By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán & President of the WBC
It was an unbelievable event for the induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, with so many legendary champions in attendance, so many dear members of the boxing community, and countless emotional moments which happened during this three day celebration.
Resort World in Las Vegas was the host for this years’ induction, which gathered together three generations as due to the pandemic, there were no events in the previous two years. 2020-2021 and 2022 gathered together as their legacy has now been sealed into eternity.
2020 inductees: My dear father, José Sulaimán, Clarence “Bones” Adams, Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas, Jose Luis Castillo, Miguel Cotto, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, Danny Lopez, Azumah “The Professor” Nelson, James “Lights Out” Toney, Andre “S.O.G” Ward, Lorenzo Fertitta, Sammy Macias, and Carlos Padilla.
In 2021, only two great figures were selected: Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones Jr.
For 2022: Kennedy McKinney, Vince Phillips, Iran Barkley, Ray Mercer, Michael Nunn, Israel Vazquez, Mia St. John, Gary Shaw, Jerry Izenberg, Hector Camacho, and Bob Foster.
The celebrations began from the moment you entered the Resorts World as there were continuous spontaneous meetings everywhere, with the presence of the champions, hugs, jokes and laughter, the anecdotes of each one of them sprang up, memorable and touching moments in total camaraderie.
The Friday night cocktail was fun and entertaining, but the awards ceremony of Saturday was mind blowing. The red carpet, the setup of the banquet room, and the videos which presented each inductee were amazing.
The work that is performed by the Nevada Boxing Hall of fame is unbelievable. Founder Rich Marotta and current President Michelle Corrales have put together an amazing team of volunteers who dedicate with passion to make everybody feel special.
The NVHOF is about passion, care and recognition to the boxing world, especially the fighters. It is pure and simple. Michelle Corrales is a hero as she hustles year after year to keep this great Hall running. She has maxed her personal credit card, she has put in her own resources, and has worked diligently for many years only to give boxers their due respect and recognition.
Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr., Evander Holyfield, Vinny Paz, Michael Carbajal, Lamon Brewster, Wayne McCullough, Mia St John, Julian Jackson, Chris Byrd, Layla McCarter, Jesse Vargas, Iran Barkley, Michael Nunn, and so many more champions were in attendance, it was Disneyland for the boxing world.
The Green Belt Challenge was a great success, with 25 amateur fights sanctioned by USA Boxing in which all fighters received a medal and a WBC kit, with the two best fighters receiving the WBC Amateur Green Belt. The winner for Outstanding Female Boxer was Margarita Sierra of Houston, Texas, and the Outstanding Male Boxer was Dylan Capetillo of Las Vegas, Nevada.
PBC and TGB have put together a special Sunday Boxing Blockbuster which will air on Fox with a nationwide coverage which puts boxing in a great stage. Former champions Andy Ruiz and Luis Ortiz will go into the ring in a WBC semifinal elimination bout, and Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz will fight Eduardo Ramirez for the WBC silver lightweight championship in an official semifinal elimination bout.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Andy Ruiz became the first Mexican heavyweight world champion in history, on June 1, 2019, at the emblematic Madison Square Garden, as he shook the world by knocking out Anthony Joshua in one of the greatest upsets in boxing history.
Don José had the privilege of leading the organization so that the first heavyweight fight, where the World Boxing Council (WBC) title was at stake, would take place on Mexican soil. That happened on March 8, 2008, in the Bullring of Cancun, Quintana Roo, when Russian boxer Oleg Maskaev staked the championship that he lost to the Nigerian Samuel Peter, by technical knockout, in six rounds. Cancun hosting a heavyweight championship fight with HBO as broadcaster and the extravagant Don King as promoter was a real event.