(NOV 21) This week WBAN had an
opportunity to talk with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman about
the highly successful and history-making WBC Women's Boxing
Convention that took place in September of this year, and his
thoughts, hopes and what he feels may be the future of the sport
and other issues.
Photo by Alma Montiel/WBC
Sue TL Fox:
In the history-making first WBC Women's Boxing Conference that
took place in September, how do you feel that may have or will
impact the sport?
Mauricio Sulaiman: am certain it has already made
the impact, even greater than expected. Every single fighter who
was present realized what they truly are and what they have been
all along---true athletes, heroes of their communities, cities,
countries… role models, true champions…..Boxing promoters have
set their eyes on female boxing and 2015 will show greater
exposure in the USA and other important markets…..
Fox: What would be the most important
aspects of the convention that you feel came out of the WBC
Women's Boxing convention?
Sulaiman: First and foremost the commitment for
safety. There is no compromise to it and the WBC will
continue to safeguard the integrity of the fighters.
Medical research will be conducted to address the pressing
topics which are trendy, such as 12 rounds and 3 minute rounds.
I do not see any medical data providing assurance it would be
safe, but don’t want to seem biased….. The facts that were
presented are hard data from experts. Female fighters get more
concussions than male fighters, menstrual cycle has tremendous
physical effects on the body and plenty more…...
Fox: The WBC has said on the website that
they plan on launching business and marketing plans for women's
boxing---can you tell us more about how that will happen? What
are your hopes in progressing the women in the sport?
Sulaiman: Yes, there is need for professional MKT
to get the word out about female boxing. We need to
gain exposure in the media, we need to reach those who have
never seen a female fight, and to those who have never attempted
to do so.
Fox: Why do you think that women's boxing is
going so strong in Mexico, and other parts of the world, but
that we are not seeing that support in the United States?
Sulaiman: Because the few persons who make
decisions do not trust it. I am sure most of them
have never seen a female fight and are set on perception and
prejudice. Once TV opens a slot for a female fight, once
promoters give it a try, then things will start to roll.
Mexicans can fight! non-stop action, bell to bell but with class
and technique, determination and will….. so can Japanese,
Fox: Have you seen or heard any changes
in attitudes by the boxing community after they attended the WBC
Women's Boxing Convention about their commitment to support more
female boxers either on their cards, more exposure, etc?
Sulaiman: Yes, many comments, and even promises by
promoters and managers. But also the girls have performed! The
door opened and now they must perform and continue to bring such
spectacle and it has happened ….Martha Salazar in Heavyweight,
Europe, Mexico, all over, it has picked up very nicely….
Photo by Pepe Rodriguez/WBC
At the Convention, Oscar de la Hoya was put on the spot by
Christy Martin about women boxing being supported by his
promotion company--do you foresee after the convention that we
may see some "Golden Girls" in this Golden Boy Promotions?
Sulaiman: Yes, I am certain Oscar will give female
fighters their opportunity to shine. He is a man of word and he
is a visionary. He is going to be able to sell female
boxing and capture a captive audience which will generate much
needed attention to the sport.
Fox: Is it troubling to the WBC that your
female champions, i.e., the latest example being Alicia Ashley
defending Jackie Nava) are having to travel to the challenger's
home country, rather than having the advantage of defending
their title at home?
Sulaiman: That is not related to female boxing, it
happens in male as well. There are champions who cannot afford
to put a promotion and have to go out and make the money at the
challengers home. But in female boxing, it is more evident
because there are very few promoters capable of putting a female
card today, but that is changing.
Fox: The first WBC Women's Boxing Convention
was highly successful this year, are there future plans to have
another one? and if so, would it be in Mexico again, or possibly
the United States?
Sulaiman: I am inclined and will confirm 2015 and
want to have it every year …. we will need to find a site which
will make it possible.
Fox: I know you have no crystal ball about
the future of women's boxing, but in your opinion or thoughts do
you believe that there is a viable future for the sport?
Sulaiman: Female boxing has arrived to the big
leagues. It has been there all along, but this is a great
opportunity to take the momentum created and capitalize.
Fox: Do you see more WBC Championship fights
taking place in the USA, versus many of them in Mexico?
Sulaiman: Yes, the USA will grow and Mexico will
continue to grow---there is so much talent!!!!
Fox: If there is not anything that I
asked and you would like to add any comments please feel free to
Sulaiman: I have spoken to many, active and
retorted fighters who were in Cancun and I am so happy to see
that they feel their lives have changed. Laura Serrano met me
today in Las Vegas and she brought tears to my eyes, that is
just one example. They all are our champions and we will
grow together and one day we will look back at September 2014
and remember with nostalgia those unforgettable days.
Mauricio, WBAN would like to thank you for hosting the highly
successful history-first WBC Women's Boxing Convention and
bringing all of the women boxers and others in the sport to that
event. Also, for giving WBAN an opportunity to
interview you about the sport, the future of the sport, and your
hopes in what you think about where we are going in the sport.
"Thank you very much, You as a person and as media outlet have
been instrumental in making female boxing better, you have been
an inspiration to the WBC to continue to work hard day after day
and to keep knocking on doors.."