Once again, for the umpteenth time, El Presidente Jose Sulaiman and his roving band of boxing angels at the WBC have attempted to slide their greedy little hands where they shouldn’t; this time by declaring the Pacquiao – Morales fight a title eliminator. As Bob Arum pointed out, super featherweight Humberto Soto was recently involved in a “title eliminator” in the very same division. How many title eliminators can the WBC have? Just what is the purpose of a title eliminator? Aren’t rankings enough?

Sulaiman has now countered Arum publicly, stating that “the WBC did not choose Soto’s opponent and the elimination bout was not a ‘final’ elimination bout but a ‘simple’ eliminator.”

So now we’re going to have simple eliminators and final eliminators? Oy vey.
Pacquaio fought a title eliminator in his second bout against Morales in January but then fought Oscar Larios and now needs to fight in yet another eliminator to prove he is the fighter most deserving of a title shot.

According to Sulaiman, he’s simply misunderstood: “Manny Pacquiao, the WBC´s International Champion, has not declined his participation in a final elimination bout in respect to the WBC´S ruling and therefore, if he wins, in addition to defending successfully his title, Manny Pacquiao will be declared the official challenger to the super-feather championship of the world, in the hands of WBC champion Marco Antonio Barrera.”

He further adds, ”It was a surprise coming from our friend Erik Morales, for who I have even been criticized as if being my adopted son, and from who nothing but respect should he offer to the WBC; but no surprise is to me Bob Arum’s behavior as he just can’t help it in his insistent nasty comments and his belligerent verbal permanent attitude ,even offending and hurting his own friends, just as we believe that we are. It would not be surprising if he is calling us next Monday for the planning of another project.”

How many truly believe Sulaiman’s twaddle?

It’s business, Sulaiman, nothing personal. There’s no need to come off with the drama like a whiny little school girl who’s been snubbed by the captain of the football team.
Boxing’s sanctioning bodies have gotten far too ambitious, not to mention ridiculous. Between the Title Eliminators, International titles, Youth titles, ABCO, PABA, OBPF, etc., etc., etc….soon, there won’t be enough fighters to wear the belts.

The greater the number of championships available = the greater the potential revenue stream.

What fighter is going to say no to being a champion?

Want a world title? Come up with enough money to pay your way into the rankings, possibly picking up some worthless regional title against a fighter with a losing record, and get ranked in the top-ten. When the time (and money) is right, voila, instant title shot.

But when is enough enough? When will the boxing commissions start freezing out the ABC’s ala the Japanese Boxing Commission?

My first proclamation if I were to change boxing would be to throw Sulaiman out on his pathetic rear end. After that, you could boot Mendoza and his band of brothers, trash what’s left of Bob Lee’s club and just for good measure shut down the WBO, IBO, IBA, WBU, WBF, WBE and any of the others I failed to mention. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the United Nations will pass a moratorium on boxing alphabets.

Hey, I admit, I hate all of ‘em with a fervent passion. They’re a scourge on boxing and for every positive, there’s a hundred negatives. Give me newspaper decisions and The Ring magazine over the ABC’s any day. And before gasping, remember that Ring’s fiasco was three decades ago.

Give me fifteen round fights; I’ll take the old days any day.

The WBC is now implementing open scoring – is it going to make boxing that much better?

I personally don’t think so and feel it’s unnecessary. As a sanctioning body, leave boxing alone. Provide the belt and stay out of the way. Sulaiman is boxing’s Eddie Haskel; brownnosing those who choose to enable him and spouting ridiculous gibberish that only he believes and understands.

Has reducing fights from fifteen rounds to twelve reduced the number of deaths in boxing? In a word, no. In fact, from 1900 onwards, only nineteen deaths have taken place between the twelfth and fifteenth round. There has been no scientific research provided proving a twelve round fight is any safer than a fifteen round fight. Willie Classen, Benny Paret, Davey Moore and Johnny Owens – all of their deaths took place in fights that did not make it to the thirteenth round.

A twelve round fight does fit into the hour-long TV time slot much easier than fifteen though.

Speaking of Johnny Owens, read about the WBC’s so-called insurance program:


Let’s stop frolicking in Sulaiman’s Playhouse and get to the nit and grit – the dough, the bucks, the cash, the dinero – the M-O-N-E-Y. It’s been proven time and time again the alphabet outlaws operate only on a “show me the money” basis.

The World Boxing Council and Sulaiman are often the brunt of jokes and at the center of allegations of corruption and favoritism. While some of the transgressions may indeed be rumor or exaggeration, over the years Sulaiman and his band of gypsies have committed one misdeed after another. If you listen to or read Sulaiman’s persistent rhetoric though, you’d think he’s wearing a halo and wings. But if he steps in to a court of law, it’s difficult for him to twist his version of the truth into anything more than a Nancy Drew novel.

Just ask Graciano Rocchigiani.

Journal of Combative Sport; May 2006
Death under the Spotlight: The Manuel Velazquez Boxing Fatality Collection

Johnny Owen Website
WBC Insurance Program

WBC Boxing