I started the year with a very fruitful trip to Los Angeles, where I was able to hold several important meetings to kick off 2018.
I had the pleasure to meet Antonio Villaraigoza, pictured at left, who is a candidate to become Governor of the state of California.
Mr. Villaraigoza loves boxing and has been supportive of our sport for a long time. He will be launching a program which will bring social responsibility campaigns through boxing.
The WBC's Los Angeles office has become a very important asset of the WBC, as it serves as a bridge to be closer to the boxing community, especially the boxers.
This office serves as a platform for boxers – we provide photo sessions that result in high quality photographs that the fighters may use, and this is a gift from the WBC.
Our meeting resulted in the creation of the action plan for 2018 with many interesting things coming soon.
My brother, Pepe Sulaiman is in charge of the office and is continuously in communication with the fighters in the area, amateurs, four-rounders, or world champions! It doesn't matter – this is the WBC family.
I was so happy to meet Israel Vazquez and Jose Ramirez. We celebrated together the Three Wise Kings tradition at the office, and Ramirez' piece of the round cake had the lucky prize – he won a WBC miniature belt!
I met with Dr. Paul Wallace, the WBC Medical Committee Chairman, and we discussed the 2018 action plan. The WBC's success has been based on our interest in medical research and medical studies, which have led to the current rules of boxing – it was through the UCLA/WBC plan that it was determined that rules in boxing needed to be adjusted and changed. Championship fights were reduced from 15 to 12 rounds.
The official weigh in was changed from the day of the fight to 24 to 30 hours before the fight. Mandatory safety weigh-ins are held 30 and seven days before the fight. Six-ounce gloves were abolished. Female fights are scheduled for no more than 10 two-minute rounds, and so many more.
The WBC Nutrition Committee was created last year, and I also met with the Chairman, Dr. Gogglia, to set the plan for the year. He will interact with other WBC committees, as nutrition is such an important topic and is currently being ignored by many. There will be direct interaction with the Clean Boxing Program, because many fighters mistakenly take supplements which could be easily eliminated through a nutrition plan.
The Medical Committee will work hand in hand and the Fight Administration Committee, as everything that has to do with the 30 and seven-day weigh-ins can benefit from a nutritional plan, as well.
I was looking at the WBC lineup for 2018. The numbers are simply incredible. The quality of the WBC champions is humbling: 13 out of the 17 champions are undefeated, and three have only one loss.
The WBC champions' combined record is 529 wins and seven losses!
One of the WBC's priorities has been the support to women's boxing, and we can proud of ourselves for being the organization that has led the sport to find growth in all aspects for women. The two world female boxing conventions were a great success, and it is a fact that 2018 will be a ground-breaking year for these athletes who deserve the television exposure and larger purses.
The WBC will organize the third World Convention for Women's Boxing, and will continue to find ways to support their growth.
I wish everybody a healthy and happy 2018, and Long Live Boxing!