WBC Round 12: The Best of 2022 on a Personal Level

12/27/2022 - No comments

By Mauricio Sulaiman – Son of Jose Sulaiman / WBC President

I have to share my special moments of this 2022, both in my personal and professional life, which without a doubt was one of the best years of my life.

On the traveling front, it was a very special one. I got to know some new countries and I also visited some of my favorite places in the world.

My first visit to Dubai, where we have managed to advance in a monumental way in boxing in that region of the world, I had the great honor to meet my now good friend, Abdu Rozik, as we named him WBC ambassador, a lovely young man who has a huge heart and has become very close to me through his angel Jazmin. I also traveled to Albania with Salvatore Cherchi to form the country’s boxing commission under the leadership of Ilir Bregasi, and went to Australia for the first time, one of my dreams since I was a teenager. I went to witness the great fight between Devin Haney and George Kambosos, and I experienced a great country with marvelous hospitality, delicious food and great friendship. The people are very nice, friendly and they love to have fun, but one special ingredient was that I was finally in the land of one of my favorite rock groups, AC/DC. Had memorable moments with Jeff Fenech and his friends, Tony and Angelo, and got to meet so many new friends.

I returned to Japan after several years and enjoyed it like never before. I enjoyed the hospitality of someone who is like my second father, Mr. Honda, Akemi and Nobu. I spent a day in Turkey where Ahmet Oner joined me and we played Backgammon until my flight took off back to Mexico.

I was honored to be invited with my wife to attend Evander Holyfield’s wedding with Shevon Harris in Florida.

I visited Las Vegas several times, Los Angeles, Dallas and New York. I had the opportunity to meet many people and to spend great moments with old mates. My two trips to London were wonderful as I witnessed our world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, sell out Wembley (94,000) and Tottenham (70,000) in spectacular events. A special trip was a flash trip to L.A. as my friend, Said TaghMauoi, Invited me and Egis Klimas to Mark Wahlberg’s home to a private screening of the “Father Stu” movie.

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Regarding my family, we had some complicated health issues, but, thank God, my relatives came out ahead like great champions. We celebrated my beloved mom, who turned 83 and is in perfect condition. My children have excelled in their studies and in their personal lives, and my wife, Christiane, found her place in WBC Cares after many years of hard effort and exemplary work, standing out as a great leader and as great social responsibility ambassador under the mentorship of Jill Diamond.

On Saturday, we had a beautiful Christmas, my mother with my brothers and the grandchildren, we all had a delicious dinner, Christmas music, stories, anecdotes and jokes and the magic of this time felt like it had not happened in a long time.

One of my great passions in life is music. My brothers were my teachers because they played records of the groups that they followed during their studies in Boston; Pink Floyd and AC/DC have been my all-time favorites. That led me to play the drums without ever taking a lesson, this being the space where from time to time I manage to get my emotions out playing my favorite songs.

In this 2022, I had some wonderful events and encounters. For the first time I attended a Carlos Santana concert. It was at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, since my friend, percussionist of the group, Karl Perazzo, invited us, and it was a great experience.

My dear friend, Jose Manuel de la Cruz, thought of me and invited us to the Journey concert and introduced me to singer Arnel here in Mexico City.

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I took my daughter to Las Vegas as a prize for her high school graduation to attend the Bad Bunny concert. I thank my friend, Cesar Guzman, who introduced me to Angel Mejia, who gave my daughter an unforgettable experience. In the fight of the great WBC bantamweight champion, Naoya Inoue, in Japan, the famous guitarist of that country, Hotei, performed during the entrance of the Japanese idol inside the ring, an unforgettable experience to be there with him.

Another boxing friend, Dietmar Pozwa, years ago introduced me to The Scorpions. This year, during their visit to Mexico City, I did not go to the concert because I went to London, but I did have the opportunity to greet them and reaffirm our friendship.

But what was undoubtedly the best of my year was sitting down with my idol, Roger Waters, in an unforgettable chat in the company of my wife. Once again, dear friends, they achieved this magical encounter with Waters. Shelly Finkel, Mark Fenwick, Todd Fox, Rick DeLacroix, Simon Slater, Chris Kansy, Dr. Saadiq El-Amin and Joshua Holland, to all of them my eternal gratitude for making one of my dreams come true. And what a concert! The “This is Not a Drill” tour. My son Mauricio’s first concert and our WBC VP from Thailand, Thanapol Bhakdibumi, also joined me and friends to enjoy a great performance.

At the World Boxing Council, I had great moments and satisfactions, many of them I mentioned in my last column the 12th Round.

In summary, our annual convention in Acapulco was unbeatable in demonstrating the unity of our WBC, our leadership in all aspects of boxing, and an aggressive plan for this 2023. The crowning of 2022 “Bravest Man on Earth” was very emotional, as Bridger Walker passed the baton to Dunia. WBC sanctioned great fights around the world, the Fury fights, the great trilogy fights between Canelo vs GGG and Gallo Estrada vs. Chocolatito, the consecration of Devin Haney by conquering glory at lightweight, Naoya Inoue becoming undisputed in bantamweight, the sold-out crowds at Madison Square Garden and the O2 Arena with a women’s boxing match, it definitively was a great year for our WBC and world boxing. And of course the Guinness Record largest boxing massive class in the history at Mexico City’s Square “Zocalo.”

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Having succeeded in the rehabilitation of former champion Miguel Angel Gonzalez after months in the clinic and now seeing him clean and sober is also one of the greatest highlights of 2022.

Julio Cesar Chavez celebrated his 60th birthday in a sensational party with old time friends and family, and he also received the National Sports Award from the hands of Mexico’s President.

Did you know?

I was always a good athlete. My passion was baseball. Since I was a child, I was a good catcher, pitcher and home run hitter. In soccer, I was a great goalkeeper inspired by my idol Miguel Marin, and my dad never let me play football. I had the great fortune to represent Mexico in the youth baseball world cup in Panama.

Today’s anecdote

My dad did not accept in any way that I played the drums when he was at home and he did not let me play the music at high volume, obviously his musical taste was classical music, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra.

One day my dad came home from work and I had Pink Floyd at full volume with a song from the album, The Wall, which has a psychedelic intro with very strange sounds (Empty Spaces), when my dad comes in he yells at my mom, “Martha, Martha, something is wrong with the washing machine, come check it out, quickly!”

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