previous fight. He said his manager. I gather he meant Al Haymon. Garcia is scheduled to fight IBF champ Lamont Peterson in a unification bout but not until April of this year which is 14 months since his last defense. Did his advisors try to get you to put Salka into the ratings for their fight in September and why does he get so long to defend his title?
WBC ordered Garcia vs mandatory contender Postol. They registered a step aside agreement in the WBC which called for Garcia to have a voluntary fight and Postol to fight on the same card. Postol confirmed to the WBC his acceptance of having the Garcia vs Peterson fight as he is also to fight on that card. The WBC ordered Mathyssee vs Provodnikov winner to fight the winner of Garcia vs Postol.
KEN HISSNER: I see you are attempting to have the same division names for all four organizations. The WBA and WBO are willing to go along with it but the IBF are on hold. Is that right?
WBC and WBA have agreed on all 17 divisions. IBF is pending and the WBO is not willing to attend the meetings of the organizations.
KEN HISSNER: Al Haymon and the NBC Sports Network have worked out a deal that Haymon has offered them 20 million to hold 24 fights. This will bring back “free TV” and I understand you have given Haymon and NBC your blessings. Is that true?
Free TV for USA is one of the greatest accomplishments in recent years and the WBC fully supports such as it will generate tremendous interest for new markets and fans.
KEN HISSNER: Argentina’s Cesar Cuenca recently won an eliminator bout in May of 2014 for the IBF junior welterweight title. The IBF informed me in August that the IBF champion Lamont Peterson asked for a waiver on defending against Cuenca and it was granted. Peterson defended against his No. 15 contender in August and in April will be meeting WBC-WBA champion Danny Garcia. Even though Cuenca is the WBO Latino champion the WBO doesn’t rank him nor do any of the other three organizations except the IBF. In 2008 he won the WBC Latino title. Cuenca has a 47-0 (2) record so don’t you think he should be in the WBC rankings?
I think he should definitely be rated. I will inquire the WBC Ratings Committee of his status.
KEN HISSNER: How many WBC world title bouts were there in 2014 as compared to the other 3 organizations?
WBC had tremendous activity in 2014, including 42 world title fights.
KEN HISSNER: Was Wladimir Klitschko ever considered as one of two opponents to fight for his brother Vitali’s vacant title?
The WBC held conversations with Wladimir’s management. We made it clear the WBC was open to have such fight but Wladimir has some commitments to fulfill as mandatories from other organizations and we would not interfere in such commitments. Whenever he is free then it will be an ideal fight to unify all organizations.
KEN HISSNER: Is it you would like to see that there would be one World Champion with anyone else on top in another organization just being listed as Champion?
Yes. We have a proposal on the table to do the tournament of champions and the ultimate winner to be the only fighter that could be called world champion.
KEN HISSNER: I remember Senator John McCain saying that governors should not pick their states commissioners. The WBC got started by the then President of Mexico. Who do you think should choose these commissioners of states and or countries?
Each country is autonomous, so it is their law which applies. Ideally boxing people should be appointed to run state or national commissions and federations. USA for many years has had boxing people running commissions in several states, but others are different. This happens all over the world.
KEN HISSNER: I notice in the WBC Hall of Fame there are 40 boxers listed. My all-time favorite Carlos Ortiz is among them. My all-time favorite fighter from Argentina Pascual Perez is not. How far back do you go in a boxer’s career to consider him for the Hall of Fame?
The WBC Hall of Fame was my father’s dream. It is honorable and we will dedicate 2015 to restructure this great shrine for heroes from the past in the WBC.
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