World Boxing Council (WBC) President for Life, Jose Sulaiman, was especially vocal this past week, much to the amusement of many of his critics. In his monthly “Hook to the Liver” column, Sulaiman blasted lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, chastised the handlers of his beloved Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and lamented his current feelings and eventual arrival at the end of the road.
After stripping Martinez of his WBC title to make way for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last January, followed by nearly a year of excuses and broken promises to rectify the matter and mandate a Martinez-Chavez bout, Sulaiman defended himself against Martinez’s December remarks against Sulaiman and the WBC.
“One of the several feelings of sadness that kept me low for a few days was the reaction of a boxer, Sergio Martinez, who blasted the WBC and me with his uncontrollable mouth, when I had always thought of him as a gentleman, after WBC was the one and only that gave to him ALL the opportunities to become what he is,” Sulaiman would state.
Apparently Sulaiman would still classify Martinez “a gentleman” had he continued sitting on his hands (and paying the 3 percent sanctioning fee for the made-up “Diamond Belt”) while Top Rank deftly maneuvers Chavez away from Martinez and the WBC offers little more than empty platitudes and threats. Perhaps Sulaiman really was hurt by Martinez’s comments, but given the reputation that precedes him, it is more likely he is chaffed at the loss of the revenue stream provided by Martinez and the site fees paid to him by HBO.
Sulaiman would go on to chastise Chavez’s handlers for making veiled threats of further avoiding Martinez or other WBC mandatory challengers–all without Chavez’s “published support.” Sulaiman would go on to make his own empty allusion to the option of stripping Chavez in the event his handlers steer him away from the WBC’s mandates. Sulaiman ended his column hinting at a retirement consisting of ridding the sport of the evils that plague it.
And in an obvious “pot, meet kettle” moment, Sulaiman blasted Dr. Wu Ching-Kuo Wu, president of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), over a recent rag-tag fight card staged in Foro Polanco, Mexico. Sulaiman does have a valid gripe with Wu, but when you consider Sulaiman’s body of work (not the glossy list of colorful euphemisms that he has e-mailed to me in response to my questions), it comes off as a pro-life extremist killing a doctor outside of an abortion clinic.
Consider the WBC’s appointment of Guadalupe Garcia, of Mexican descent and residence, as referee of next weekend’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Marco Antonio Rubio middleweight title fight, when you see Sulaiman criticize the heads of other boxing organizations. Rubio’s team certainly did when they sent a letter to the WBC requesting a reconsideration of their choice of referee. Rubio’s team believes that Rubio won’t get a fair shake up against the son of Mexican hero, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
Don’t be surprised if Sulaiman and his cohorts at the WBC agree with a switch in favor of referee/combat insurance agent, Laurence Cole, who is conveniently the son of the head of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation–the state where Chavez-Rubio will be held. Cole, whose insurance outfit is one of the more obvious conflicts of interest in boxing (he provides insurance to the events he officiates, and as previously mentioned, under the commission run by his father), has been a preferred referee for WBC title fights staged in Texas and officiated Chavez’s last fight in Houston.
If you’ve ever seen MTV’s “Jersey Shore”, you may have seen Nicole Polizzi, aka Snooki, fighting with her roommates, or with a drunken night club patron, or perhaps an unwelcome “grenade” that one of her male roommates brings home. Snooki won’t ever be confused with a pugilistic Picasso, but this past weekend she officially fist-pumped her way into boxing with the “Team Snooki Boxing: The Irish Invasion” event held at the Resorts Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The show featured the Hyland brothers: Patrick, Paul, and Eddie, as well as heavyweight fringe contender, Derric Rossy.
The pint-sized Snooki was on her best behavior for the event. She showed up at the hotel conservatively dressed with her equally pint-sized boyfriend, and she didn’t show her underwear once. Nevertheless, after perusing various message boards, Facebook, and Twitter, one can say that fan reception was mixed, to say the least. Her reputation as the spray-tanned, promiscuous, booze-swilling train wreck of MTV’s hit reality television show has some fans waving their arms in a fit of rage over the bad attention she potentially brings to the sport. Supporters of her venture into boxing promotions can say that her visibility, coupled with 4.25 million Twitter followers and 1.25 million Facebook fans brought some much-needed attention to the sport on a slow weekend. The fact that I was able to find a readily-available pay-per-view stream ($9.99 at BehindTheRing.com) to watch “Team Snooki Boxing” (although I did decline to shell out the $10), and was unable to find one for the IBF jr. middleweight title eliminator between Cory Spinks and Sechew Powell, speaks to how much attention the card received.
Snooki may not be able to name five active boxers, but if she can make a few bucks to lend her profitable name to a boxing promotion and help bring new fans to the sport, then it can’t be all that bad. And considering the rabid vermin currently running the sport, can Snooki really do that much damage?
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