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  Round 12: Memorable Week Of WBC Talks

By Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán / President WBC

Last week was great, and I would like to share a summary of the most interesting of our WBC Talks.

These video conferences we do every day, in English and Spanish, help to keep the boxing community interacting, engaged, learning and having fun, with the many anecdotes, laughter and wonderful stories.

Our chat on Monday with historians Víctor Cota from Mexico, Daniel Alonso from Panama, and Carlos Irusta from Argentina, brought us to select the most of the iconic arenas in boxing.

For Don Victor, it was Arena Coliseo in Mexico, Argentina’s Luna Park in the view of Irusta, and Alonso, the Roberto Durán Coliseum in Panama. And all three agreed about Iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.

An anecdote that I loved from Daniel Alonso told, was that “Manos de Piedra” Roberto Durán was about to go up to the Yankee Stadium ring, and his manager Ray Arcel told him: “Champion, you have to look great; Imagine who`s sitting at ringside … Joe DiMaggio!” And while they were bandaging those impactful hands, Roberto replied: “And which division does he fight in?!”

We also had a panel to discuss the topic of Sport, Faith and Philanthropy. Muhammad Ali’s widow Lonnie Ali, “The First Lady of boxing” was connected, along with Showtime president of sports Stephen Espinoza, “She Is” director Brenda Andress, champion Badou Jack, who won the 2019 WBC Humanitarian Prize, and Scott Welch, director of WBC Cares, from England.

And in Spanish we talked with the wives of the champions Marco Antonio Barrera, Travieso Arce and Carlos Cuadras. It was interesting to see how their lives share a very similar path, of sacrifice, loneliness and sometimes anguish.

We had interesting talks with members of the Amateur Boxing Committee from Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Nicaragua, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico, in which there was a great dynamic for unity and loyalty.

I had a fascinating talk with Julio César Chávez Jr. about his childhood, his dreams, the relationship with his greatest idol, his father, and his tumbles – mainly due to addictions, which he has already overcome. You have a clear vision of what the rest of your life will be like.

In the English session I went toe-to-toe with Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali.

She revealed to us that she was a rebel ever since she was a child, and that led her to face her father on two very delicate issues. She decided not to follow the Muslim religion, and training boxing, but in the end, Ali accompanied her on her way. She has a very active life with a number of health-oriented companies.

We closed the week with two wonderful talks. We had the honor of having José María del Corral, world president of Scholas Ocurrentes, the pontifical foundation of Pope Francisco, Héctor Sulaimán, my dear brother and hero, who is the president of the Advisory Council of Scholas México, Enrique Palmeyro, honorary president from Scholas, and Román Rodríguez, from Scholas Spain.

We saw a video of how Scholas cares for thousands of young people during this crisis and transmits tranquility, faith and a new vision to get ahead.

And an event was announced to be held in Mexico with the presence of hundreds of young people from different states of the country, led by Scholas experts.

The last talk was with … Mike Tyson! What a great moment we lived talking with Miguel, as I have told him since we became friends!

Mike is in great physical and mental shape. His wife, Kiki, was the one who changed his life. He shared with us his love for pigeons, and how he found inner peace; his regret for having tigers as pets, his taste for coconut snow. And when we put up photographs of his 1988 trip to Mexico, accompanying my dad at the WBC Convention on a screen, Mike immediately asked me to send him all of those pictures.

WBC Talks keeps us All Present and Accounted For. God bless you all. Stay positive, active and seek mental health!


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