suljosblog.com
4, 7, 2020

Round 12: Fathers in boxing


 


By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán – President of WBC

We just celebrated Father’s day all around the world .There are those  who are still fortunate enough to enjoy their dads  in this life. If so, then it`s  time to hug them, kiss them, talk to them and thank them for everything they have done, even though this might have to be virtual due to the terrible pandemic the world is suffering,  the rest of us will be meditating and talking with our Old Man looking up top the sky, even though he is no longer physically here with us.

Being a parent  is the maximum responsibility that the human being can have. It is also the greatest satisfaction and joy.  I will never forget the feeling of seeing my three children born. That moment changes your Life  completely And forever.

Congratulations to all! Although we are in a very singular  situation with humanity, we must celebrate big. Life is beautiful and there are so many things to value and appreciate.

Boxing is a sport that currently observes an important activity of the father  in the development of their children’s boxing careers. It is very common to see dad as the son’s/daughter`s coach, and in many cases, in the  corner.

But this dynamic was not always so much the case. In the 1950s Moisés Torres, the great national champion, burst on to the scene and he did have his father Renato in his corner. This is one of the particular examples that the great teacher-historian, Víctor Cota,  shares with me.
Thanks to the collaboration of Don Majeski from New York’s and one of the  finest boxing historians, we foud some isolated cases from the origins of boxing in England, with the case of Dutch Sam, a boxer who eventually trained his son Young Dutch Sam, in 1840; Barney Aaron and his son Young Barney Aaron in 1850. Back in the United States, there is another case with Emile Pops Coulon who  brought his son Johnny Coulon to the world championship in the first decade of the previous century.
In Brazil we find Aristedes Jofre, who trained Éder Jofre, legendary three-time world champion in the 1970s.


In my opinion, I consider that in the past, there was a different organization in the world boxing community. The gyms had a perfect structure, and there came the youngsters, who put themselves in the hands of the coaches, who in many cases, took that paternal image before the fighters.

It was a golden age for boxing coaches around the world, as gyms were Highly respected and had a great sense of belonging,  with the boxer-coach relationship considered  as  sacred.

In the 1970s, more fathers began to appear training their children,  they were boxers themselves and, in this way, they extended  their lives and dreams  within the  great sport of boxing, being trainers and managers filled that void which often causes terrible depression to those who retire from the sport

They found in the gym the way to stay alive in sports and in life in general. There are other  cases, from recent history of the 80’s and 90’s  where the father – as coach and corner – of the fighters was found. Lenny Mancini with his son Ray Boom-boom Mancini, Floyd Patterson with his son Tracy; Anthony Mundine with Tony, and Pat O’Grady, who was on Sean O’Grady’s corner.

For the World Boxing Council it has always been a subject of concern and debate. The natural presence  of a father for a son and the enormous pressure that such creates , he feels he must do whatever it takes to satisfy the father hopes and expectations, this  leading the boxer to sacrifices beyond human limits during a fight.

Fortunately, many things have changed in boxing, and this concern has already been attended by the new dynamics of the referees and the different boxing commissions, as well as their doctors to have the guidelines and take action to stop the fight, when necessary.

In the past, there were fights that had to be stopped by the corner itself, but that didn’t happen which led to tragic incidents, or on the contrary when the protective parents stopped fighting too early.

During this century, many of the champions have had their parents with them,  since their first steps in boxing and this has  grown into a magnificent father-son relationship. Some examples are: Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, the three Kameda brothers, Wilfredo Vázquez, Chris Eubank, Guty Espadas and many others. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his relationship with his father has been one of the best known.


Today we can see very clear examples of parents with absolute influence in the corner of their children. Vasyl Lomachenko has his father as the corner boss; the same one who has also crowned other champions such as Oleksandr Usyk and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Shawn Porter has a wonderful relationship with his dad, and Danny Garcia, with his dad. And  a couple of years ago, there was a fight where they both had their fathers in the respective corners, and even though that was the subject of great additional rivalry.

There cannot be a higher satisfaction for a father than seeing his children succeed , same goes to a son to see the pride and happiness of accomplishing the tasks that make them proud

HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL

I appreciate any questions or suggestions at contact@wbcboxing.com