Jan 18, 2014 Sports
GBBC President/WBC executive relay sympathy
A pall has enveloped the boxing family worldwide following the sad news that President of the World Boxing Council (WBC), Jose Sulaiman, has passed away Thursday morning last, in Los Angeles where he has been hospitalized since October with a heart condition. He was 82.
President of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC) and the WBC Caribbean Boxing
Federation (WBCCABOFE), Peter Abdool had worked closely with the late President in attempts to change the fortunes of local pugilists and naturally, was devastated by the news. He immediately dispatched a sympathy message on behalf of both organizations of which he is President. Below is the text of the message:
It is with profound sadness that I learnt of the passing of Jose Sulaiman, President of the World Boxing Council on Thursday in a Los Angeles hospital after a valiant but unsuccessful battle with a heart disease.
The GBBC and WBCCABOFE wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Sulaiman family, the WBC Board of Governors, the WBC Federations and the WBC extended family. Jose was a towering figure in the world of boxing whose absolute dedication to the sport merged with his concern for the well-being of boxers and the tremendous empathy with the poor and underprivileged to significantly change the way in which the sport is conducted. His impact on the sport of boxing is immeasurable and his inspirational leadership will be greatly missed in boxing circles around the world.
On a personal note, he was a mentor and a friend and a man for whom I had great admiration and the highest possible regard. I believe that he shall always be the light of the WBC. And Mr. Sulaiman’s colleagues at the WBC level also expressed condolences on the passing of their former boss:
Jose Sulaiman will be remembered as a man of integrity, honour and a pure heart. Inspired by his heroes, the likes of Nelson Mandela and he believed in unbreakable values and principles and lived life to its fullest and as the legendary singer, Frank Sinatra, would sing, ‘he did it his way’.
Jose is a natural leader who would never give up and his favourite words resonate, “there are no impossible tasks; some will just take a bit longer.” That was the spirit of Don Jose. His life dedicated to the service of others, inspired by solid upbringing by his parents, his education and his way of leading by example, led to a life full of satisfaction. He also experienced tremendous joy in helping others, especially the underprivileged and discriminated.
As such, many refer to him as the father of boxing and indeed, he treated all fighters as children. Their problems were his and he worked assiduously towards the improvement of the sport. Whether the boxer was at the amateur level or the great Mike Tyson or (Julio Caesar) Chavez, he would treat them on par, resolutely offering assistance as the need arose.
He was inspired by the legendary Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II in the fight against discrimination of his charges. He was a fierce advocate of human rights and battled against the dreaded Apartheid system while dedicating time and energy in the struggle against abuse of power. Jose also committed towards dignifying the sport of boxing especially among the distaff group while advocating for justice for trainers, managers, promoters and boxers.
He was also inspired by Pope John Paul II and always credited the Man of the Cloth with making him a better human being, humble and extending profound love. Another Pope, Francis, restored his faith during his months of sickness and he once testified to be God’s representative on earth, 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, while in his ‘corner’ were hosts of medical personnel, doctors, nurses, care partners, therapist, lift team and staff at 7ICU at UCLA even as thousands of supporters and well-wishers from around the world prayed for his recovery. Nevertheless, the final bell rang and our dear friend Jose Sulaiman went out by unanimous decision. íSe descanse en paz! (may he rest in peace!)
Mr. Sulaiman will be laid to rest today and Mr Abdool rued the opportunity to attend the funeral as he was unable to book a connecting flight to the Spanish country at such short notice.
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