Mauricio Sulaiman has outlined the great work done by the World Boxing Council and sponsors Hublot as the President attempts to be a crutch for old champions and fighting legends that have fallen on hard times.
Speaking to WBN just after addressing the NABF Convention in California, Sulaiman revealed how the Retired Fighter’s Pension Fund is giving former ring greats the opportunity to get their lives back on track if things don’t turn out as planned.
“This fund was created through Hublot watches. We did an auction of watches three years ago and one million dollars was raised. We put that money in the Nevada Community Foundation so the WBC does not handle the money and this fund is helping many fighters around the world with housing, medical expenses, medical studies and food as it’s just one of the greatest problems we have at the moment,” he told World Boxing News.
Sulaiman then explained how the fighters and their families go about receiving monetary help once they find themselves in a difficult situation in their lives.
“There is a form and they explain their current situation, what they earn – what they need and that then goes to a selection committee. If approved, then a yearly grant is sent to each case.
“We had Ken Buchanan in the fund last year, Pernell Whitaker, many fighters from all over and every year they have to renew for it to be re-evaluated. From the first year, many of them carry on to the second year as it is a great, great problem.
“We are concentrating on trying to raise more money and have more fighters we can help for more years. It is very sad.”
Initially implemented by his later father Jose, the fund is thriving since its introduction, whilst Mauricio has brought in several of his own ideas since being sworn in as the new WBC chief.
One of those is a completely transparent half-year report on each of the seventeen divisions that lays out the situation as it has been and will be for every full WBC championship.
“The half-year report was something I wanted to emphasize, you know. The WBC has open rules of everything,” Sulaiman stated.
“We can make mistakes, but any mistake is human and in trying to do the best for the sport. So we are open to having everything out in the public.
Meanwhile at the convention, Mauricio said that he spoke about; “Rules, officiating, code of ethics and basically just the plans for the future. Also safety, brain injuries and the medical studies.”