If a man’s memory is judged by the love, estimation and admiration of his friends worldwide, then Don Jose Sulaiman, who led the World Boxing Council for almost forty years, will forever be numero uno!
So many thought the world of Don Jose, and their heartfelt testimonies have combined to create the memorable book: Jose Sulaiman- Lo hizo a su manera!
The who’s who of boxing, but also other stars from different orbits, have affectionately written about the essential character of this exceptional man, who during his lifetime earned a PHD in people.
Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Vitali Klitschko, Roberto Duran, Lennox Lewis, Christy Martin, Sampson Lewkowicz, Julio Cesar Chavez, Sugar Ray Leonard, Carlos Slim, Genaral Kovid Bhakdibhumi, Silvia Pinal, Alberto Reyes, Don King, El Hijo de Santo, Manuel Charr, Carlos Zarate and of course Don Victor Cota, to name but a few.
The gift of friendship is what made Don Jose truly great. Muhammad Ali “The Greatest,” sums it up by relating: “I spent time with Jose and his family in their home. I was always a welcomed visitor…not really treated as a guest, but like family. I was as comfortable in Jose’s home, as I was in my own.
“That’s the way it was with Jose. If he liked you, you were embraced like one of his own.”
Together Don Jose and Carlos Slim created Ring Telmex- Telcel, which identifies, sponsors and nurtures young, developing boxing talent. And there’s also a fund to help elderly boxers live with dignity and health needs met.
Carlos Slim who came to the book presentation at the Four Seasons Hotel, to pay tribute to his friend said: “A few years ago, Don Jose and I started this very important project. We now have twelve world champions. That’s very impressive. We also felt it was essential to support old boxers, and it’s a pride, because we have so many fine champions here in Mexico.
“Don Jose was a great man. Not only professionally, but also personally, with his family and his friends. At the end of the day that has such a great value. We do miss him!”
Flamboyant, brilliant, innovative and mercurial promoter Don King who’s almost eighty five himself, was also there in the front row, to energetically fly the flag for Don Jose. He said: “Boxing was Jose’s life. He would always think of the boxers first. The boxers are the ones who climb up those three steps to the ring and they’re so brave.
“We’re celebrating Jose’s life and its essence. Jose represented and stood for so many marvellous things. But he couldn’t get it all done, so he’s left the job on us, and we must continue to do the good work he was doing. Working together works! Jose was a wonderful man and a great, great friend.”
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman who was accompanied by: “The Love of my Life and my family,” teamed up with his Sister Lucy, to intrepidly do the translating of Don King’s majestic speech.
For Mauricio, what made this evening so very special was: “The memory of my Father smiling and seeing so many friends, the Champions, Don King and remembering my Father on his birthday.
“He always helped the fighters without any pretensions, he dedicated himself to serve boxing, so this is the reality and these are the accomplishments.”