The following is one of WBC President Jose Sulaiman’s weekly “Hook to the Liver” columns that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From March 24, translated from Spanish:
By Jose Sulaiman
It is difficult for me to understand the aggressive society of today, when in politics, as well as in everyday life, all are against all; countries of brother blood fighting amongst each other; it’s just human nature.
We must pause to consider that we come from cavemen, clothed in animal skins, who fought for food, women, and for leadership among the tribes, so nothing has changed.
But, today it is done in smoking jackets for French dinners, democratic elections for good or for bad; with Lincoln limosines, instead of walking in bare feet, and for women scented with Chanel perfume and silk luxury dresses. The matter is that fighting was, and still is, a way of life … to get what we want.
Boxing then, is a natural sport for the liking of the masses. It started with fighting for food but today, it’s for TV, the breaking records, of live gates and TV ratings.
There have been popular boxers who have made super millions, like Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr., both earning more than 50 million dollars in a fight !!! The conclusion for me is that boxing is a natural life sport which will never be killed. It is known to have taken place first in Africa, 8,000 years before Jesus Christ. Then followed throughout Egypt, Mesopotamia, to land in Crete and Greece, where it was one of the four original sports of the Olympic Games. It then jumped to Rome in the Roman Amphitheatre with fists of steel, to then get lost in the obscure misty darkness of the Middle Ages.
It then reappeared in Great Britain at the Elitist Clubs, escaping to fields and on board ships, to get away from the Police, after it was forbidden.
It then leapt over the Atlantic to land in Boston and New England, where the first ever Champion of the World appeared in the name of John L. Sullivan. After, this is spread worldwide.
Therefore, boxing has no owner. It belongs to the whole wide world, beloved by boxing fans all over our planet earth. It is the most natural activity of mankind. Boxing is something that nobody can kill because every remaining human being will keep it close to heart. It’s a sport for those who love it with all our soul.
Yet, ther have always been people who are only for in boxing for the business, or those who with arrogance who want to take it all for themselves, even if they destroy it, for their vested interest. This we will NOT allow.
There are two powerful forces today that are extremely dangerous. Those who only go for the money without any scruples, even with boxers, and those that are in it only searching for money, as AIBA is looking today apparently with the full support of the IOC, which is heading to practically destroy amateur boxing, which is at its lowest ever, and without which professional boxing could not survive.
Professional boxing is today in a dangerous confrontation among powerful TV enterprises. We cannot deny their importance for boxing, as they’re taking it into the homes of all fans around the world. But via their economical power they can control the sport, leading it to wherever they want and choose. The cream of promoters and boxers, that the WBC among others make, dictate what fights they want and to the hell with the boxing organisations!
Floyd Mayweather Jr. moves to Showtime, even when he had fought always for HBO. HBO wants to get even. Manny Pacquiao, who was with Golden Boy, goes with the rival promoter Top Rank.
Who can forget the enmity between Bob Arum and Don King? But when they needed each other, like that time in Montreal for the fight between Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran, those great promoters suddenly fell dearly in love only to put the gloves back again right after the fight ended.
The four main organizations of boxing have a concensus. The salient factor that will lead boxing to an extremely serious condition is if there’s no mutual agreement or respect for the organisations’ justice, rule and order.
Boxing can be led in no more than 25-50 years to destruction by becoming a simple spectacle, with smoke, music, girls, and all that attracts people who care less for boxing as a sport, yet all for TV and the money.
On the other side, there’s AIBA – the traditional sports Olympic organisation who know nothing about boxing. It has removed the “A” out of amateur to jump into professional boxing, and has started a C Minor League WSB, with teams like a Mexican selection formed with foreigners who probably could not beat a four-round boxer. They have interfered against the sovereignity of the nations to force them into changing their laws, substituted by AIBA’s, and decreeing that no boxer can fight in the Olympic Games unless they are registered with them. A clear Monopoly. All others are vetoed, which is a clear restraint of trade.
They also have the right to approve or decline the elected members of the commissions of the nations. The nations lost their autonomy and their right of decision – Long Live AIBA !!!!!!!
But the worst of everything is that there is an apparent intervention of the IOC to have AIBA do all those illegal steps. The IOC is behind AIBA.
IS it what the IOC wants? To become the one and only King of the sport of boxing, just like it seems that IOC is doing with other sports?
Well, I am sure that they are threatening, for what may be a 12 round battle.
Thank you for reading my thoughts.