Remembering the One and Only JOSE SULAIMAN CHAGNON

 

 

Today, May 30, my dear father, Jose Sulaiman, would have been celebrating his 85th birthday. Don King and Bob Arum were also born in 1931 and it was those three who shared a great era in boxing.

Those years in which Don King and Bob Arum practically dominated the sport and promoted countless boxing cards will remain in the minds of boxing fans forever. Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield and Lewis in the heavyweights. Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, Cuevas, Benitez in the middleweights. Sanchez, Gomez, Chavez, Mancini, Arguello, Nelson, Fenech, De La Hoya in the lightweights and Chiquita, Carbajal, Lopez and Alvarez in the smaller weights. Multiple title fights on the same card and the best fighting the best for supremacy, for legacy...

Boxing was changed dramatically through the implementation of rules, mostly to make the sport safer, but it was not easy. After thorough medical research at UCLA, the WBC decided to reduce championship fights from 15 to 12 rounds. It was when pay­per­view didn’t exist, all fights were aired on free television and TV networks and promoters would lose three valuable rounds of commercials. It was a decision which my father took and had to accept difficult moments of uncertainty, criticism, attacks and humiliation. Today we can proudly say that lives have been saved and boxers can live a different life after they retire.

Weight has and will always be the most difficult enemy for most boxers. Only those who have experienced the severe sacrifice of losing weight to compete at the highest levels can fully understand what a boxer goes through to make the official weight on the scales. Decades went by and the weigh­in was held the same day of the fight, 4­6 hours before the fight. Decades in which so many fighters suffered permanent damage in the process, weak, sleepless and at times defenseless fighters climbing into the ring. The WBC decided to change the official weigh­in to take place a day before the fight. Fighters can rehydrate, rest and focus on the fight. Certainly lives have been saved with this rule. Today fighters must weigh themselves 30 and 7 days before the fight to monitor responsible weight loss and management.

My father was a visionary. He was always thinking about how to make boxing better, how to make boxing safer and make it better for all. He had many ideas and he listened to anyone who would offer concepts that could be implemented for the betterment of the sport. The night before he went into the hospital, we wrote several ideas and concepts of what his plans were for the future. He handed me that piece of paper, from the hotel stationary, and simply said, “Let’s work on these topics once I get back to work...”

There are so many things to do. Boxing needs the hard work of many to keep this great sport moving forward. Boxing needs to get back to basics. Promote, sell tickets, make the fights fans want to see, create heroes, create rivalries, go out and work together. Working together works!

The WBC is determined to implement several programs, to make those ideas and dreams that my father had become a reality and we are willing to take the heat and to be criticized and be bullied by those who don’t share those ideals.

The Clean Boxing Program is one of the top priorities. Drugs and PEDS are dangerous. The use becomes a threat to the opponent and is certainly damaging to the one using them. Heart, kidney and liver failure, cancer, mental problems, those are just a few of the side effects of using drugs. Anyone using is destined to suffer eventually.

The CBP is primarily looking to educate and to prevent. Testing is part of the process and regulating results will be the ultimate part of it. We are certain that the educational process will make the community learn the so many risks involved. There are many cases in which the athlete is not aware and is just following the instructions of handlers – those same handlers that ignore the damage it can cause to the human being.

WBC is pro­Clean Boxing and Fair Play. We will fight drugs and peds, we will fight rabbit punches, we will fight discrimination, we will fight glove and handwrap tampering, we will fight abuse of power, we will fight against mismatches in the ring, we will fight to bring back amateur boxing to the world.

There are so many things to do and these can only be done with the participation and collaboration of all those involved in boxing, in any capacity. There is no room for egos or personal pride. Working together works!

Lastly, Happy Birthday Don Jose ... Te extraño mucho ...By Mauricio Sulaiman Today, May 30, my dear father, Jose Sulaiman, would have been celebrating his 85th birthday. Don King and Bob Arum were also born in 1931 and it was those three who shared a great era in boxing.Those years in which Don King and Bob Arum practically dominated the sport and promoted countless boxing cards will remain in the minds of boxing fans forever. Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield and Lewis in the heavyweights. Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, Cuevas, Benitez in the middleweights. Sanchez, Gomez, Chavez, Mancini, Arguello, Nelson, Fenech, De La Hoya in the lightweights and Chiquita, Carbajal, Lopez and Alvarez in the smaller weights. Multiple title fights on the same card and the best fighting the best for supremacy, for legacy...Boxing was changed dramatically through the implementation of rules, mostly to make the sport safer, but it was not easy. After thorough medical research at UCLA, the WBC decided to reduce championship fights from 15 to 12 rounds. It was when pay­per­view didn’t exist, all fights were aired on free television and TV networks and promoters would lose three valuable rounds of commercials. It was a decision which my father took and had to accept difficult moments of uncertainty, criticism, attacks and humiliation. Today we can proudly say that lives have been saved and boxers can live a different life after they retire.Weight has and will always be the most difficult enemy for most boxers. Only those who have experienced the severe sacrifice of losing weight to compete at the highest levels can fully understand what a boxer goes through to make the official weight on the scales. Decades went by and the weigh­in was held the same day of the fight, 4­6 hours before the fight. Decades in which so many fighters suffered permanent damage in the process, weak, sleepless and at times defenseless fighters climbing into the ring. The WBC decided to change the official weigh­in to take place a day before the fight. Fighters can rehydrate, rest and focus on the fight. Certainly lives have been saved with this rule. Today fighters must weigh themselves 30 and 7 days before the fight to monitor responsible weight loss and management.My father was a visionary. He was always thinking about how to make boxing better, how to make boxing safer and make it better for all. He had many ideas and he listened to anyone who would offer concepts that could be implemented for the betterment of the sport. The night before he went into the hospital, we wrote several ideas and concepts of what his plans were for the future. He handed me that piece of paper, from the hotel stationary, and simply said, “Let’s work on these topics once I get back to work...”There are so many things to do. Boxing needs the hard work of many to keep this great sport moving forward. Boxing needs to get back to basics. Promote, sell tickets, make the fights fans want to see, create heroes, create rivalries, go out and work together. Working together works!The WBC is determined to implement several programs, to make those ideas and dreams that my father had become a reality and we are willing to take the heat and to be criticized and be bullied by those who don’t share those ideals.The Clean Boxing Program is one of the top priorities. Drugs and PEDS are dangerous. The use becomes a threat to the opponent and is certainly damaging to the one using them. Heart, kidney and liver failure, cancer, mental problems, those are just a few of the side effects of using drugs. Anyone using is destined to suffer eventually.The CBP is primarily looking to educate and to prevent. Testing is part of the process and regulating results will be the ultimate part of it. We are certain that the educational process will make the community learn the so many risks involved. There are many cases in which the athlete is not aware and is just following the instructions of handlers – those same handlers that ignore the damage it can cause to the human being.WBC is pro­Clean Boxing and Fair Play. We will fight drugs and peds, we will fight rabbit punches, we will fight discrimination, we will fight glove and handwrap tampering, we will fight abuse of power, we will fight against mismatches in the ring, we will fight to bring back amateur boxing to the world.There are so many things to do and these can only be done with the participation and collaboration of all those involved in boxing, in any capacity. There is no room for egos or personal pride. Working together works!Lastly, Happy Birthday Don Jose ... Te extraño mucho ...

 

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