WBC's Sulaiman clarifies comments on battered women
MANILA, Philippines -- World Boxing Councilpresident Don Jose Sulaiman has clarified his statements regarding domestic violence against women, saying they were a "complete misrepresentation" of his feelings.
Sulaiman was quoted by PhilBoxing.com's Ronnie Nathanielsz as saying that while "beating a lady is highly critical, it is not a major sin or crime."
Sulaiman was defending unbeaten boxer and WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was sentenced to 90 days in prison following a guilty plea to a 2010 domestic violence charge.
"I would like to clarify my feelings about some recent comments of mine, and apologize for not finding the right words in English -- there are many times when I cannot find the right words to express what I really mean," Sulaiman said in a statement released to Boxing Scene.
Sulaiman said he is "a strong supporter of women's rights and the protection of women in society," and that he has been instrumental in the development of women's boxing and the protection of women inside the ring.
"In my comments, I just meant to say that I have always been in the corner of all the boxers of the world. They are my greatest heroes and, good or bad, I will always be in their corner," he added.
"I know Floyd Mayweather personally, and I know that he's a good person. I know that he accepted a plea deal for a serious offense, and I did not intend to make light of that."
Sulaiman added that he simply wanted Mayweather to know that the WBC "will always stay strongly in his corner."
Sulaiman's comments was criticized in boxing circles, with WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez planning to hold a press conference to denounce the statement.
ESPN boxing writer Michael Woods said Sulaiman "put his foot in his mouth" and that the comment was "jaw-droppingly idiotic."
According to the WBC rules and regulations, "In the event that the holder of a WBC title is convicted and imprisoned for a crime involving moral turpitude, the WBC Board of Governors shall declare the champion's title vacated."
Sulaiman said, however, that the WBC has not made a final decision yet regarding Mayweather's case.
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