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WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman tells Matt Christie about the health scare that changed his life and the challenges of running the sport’s most famous sanctioning body
MAN OF PRIDE: Sulaiman leads with the way during a Los Angeles stroll with (YDQGHU +RO\HOG /HQQR[/HZLV Wladimir Klitschko and Vitali Klitschko

MAURICIO SULAIMAN has been head of the World Boxing Council for five years, following the death of his father, Jose, in January 2014. The proud 48-year-old Mexican is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in boxing, a sport he clearly holds close to his heart. But with such power comes great pressure, as he discovered in the worst possible way last summer.

You had a very serious health scare last year.

In July, I had a ventricular crisis. I was about to leave to go on vacation with my wife and my three kids to Europe, we were flying to London. While I was at the airport, the pain and my temperature was extremely high and the doctors told me not to get on the plane. Thank god for the temperature because if it was just pain I probably would have got on the flight. I went into emergency surgery and there were tremendous complications. In the end I was in hospital for 20 days.

How serious was it?

I was close to death. I spoke to the doctors after the surgery and if I had got on the flight, they said I most probably would not have survived. My temperature was 104 degrees, my heart rate was 150, as if I was running a marathon. The infection had burst inside of me; I was very ill during the first hour of the operation. From there, I changed my way of living which resulting in exercising. I was a very good athlete until my 20s, and I have rediscovered a healthy way of living. I have changed my day-to-day, I have stopped the abuse I used to give to my bodyand now I have a very healthy life.

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About Boxing News

DeGALE RETIRES – The history-making super-middleweight hangs up his gloves THE EXODUS – Hearn and Warren on why Britain’s best are heading to America MR PRESIDENT – Sulaiman on the daily challenges of running the famous WBC MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including the moving story of Lisa and Gerald McClellan