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WBC 50th Convention Day 2

Sulaiman, 81, to remain as WBC President until 2016

By Boxing Bob Newman

Official day two of the 50th annual WBC convention kicked off Tuesday morning in the Gran Arena of the Grand Oasis Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. More awards were the first order of the day as the awards ceremony from Monday evening’s opening banquet went unfinished due to time constraints.

Among the remaining awards handed out was the lifetime achievement award to ratings chairman Frank Quill for his lifetime dedication to the sport of boxing. Former referee Raymundo Solis was also bestowed with an award for his commitment to the sport of boxing. Among surprise boxing guests at last night’s opening banquet was the first ever female Olympic Gold Medal winner, Nicola Adams of Great Britain who is considering a pro career.

The awards table was then turned, so-to-speak, on WBC president Jose Sulaiman. Several personal awards and mementos were presented to the organization’s leader of the past thirty seven years. One such idol was a statue of a boxer presented by World Boxing Cares Stephen Blea and Rocky Marciano Jr., commemorating Sulaiman’s fighting spirit while at the helm of the WBC. Sulaiman also received a letter commemorating the 50th anniversary of the WBC from U.S. president Barack Obama, which was read by Paula McClellan, formerly of the Kentucky commission.

Sulaiman had been openly considering resigning from his post as this was an election year. After redressing his thoughts in that direction, citing his age (81), wanting to spend time with his family and passion of photography, several members of the WBC board of governors spoke their minds at Sulaiman’s request. International Secretaries Mauro Betti and Edward Thangarajah, NABF president Joe Dwyer and convention organizer Chuck Walker, collectively opined that the WBC and boxing as a whole need the Hall of Fame president to continue on as president. “There are many presidents of organization throughout the world, but none of them possess your leadership,” expressed Betti. A standing ovation said it all, Jose Sulaiman Chagnon will continue on as president of the WBC through 2016. Each officer that held office over the last four year was also re-elected unanimously, with the exception of NABF president Joe Dwyer, who could not, under the rules in place, could not be re-elected after two years. Dwyer was unanimously added to the post of International Secretary. The NABF president post will be voted upon at the NABF convention in Reno, Nevada in 2013.

Topics were then open for discussion, which spanned a great, but common range. Promoter Gary Shaw took the microphone do broach the topic of promoters who repeatedly don’t pay sanctioning fees, as well as the ever increasing use of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) in boxing. Renowned matchmaker Don Majeski spoke to the value of unification fight in regards to the fans. Majeswki did acknowledge that the problem incurred by the unified winner of such fights is the mandatory obligations.

The international boxing visa topic was also reviewed again, with promoters like Gary Shaw asking the difference between the proposed Visa of the WBC and “passports” currently in use in the U.S. President Sulaiman explained that the WBC will be shipping the proposed visas to each WBC member commission, who will then supply their own serial numbers to each form per boxer.

With the sudden and unexpected withdrawal of Cardiff, Wales as the host site of the 2013 convention (due to disinterest by the new local government), it looks as if Thailand is the front runner for the 51st annual convention. However, with a two-year bidding cycle taking the 2014 site into account, South Africa, Dubai and China were also proposed. President Sulaiman mentioned China due to it’s emergence as a force in boxing with newly crowned strawweight champ Xiong Zhou Zhong, as well as Dubai, citing the fact that no boxing convention has ever been held in a Middle Eastern country. South African promoter Rodney Berman stumped for his country, which was the site of the 1998 WBC convention. The board of governors will vote later in the week on the proposed sites.

Fresh off his coronation as “King of Boxing, Muhammad Ali made the trip back to the Grand Oasis Hotel from his temporary residence at the presidential palace to take photos with the members of the convention delegation. Groups of thirty were seated around Ali who was center stage on his coronation throne again. Several hundred passionate Ali fans were able to get the opportunity of their lifetime, and did so in relatively orderly fashion. A screening of the Joe Frazier biopic is set to take place at 6 p.m., followed by the annual WBC talent show at the “Kinky Club” at 8 p.m.

Fresh off his coronation as “King of Boxing, Muhammad Ali made the trip back to the Grand Oasis Hotel from his temporary residence at the presidential palace to take photos with the members of the convention delegation. Groups of thirty were seated around Ali who was center stage on his coronation throne again. Several hundred passionate Ali fans were able to get the opportunity of their lifetime, and did so in relatively orderly fashion. A screening of the Joe Frazier biopic is set to take place at 6 p.m., followed by the annual WBC talent show at the “Kinky Club” at 8 p.m.




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