“Chocolatito” González and the Coach’s Belt

By Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán / President of the WBC

I spent a couple of days within the metropolis of Los Angeles and had the delightfully lucky alternative to satisfy with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, one of many nice present champions, who will certainly be enshrined within the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame through the coming years.

Roman, the Pleasure of Nicaragua, visited the WBC workplace in Los Angeles, California, alongside along with his workforce. He arrived proudly displaying his Diamond belt, which he conquered final weekend, after decisively defeating move-up flyweight champion, Julio César “Rey” Martínez. We coincided and dovetailed this go to, to current the WBC Coach`s Belt to Marcos Caballero, who has been in his nook since Roman´s early days.

This revolutionary trophy was created by my dad a few years in the past, and Stephan Pryor, the son of Aaron Pryor, took the initiative to revive the accolade, which has been greeted in a terrific welcoming approach by the boxing world.

The coach is the inspiration for the boxer’s achievements within the ring. Within the overwhelming majority of boxing careers, they tackle fighters from a really younger tender age, provoke and mature them on this sport and dedicate a lifetime, inclined to paving profitable upward paths.

It’s exactly and essentially there, within the gymnasium, the place the fighter learns the self-discipline, endurance, dedication, sacrifice, craft and approach to use all of it contained in the ring.

The coach takes fighters operating, within the first pale mild and chill of daybreak. All through the years, they develop and refine approach, and are at all times there within the good occasions and within the unhealthy. Many occasions, Coach is a father determine, and the paternal relationship between them is stable and mutually trusting.

What occurs while you win a championship? The boxer receives his world championship belt, along with the glory of being one of the best. Then comes fame, fortune, limelight and alternatives, whereas usually the coach discreetly stays within the background.

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Picture: Nancy Rodriguez

The WBC launched the Coach’s Belt, which is introduced to every coach on the time of crowning a world champion. Alaín Flores, from our WBC workforce, had the sensationally perceptive concept that it’s within the type of a towel, since it’s the picture that characterizes The Coach with the towel draped over the shoulder, within the nook.

After the go to we had a really good meal. Roman and his workforce have been out of Nicaragua for 4 months, getting ready for this struggle and may’t wait to get again house. That may be a morsel of the sacrifice that boxers need to starvation for as an ingredient within the recipe in direction of their important course historical past of success.

Carlos Blandón, who’s the supervisor of Chocolatito, shared with me particulars of this meticulous, arduous preparation that led Roman to sensational victory. Carlos is a lawyer who got here into Roman’s life to raise him and maintain his enterprise pursuits in an exemplary method. Boxing wants extra folks like Carlos.

The popularity of Román and Carlos for his or her promoter is absolute. By far the best within the historical past of the Orient, Akihiko Honda. Mr. Honda has led, guided, nurtured and developed the careers of the best fighters from the nation of the rising solar and a choose elite from different nations to make them fabulously profitable in life, comparable to Genaro “Chicanito” Hernández (RIP), Edwin Valero (RIP), Jorge Linares, José Luis Bueno, Carlos Cuadras and Román are another foreigners he has taken on as a part of Teiken fold. A few of his Japanese heroes have been Oba, Watanabe, Tatsuyoshi, Nishioka and Yamanaka amongst many extra champions and at present helps the sensational duo Murata and Inoue.

The subsequent day I had a chat of greater than half-hour with Kazumichi Hayashi, one of many nice photographers in boxing historical past. Kaz, as they name him within the boxing world, was a correspondent for a Japanese journal, and being primarily based in Los Angeles, he lined hundreds of fights, a lot of them legendary. He photographed Tyson, Leonard, Chavez, Durán, Hagler, and Hearns, amongst others. He married Yunko, and destiny struck them with a coronary heart assault, which left her immobilized simply two months after their marriage ceremony. Kazumichi determined to desert every little thing and solely dedicate his life to the care of his beloved spouse. Fifteen years have handed since that tragic occasion they usually dwell fortunately in Redondo Seaside, California. They make a dwelling distributing Successful gloves, thought of by many to be among the many finest on the earth.

One thing that triggered me a terrific depth of feeling was listening to Hayashi testify that the one one who has been near him, throughout all these testing years, has been Mr. Honda, who has given him a month-to-month pension to assist him along with his life. What kindness, what humanity, what class!

Mr. Honda is named The Gentleman of Boxing, the kindest, most humble, and revered individual in our sport. Together with Mrs. Nagano, 95, who continues to run the Teiken gymnasium in Tokyo, and Akemi Irie, who has been an necessary a part of the internationalization of Teiken and Nobu Ikushima, who’re along with Mr. Honda on this great trajectory. Thanks, Mr. Honda, for at all times being there for individuals who want it!

March thirteenth marked the one-year anniversary of the painful lack of Marvelous Marvin Hagler, an icon and an all-time nice, who died in a U.S. hospital. Right this moment his widow, Kay Guarino, the love of his life, continues to dwell in deep disappointment and mourning. All of us keep in mind this after we mild a candle and marvel in wonderment at his greatness inside and out of doors the ring.

Marvin Hagler was one of many only a few who retired in time, leaving indelibly intact his legacy as an elite supreme pristine boxer. He beat Hearns in essentially the most dramatic struggle in historical past and, no doubt, essentially the most breathtakingly titanic first spherical of all time. He additionally defeated the nice Roberto Duran, and he was principally unconquerable. He misplaced a controversial break up choice to Sugar Ray Leonard and determined to hold up the gloves there after which. He turned down a multi-million-dollar rematch provide, just because he didn’t have to show something to anybody. He by no means once more graced the ring after that mega struggle in 1987.

Do you know…?

Román Chocolatito González is already thought of one of many biggest Latin American fighters in historical past. His nice supply of inspiration got here from the time he was at Alexis Argüello’s aspect, and he has received titles in 4 divisions: Strawweight, mild flyweight, flyweight and tremendous flyweight.

Right this moment’s Anecdote…

I had the nice fortune to accompany my dad on a number of journeys to Japan. It’s a great nation with distinctive customs and beautiful hospitality. On my first journey, on which my brother Fernando additionally went, Mr. Honda and one other promoter named Kawaragi have been with us on a regular basis, taking unimaginable care of Don José. A memorable dinner was on the HAMA restaurant. It was a teppanyaki griddle, all in Japanese, and we have been in awe of each element. My dad was on a food plan, simply as he was every single day of his life. After a number of dishes, it was time for meat, essentially the most scrumptious dish I’ve ever tasted.

My dad had stated firstly that he wouldn’t eat meat, solely greens. When Mr. Honda noticed the best way my dad longingly regarded and smelled because it was being ready, he instantly gave a sign in Japanese. They put an additional plate for my dad and served him meat. Don José turned to see him with an enormous smile, he winked and collectively they burst out laughing.

I recognize the suggestions from him at [email protected]

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