Mauricio Sulaiman column: Mandatories and more addressed at upcoming WBC convention

The WBC’s 54th Annual Convention is fast aproaching, and I am so exited about it!

The special memorial that has been prepared for The King of Boxing – The Greatest, Muhammad Ali – is going to be spectacular. I have been in communications with so many champions who will be attending, many of the current champions and many of the all-time heroes: The Mayor of Kiev, our own Vitali Klitschko, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Naseem Hamed, Julio Cesar Chavez, Roberto Duran, Jeff Fenech, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr., and so many more champions who will all be honored by the WBC.

Our medical committee will have some very important presentations, including our program from UCLA with Dr. David Hovda, who will update the works on prevention of injuries; the Clean Boxing Program special presentation and action plan to make a stronger awareness program to help educate athletes on PEDS; the Women’s Boxing program, which is a reality. Judges and referees will have their annual certification seminars, which includes some important measures to find uniformity and excellency in officiating .

For the first time at our conventions, there will be a panel of boxing trainers who will discuss in an open forum some of the most important aspects of boxing and its relations in the gym. Weight monitoring, hand wrapping, sparring pros and cons, and how to monitor and limit such, rehydration, etc.

The Talent Night is all ready and it promises great fun. The “Low Blow Band” is ready to perform along with Russ Anber’s magic, the performances of Mia St. John’s daughter, and Roberto Duran’s son.

One of the most important topics is, of course, mandatory title defenses for each division. As 2016 is ending, we see with great enthusiasm the fights which have been confirmed for the first quarter of 2017 and they create huge excitement: the Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs. Carlos Cuadras rematch, Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Mikey Garcia, the Badou Jack vs. James Degale unification with the winner fighting Callum Smith, the Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs unification, and the recently announced blockbuster Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman unification.

I am very optimistic about the future of boxing. There is important activity in many areas of the world, boxing is booming in the U.K. , and there are several regional heroes who have brought people back to follow our great sport. I am certain that all who have interest in boxing are determined to do the right thing and make sure the fights that the fans want to see will be made – fans are the ones who own the sport and fighters are the ones who must make the best of their years in the ring.

Amateur boxing needs to find a new path, and this will happen one way or another. Amateur boxing exists, and millions of kids need to have such platform to form their future.

I can’t wait to see the WBC family together at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, on December 11th to create together the plans for the future of boxing .