Exclusive Interview with Mauricio Sulamain

Updated: 72 Boxing and MMA

Exclusive Interview with Mauricio Sulamain
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Mauricio Sulaimán Saldivar (born December 30, 1969) is a formidable figure in the international boxing universe, known for his significant contributions to the sport. Since 2014, Sulaimán has presided over the World Boxing Council (WBC), a coveted position that cements his influence in the global boxing community. Shaped by his long-standing association with the WBC, Sulaiman's significant impact on boxing extends from the local rings of Mexico to the world championship stages. This article delves into the life and career of Mauricio Sulaimán Saldivar, painting a picture of the man behind the boxing revolution. 

Life and Early Career

Born into a boxing enthusiast family, Sulaimán gravitated towards the sport at an early age. His immersion into boxing, however, became more definitive when he began working for the World Boxing Council, serving as its general secretary before being elected president on February 11, 2014. 

Interview with Mauricio Sulamain April 2024

This interview covers various topics related to iconic boxers. Sulamain discusses Manny Pacquiao's potential return to the ring and other possible matches like Conor Benn's, touching on the proposed use of six judges for Fury v Usyk and explaining the selection process for them among other topics - read on..

Thoughts on Manny Pacquiao returning?

MS: Manny Pacquiao is an outstanding fighter, and he cannot be considered like the rest. He absolutely has extraordinary elements and is in great shape. I saw him train and he is very happy and positive in many ways so as long as he passes all of the medicals, I would have no objections with him fighting again.

There are certain few fighters who make things happen like Bernard Hopkins at 51 and George Foreman at 45. There are a few examples that are different to the rules, and I would not rule out Manny Pacquiao, he is one of the greats and you can’t doubt him.

What if he fights Conor Benn?

That’s a thing to analyse. You can never rule out Manny Pacquiao or someone like Floyd Mayweather who have that unique element. Of course, age has an element when you are growing old, different things happen to your body, but I would never rule Manny out in all sincerity. 

What’s the update on a possible six judges for Fury v Usyk?

MS: The proposal is there, and we are going to have discussions but in reality, it is hard to make changes in boxing. There is resistance to change and heavy comfort in leaving things as they are and being traditionalists even though we have seen so many fights with split decisions in the last six months and high calibre judges making 116-112 for one fighter and 116-112 for the other last weekend.  

The reason for having six judges is to have more information. The more judges there are, the less possibility of bad scoring that is the reality. If four or five out of six see one winner, then it is more concrete than a split three. 

How will the judges be selected for Fury v Usyk?

MS: The principle for that fight will be that each organisation will appoint one judge or referee and will go through a process that both camps will have a say and a veto and then a process to the final panel. There will be no British and no Ukrainian judges for the fight. 

Could Anthony Joshua be made mandatory for the winner of Fury v Usyk?

MS: Anthony Joshua is a tremendous fighter and has looked better than ever and I am very proud of him. The WBC has made a specific clear path in the heavyweight division where the WBC authorised the undisputed fight with our champion Tyson Fury against Oleksandr Usyk and we authorised a rematch and that is the situation we are at right now. We shall see what will happen. 

Anthony Joshua is in a great position commercially with the tremendous blowing out of Francis Ngannou and he is a very important player in the heavyweight division. He is the number one contender and is in a great position so we will see what happens. 

Are you concerned about Ryan Garcia’s wellbeing?

MS: It’s a complicated topic and matter. We have been in close communication with the boxing commission to confirm all of the medicals and to make sure everything is on board. I have spoken to Ryan and his team but unfortunately, we live in a life where social media has so much power and influence. Social media has been the one bringing problems to the fight but before we never had that, but it is a different world now and we have to adjust to that. We have to make sure that Ryan is in perfect health to go into the ring, and it appears to be so, he is doing the last medicals this week.

I spoke to Ryan about two weeks ago and had a very good conversation and he sent a very nice message to Roberto Duran. This is a different world they are two young kids, and one is very active on social media and has been talking about different topics other than boxing and that’s what has everyone confused. He is a great fighter, tremendous punching power and this has been a fight has been a dream to make for years and now it is happening. He seemed absolutely perfect when I spoke to him.

What’s your thoughts on Mike Tyson v Jake Paul?

MS: I don’t know. Mike is a legend and an unbelievable legend that has so many great things and is outstanding. He had a very ugly ending to his career in boxing, but he was out of shape and in a completely problematic stage of his life. When the world needed entertainment in the pandemic, he stood up and fought Roy Jones Jr. He looked sensational and he did precisely what we all expected – to be an exhibition. He didn’t try to hurt Roy; it was just a nice display of abilities. 

This time with Jake Paul is different. He is a young, strong upcoming fighter with great social media followers and if it is an exhibition then we have to support it, it is good for boxing. So, let’s support it and make it a great event for kids to look up to Mike Tyson and Jake Paul.

Is it dangerous for Mike Tyson?

MS: Every fight is dangerous regardless of age, regardless of anything, one punch can change your life. We do our best effort at the WBC to minimise the risks for all fighters for when they go into the ring. We have changed the sport in the last 60 years with so many medicals, precaution weigh-ins, the 15 to 12 rounds, the weigh-in the day before and the gloves and ring. There are so many things we have introduced that have been successful, so everything is for their health and the benefit of the fighters. Any fight at any level is a concern. 

What does Jake Paul have to do to get ranked by the WBC?

MS: He’s getting there. I believe he is 10-1 and in his last fight he looked dominant, but he needs to increase the level of competition and stay active. I believe he is ready to be entered in the rankings of the cruiserweight division. He is a real fighter but there is one more test to take place and it’s a ratings committee that determines the rankings. It is not me or a small group, it is a big group from all over the world and they have a ratings criteria. What I see is, Jake Paul is on the way to entering the big leagues in boxing.

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