By Keith Idec
Jose Sulaiman’s audacity knows no bounds whatsoever.
The ever-pompous president of the WBC has scolded Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer for failing to consult the unscrupulous sanctioning organization when the NSAC assigned judges to the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight Saturday night in Las Vegas (9 p.m., HBO Pay-Per-View).
That’s like Floyd Mayweather Jr. admonishing the Las Vegas Police Department for issuing a restraining order after he assaulted ex-girlfriend Josie Harris in front of their children.
For those out of the know, Sulaiman is Chavez’s godfather. Yes, you read that correctly.
The supposedly neutral WBC president, who all but handed Chavez the Mexico City-based association’s 160-pound championship last year, is so close to Chavez’s legendary father he unofficially is part of their family. And he wants to know why he shouldn’t have had a hand in assigning the judges to his godson’s most important fight?
Perhaps because the last thing Kizer needs is another judging controversy three months after the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley debacle in Las Vegas. Or maybe because it’s the fair thing to do.
The ethically bankrupt Sulaiman and his cronies cannot understand why that’s important. At least someone high on the food chain does.
BIG BUSINESS: UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, site of the Chavez-Martinez match, is sold out.
The 19,186 tickets sold established a new Thomas & Mack record for boxing, eclipsing by 35 tickets the former record established by Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in November 1999. Barely more than a mile away, organizers of a competing card that’ll feature a main event between WBC super welterweight champ Saul Alvarez and Josesito Lopez expect a capacity crowd in excess of 14,500 at MGM Grand.
That would account for more than 34,000 fans watching live boxing in Las Vegas on the same night. Imagine what the good Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. (Chavez-Martinez) and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions (Alvarez-Lopez) could do for the sport if they worked together instead of against one another?
SEETHING SERGIO: Martinez admits he doesn’t like Chavez (46-0-1, 32 KOs) because he thinks his upcoming opponent is spoiled, doesn’t prepare like a professional, and has been handed the WBC middleweight championship. It doesn’t help, either, that Chavez’s star power dictated a lopsided purse split.
Chavez’s guarantee is $3 million. Martinez is guaranteed $1.4 million.
Lou DiBella, the Argentine southpaw’s promoter, assured BoxingScene.com, however, that Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KOs) stands to make substantially more money if the fight does well on pay-per-view.