On August 20, 2013, legendary boxing promoter Don King and top-rated heavyweight Fres Oquendo congratulated WBC President Jose Sulaiman at Miami’s City Hall as he received the Key to the City of Miami by Mayor Tomás Regalado.
“This was a great ceremony and Sulaiman is one of the guys who does it right in and out of boxing,” said Oquendo, who is currently the WBC U.S. Silver Champion and the fifth ranked heavyweight in the WBA.
During the ceremony, Mayor Regalado highlighted several of Sulaiman’s accomplishments in and out the ring and lauded his efforts to fight for better rules for boxers. After receiving the award, Sulaiman, 82, emphasized his life-long commitment to boxing and the importance of the boxing pension that was created by the WBC for boxers who have fallen on tough times.
Although Sulaiman was the honoree, anyone who knows boxing knows that anytime Don King steps into the room, his presence overtakes it, especially when it’s his 82nd birthday.
“There’s nobody quite like Don in the business; it’s great that he made it to the ceremony, but it was as good a time as any to finally ask him about Stiverne and Oquendo,” said Thomas Tsatas who manages Oquendo.
Since defeating Chris Arreola in late April to become the mandatory for the WBC heavyweight title, Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs), who is promoted by King, has been openly critical of the WBC and its heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. At the key ceremony in Miami, Tsatas pressed King about matching Stiverne against Oquendo for the WBC Interim Championship.
Although King refrained from committing to the bout, the winner between Stiverne and Oquendo would be a legitimate challenger to Klitschko and one that fight fans could get behind.
Obviously, Sulaiman and Mayor Regalado simply looked on with smiles while leaving the rhetoric to the promoters and managers.
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