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Oct 30th
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Home Boxing What Do Brett Farve and Jose Sulaiman Have In Common?
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What Do Brett Farve and Jose Sulaiman Have In Common?

jose_sulaimanThe news coming out of Cancun Mexico, where the WBC was in the third day of the 48th annual convention was a bit of a shock. In the middle of a public meeting, long time WBC president Jose Sulaiman announced that he will resign from his position effective immediately. The announcement brought gasps from the crowd. Long time friend Don King took the microphone from Sulaiman and stated that if this was indeed a fact, he too was done with the sport of boxing. After the outbursts, Sulaiman, King and fellow promoters Tom Loeffler and Ahmet Öner, went back up to Sulaiman’s suite, in an effort to work out what they needed to do to keep Sulaiman in his position. A couple of hours later, the WBC announced that a deal to have Sulaiman come back out of “retirement” and be reinstated to WBC president had been worked out between King, Loeffler, Öner and WBC General Secretary Mauricio Sulaiman.

Jose Sulaiman explained his statement and brief “retirement” was in fact based on the strains of the financial woes the WBC has faced since losing a lawsuit to former WBC light heavyweight champion Graciano Rocchigiani in 2003. The lawsuit stemmed from 1998, when Roy Jones relinquished the title. That set up a WBC sanctioned championship fight between Rocchigiani and former world champion Michael Nunn, a fight that Rocchigiani won. The next day, Jones Jr. stated that he had changed his mind and the WBC reinstated Jones Jr. as light heavyweight champion. They then sent Rocchigiani a letter stating that the awarding the WBC championship to him was a typographical error and that he was never truly considered the WBC light heavyweight champion.  Rocchigiani was awarded 30 million dollars in the lawsuit and the WBC filed for bankruptcy the next day, but faithfully paid the money owed to Rocchigiani, finally paying it off in 2009. Since losing the lawsuit and the bankruptcy, the WBC has had some tough financial times.

Sulaiman, WBC president since 1975, has lead the WBC through some very high times, building the organization from a small sanctioning body to one of the most powerful bodies in the world of boxing. Along the way hall of fame fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Mike Tyson have all been recognized as WBC champions. Sulaiman has also had a lot of controversy, mainly due to his relationship with Don King. One big example was the WBC and WBA’s withholding of the heavyweight title after James “Buster” Douglas knocked out the then invincible “Iron” Mike Tyson in 1990. King convinced both sanctioning bodies to withhold the titles due to what he deemed was a long count by referee Octavio Meyran after Tyson knocked Douglas down in the eighth round. Douglas was back on his feet at the count of nine, but the Tyson camp, with Don King leading the charge, claimed the referee had given Douglas a break, allowing him a few extra seconds to recover before he got up. King went as far as threatening to have the WBC refuse to pay Meyran’s hotel bill if he did not support King’s protest. Both sanctioning bodies backed off of the protest after public pressure mounted against them and Mike Tyson. King and Sulaiman have been tied together in several other controversial bouts and events through the years.

Now that Jose Sulaiman is back as WBC president and the world can continue to rotate on its rightful axis, they have announced future plans. The WBC heavyweight eliminator bout between Ray Austin (Really? Again?), 28-4 (18) and Odlanier Solis 16-0 (12), will take place on December 17, 2010 and the winner will take on WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, 41-2 (38), no later than 100 days after the eliminator fight. Should the eliminator wind up in a draw, and we can only hope, Klitschko would take on contender Tomasz Adamek, 42-1 (27), possibly in the spring of 2011 in Madison Square Garden, New York.

Bob Carroll

From the best in boxing, sports punk rock and the sound of 80’s metal, listen to the Fightin’ Words Radio Network. Monday, 7-9PM, bring you Frank “The Punk Rock Pirate” Carroll with San Clemente Punk, Tuesday, 8-9PM brings Big Dog Radio, hosted by Convicted Artist writers “The Big Dog” Benny Henderson and Bob Carroll, Wednesday night 7-9PM, brings you Sports Tonite with Tommy G., Thursday night, 7-9PM, sees Rock N Sports hosted by Frank Carroll and heavyweight contender Danny Batchelder, Friday night, 8-10 PM put on the parachute pants and mullets as Bob Carroll transports you back to the 80’s hair metal era with “All Hail Hair” and Saturday night from 6-7 PM, the flagship show of the network, Fightin’ Words, hosted by Bob Carroll and Butch is on the air. All shows are also archived on the Fightin’ Words Radio Network show page. To listen to any of the shows on the Fightin’ Words Radio Network, click here


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