Mauricio Sulaiman column: The State of Amateur Boxing

Mauricio Sulaiman WBC

Out of respect to Julio Cesar Chavez and his family, due to the tragic loss of his brother, Rafael “Borrego” Chavez, we didn’t publish this column earlier. May God bring prompt resignation to Dona Isabel and the rest of the family.

On a happy note, the boxing community of the world has been following Daniel Franco’s recovery. He is out of the hospital and in a rehab center, which is great even when it is heartbreaking to see that he has to fight hard to walk, speak, and continue the process together better.

I was so happy to see a video of Prichard Colon from his mom. Prichard is responsive, and it is highly motivational to see. The love that this family has given to Prichard and the heart from Prichard have responded to the millions praying for him.


Amateur boxing has been lost in the sea with troubled waters and heavy storms without any direction. This process started many years ago, the countless controversies in scoring and performance of referees, the many actions which have challenged the essence of amateur boxing has brought this delicate situation to the correct states of amateur boxing.

AIBA is the international entity which has the exclusive rights by The International Olympic Committee to oversee Olympic competition boxing. That gives AIBA all the power to rule, manipulate and even abuse National Boxing Federations.

AIBA decided to change its foundations and core activity, and started a process to become a multi-tasking entity. Instead of concentrating on administering amateur boxing worldwide and developing amateurs boxers from all 200 countries to make great Olympic competition, AIBA decided to enter the “business” of boxing. AIBA and its affiliates has become manager and promoter on top of being a governing body.

AIBA decided to eliminate the word AMATEUR, and claims amateur boxing no longer exists – well, sometimes they do accept that term, but it all depends on the topic being discussed.

AIBA does not understand that professional and amateur boxing are two different sports. It is impossible to compare three rounds and multiple fights in 15 days to 12 rounds which require two months of training for only one night of action, or to compare the physical and mental advantage that a pro fighter developed through the bouts.

AIBA has centered its decisions and actions purely on business, disregarding the safety of the fighters. Boxing is not a game like basketball, tennis, or golf. YOU DONT PLAY BOXING. High-level professionals must not complete in the Olympic Games.


The WBC started its Amateur Boxing Committee a few years ago, and it has been a great success. Its only intention is to provide a platform to whoever wants to use it. There are so many countries in which amateur boxing has been abandoned, with little or no support from amateur authorities, and WBC Amateur has brought organization and support with sensational results.

WBC Amateur has supported tournaments in Spain, Uruguay, Canada, Mexico, California, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut and just recently supported the New York Daily News Golden Gloves – just to name a few!

The WBC has no interest in interfering with any entity – to the contrary, we try to work together with the national amateur federations. However, it is common to find extreme resistance and boycott.

Mexico is a perfect model of what can be done. The national amateur federation has been suffering for more than 20 years from terrible administration, and this has caused the government to withdraw recognition of the federation. So, the government of Mexico, through its sports minister, Alfredo Castillo, and the National Sports Council (CONADE), created a model called “Academia CONADE.”

The baseball academy has just finished its country-wide process, basketball was a great success, and in August, it will start the boxing academy. Kids from 11 to 16 years of age, male and female, from 14 different states will be able to try out during the academy tour with the optimum goal of being selected to the national team and moving to Mexico City to be housed at CNAR, where they will study and train.

I visited the baseball Academy and played a softball game. I was honored to play with legendary major league player Karim Garcia and Mexico’s National team manager, Edgar Gonzalez.

The WBC has offered full support to CONADE to make the Boxing Academy a great success, and a sensational team is being assembled with Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Carlos Zarate, Nacho Beristain, Karim Bouzidi, and many more champions, trainers and scouts.

The amateur programs implemented by the WBC have been a great success. BoxVal from Pontifix Scholas Ocurrentes Foundation, 2 Nations 1 Dream – Boxing without Borders, SuperLiga in Argentina, Boxing for a Safer Mexico, an amateur boxing program for Wales, etc.

It is just a matter to understand that amateur and professional boxing are different, and one should work with the other – but in conjunction, harmony, and reciprocity, not one against each other.