Round 12: Boxing as an engine of life
By Mauricio Sulaimán / Son of José Sulaimán / President of the WBC
The world boxing community joined in prayer to say goodbye to José Fernando, son of our beloved champion Erik Terrible Morales, after his death this past Wednesday. A young, enthusiastic and handsome young man, who is already resting in peace. May God give Erik and his entire family consolation for this terrible tragedy and may the memory of José Fernando be eternal. He will always be in our hearts and in our minds.
We had the closing of the 2021 cycle of the” Knockout: don’t throw in the towel” program, and we visited the Tenango del Valle prison, with the presence of Rodrigo S. Martínez-Celis Wogau, Secretary of Security of the State of Mexico.
This program is the brainwave and the brainchild of the World Boxing Council and Red Viral institution, headed by Dr. Eunice Rendón. It has been an absolute success since its inception seven years ago. It consists of implementing a boxing training program with psychological support, in order to gauge the results. Champions and former champions help by attending motivational talks, boxing clinics and, in this way, they selflessly provide inspiration, hope and a way forward for those who are deprived of liberty. It is an incredible succesful reinsertion program.
During this event, the second edition of the book that bears the name of the program was presented, whose authors are Dr. Rendón and myself. This publication details the results of the program that was carried out at the Nezahualcóyotl Bordo de Xochiaca and Tenango del Valle Penitentiary Center for Social Reintegration during 2020-2021.
The results are overwhelming and life changing. All those who participate, experience a total change in their behavior and in their relationships with their relatives who are outside waiting for them and with their fellow inmates inside the prisons.
Boxing brings discipline, order, and dedication. It generates self-esteem, provides life structure and motivates to improve in all aspects right across the board.
I had the opportunity to chat with some of the PPL (Person Deprived of Liberty), and it was motivating, marvelous and humbling to understand how this process really changes their lives. The relatives of the majority were present, and the coexistence was emotional at times. I am so very grateful to all who have passionately dedicated countless hours to the make this process a succesful one.
Eunice’s team is wonderful, the staff of our organization led by Michel Salomón and the many champions who have accompanied us throughout these seven years. Isaac Bustos, Pipino Cuevas, Carlos Zárate, Lupe Pintor, Chiquita González and many more, who have been an integral part in each of the different chapters of this wonderful experience.
Knockout will continue to grow, other states from mexico will be staring it during 2022 and there are other countries which have been working on trying to implement it , including the USA with the State of Texas with sensational support that TDLR chairman, Rick Figueroa has provided .
Argentina has a wonderful program called “Boxing without chains” with Marcos Arienti leadership , so does Thailand and other countries .
We all have committed mistakes in life, some have done of a greater scale which changed their lives and are paying the consequences, many of them did not get a first opportunity as they were born in difficult circumstances, being in jail is the penalty and we all deserve a second opportunity , so these programs intended to provide such and build bridges to help them find a reason to live and have success once they get back to society.
What a fight !
Devin Haney had a wonderful fight and defeated this Saturday, by unanimous decision, the interim WBC champion, JoJo Diaz at MGM, Las Vegas. It was an entertaining tenacious fight, and the twelfth is already a candidate to be named Round of the Year.
Haney is ready to face George Kambosos Jr., who last weekend shocked the world by defeating wide favourite Teofimo Lopez. The possibility that this great fight takes place in Australia, home of Kambosos, is being contemplated. It would be a great culminating event, with all the belts of the lightweight division at stake.
Concluding The Year
This coming weekend is the penultimate WBC fight extravaganza, when Nonito Donaire, WBC bantamweight monarch, will face Reymart Gaballo, interim champion, in order to crown the
It is a fight between two Filipinos, where there is a natural rivalry. Donaire captured the championship aged 38 and will face the young countryman in pursuit of division supremacy. Then on to the final fight of the year with Artur Beterviev of Russia, defending his WBC Green and Gold light heavyweight Belt against Marcus Browne of the United States. Their fight will take place in Montreal on December 17, less than a week shy of Christmas Day.
I will travel to New York to be present at the annual dinner of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), where the awards that this group gives year after year will be presented to the most ingenious and insightful scribes , and it will be wonderful to be there to accompany Eddy Reynoso to receive an award.
What a great moment this young Mexican Boxing Trainer is going through! And that he dedicates his life with passion and dedication to forming champions in the gym and in life. Congratulations Eddy!
Did you know…?
Our Don José Sulaimán would have completed 46 years of his appointment as President of the World Boxing Council yesterday.
His Presidency, which transformed Boxing, was voted on December 5, 1975, during the World Boxing Council`s 13th annual Convention, which was held in Tunis. It was organized by Taieb Houichi, father of one of our current Vice Presidents, Houcine Houichi.
Fernando Beltran came to boxing and entered through the big door, thanks to his first champion, Erik Terrible Morales.
My dad adored Erik for his boxing quality, his brave heart and for his loyalty to green and gold belt.
When Don Jose spoke of the Terrible, his mouth would fill with pride. “Erik was the official challenger, and he was eager to contest the title and I couldn’t get rid of Beltrán. I called Erik and asked him to trust me, it was important for boxing to allow Daniel Zaragoza to fight Joichiro Tatsuyoshi, in Japan. And Terrible said: “whatever you decide and order, here I am ready. And my dad pointed out: “Besides, Erik, they are going to give you very good step-aside money.” Then Morales replied: “Ah, well I hope so and even with pleasure!”.
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