WBC taps Mauricio Sulaiman as prez

A month after the death of longtime WBC president Jose Sulaiman, his son, Mauricio Sulaiman, was unanimously elected to succeed him on Tuesday in Mexico City.

Jose Sulaiman, who was 82 when he died after a lengthy illness on Jan. 16, had ruled the boxing sanctioning organization as its president since 1975.

Mauricio Sulaiman, 44, had been his father's chief lieutenant for years and served as the organization's executive secretary for about a decade.

When Jose Sulaiman became ill many viewed his son of as the clear successor.

The WBC announced the election results -- 26-0 in favor of Sulaiman from its various federations and board of governors -- on its website and via Twitter. He is the sixth president of the WBC.

"The World Boxing Council will not be the same because Jose Sulaiman is gone, but the WBC has its core and we want to work to follow in the footsteps of my father," Mauricio Sulaiman said in a statement.

Sulaiman said he hopes to continue his father's efforts in the area of ring safety.

Jose Sulaiman was one of the driving forces behind the reduction of championship fights from 15 rounds to 12 in the name of boxer safety, the change of official weigh-ins from the morning of a fight to the day before in order to give the fighters time to rehydrate and the move to institute gloves with thumbs attached.

However, Jose Sulaiman's reign also included numerous examples of the organization ignoring its own rules at his direction, rankings that overtly favored those Sulaiman was close to and an increased use of multiple titles in the same division.

It remains to be seen if Mauricio Sulaiman will seek reform in those areas.