Jose Sulaiman will be remembered as a man of integrity, honorability and pure heart. Inspired by his heroes, believed in unbreakable values and principles and lived a life to the fullest and he did it his way, as Frank Sinatra would sing on "My Way".
Always successful, a natural leader who would never give up, "there are no impossible tasks, some just take a bit longer". That was the spirit of Don Jose. His life dedicated to the service of others, inspired by his parents education and example, led to a life full of satisfactions, he took tremendous joy by helping others, specially the underprivileged and the discriminated.
Many call him the father of boxing; he certainly treated all fighters as his sons and daughters, he suffered from their problems and worked every single day of his life to try to make boxing better and safer. Regardless if the boxer was an amateur or if he was Mike Tyson or Chavez, he would treat them the same and would relentlessly try to help each one at all times.
Nelson Mandela inspired him to fight against discrimination, battled Apartheid and always struggled to prevent the abuse of power, which hurt the lesser gifted. He led many actions towards dignifying the sport of boxing, the female practice of boxing and the justice for trainers, managers, promoters and specially boxers.
Pope John Paul II inspired him to be a better human being every day and to be humble, to serve and love. Pope Francis brought faith back to him in these few months as God's representative on earth and the Virgin of Guadalupe remained by his side at all times while Jesus Christ was his greatest guide and inspiration.
Our dear father fought the last 12 rounds of his life, inspired by his hero Muhammad Ali, his corner formed by many doctors, nurses, care partners, therapist, lift team and staff at 7ICU at UCLA and with thousands cheering him from all over the world...
The final bell rang; Jose Sulaiman, winner by unanimous decision!
Born May 30, 1931 in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Sulaiman has spent his life in the sport of boxing. He boxed as an amateur as well as serving as a trainer, promoter, referee and judge.
However, he is best known as an administrator for more than three decades. At the age of 16 he was on the boxing commission in Valles San Luis, Potosi, Mexico. In 1968 he joined the World Boxing Council (WBC) and quickly moved through the ranks. On December 5, 1975 Sulaiman was unanimously elected president of the WBC and served in that capacity until his death.
Under Sulaiman's leadership, the WBC has instituted many new rules and regulations regarding boxers' safety and welfare. Among the changes are reduction of world championship bouts from 15 rounds to 12, the official weigh-in 24 hours prior to each bout, the creation of intermediate weight divisions, creation of the World Medical Congress, introduction of the attached thumb glove and funding of brain injury research programs at UCLA. During Sulaiman's tenure, the WBC has sanctioned over 1100 title bouts and 300 boxers have won world titles. Truly a worldwide organization, Sulaiman has expanded the WBC's global reach to now include 161 affiliated nations.
Outside of boxing, Sulaiman, who spoke Spanish, English, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese and French, successfully operated a medical supply company in Mexico.