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WBAN goes One on One with WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman!
by Sue TL Fox
November 21, 2014
Photo: Pepe Rodriguez/WBC


(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, Argentinean...

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

Fox:   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 comment further.

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.." 

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