August 10, 2020

SULEIMEN AWARD 2020

SULEIMEN AWARD 2020

July first will be a day to be remembered, because it was the day the winner of the Suleimen award was announced.

The award was granted by Suleimen Promotions, along with the World Boxing Council (WBC) to honor the memory of Suleimen Akdrashev who passed away, but not before he was named Kazakhstan`s Young Businessman of the year. The Akdrashev family created the boxing promotion company in his name to continue with his dream to support boxers and our beloved sport of Boxing.

Suleimen`s brother Khaliolla, who`s nicknamed Kali said: “Thank you for this opportunity to remember my dear Brother.  He always wanted to create a boxing promotion company and we have fulfilled his dream. My brother used to know all the boxers in their divisions. He especially admired Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and of course our hero Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.”

Hundreds of role model heroes and heroines around the world sent their applications for this glittering award, we want to thank all the people that shared their amazing stories.  A special jury composed by members of the WBC family around the world reviewed every one of them and selected the best twenty-one inspiring cases, and then reviewed all of them again and voted to determine the winner.

Here is a small resume of the 3 finalists. –

Dorian Bostic from Baltimore is a tenacious young man who grew up in foster care.  His Father who was incarcerated, died on January 23rd, had encouraged Dorian to take up boxing. Nicknamed: “Educated Boxer” Dorian who works with kids as part time social worker is a member of Umar Boxing Gym. It`s motto is: “No hooks without books,” urging youngsters to follow the path of education to help book themselves a bright future. As well as giving his free time to training kids in the community to the art of Boxing; Dorian has been studying for a PHD at Walton University.  Dorian says his ambition is to one day win a WBC Green and Gold Belt.  The WBC is sending him a parcel which will contain a badge to stitch on to his trunks.

Karen Liebowitz fought the fight of her life to overcome cancer.  She is now two years in remission and it`s been three years since the first diagnosis.  She underwent rounds of chemotherapy, but her mission started there, initially two days a week to fight back via boxing, while still in hospital. She said: “For me, it was a mastery of the mind, like a dance.  That is what it came down to Box back! I hope I can inspire other people.”  Former WBC Champion Wayne “Pocket Rocket” McCullough helped Karen fight back from fragility fuelled by mental strength, to peak fitness.  Karen said: “It`s a great honor to have been coached by Wayne and “It`s really important to have people, who believe in you.”

Mauricio Sulaiman asked Kara if she knew the story of Danny Jacobs who also survived cancer, and she responded that he was an example to win her biggest fight against cancer. Mr Sulaiman said someday they should get together.

She had a dream to become an Olympic medalist but cancer derailed that dream, but she continued to train for her quest to become a professional boxer and she trains extremely hard each day to be one of the best.

Besides training she works as a florist in New York city and is a community volunteer, serving food to people in need.

Morgan McDonald, who is a recipient of a Heroes for Humanity Award, is a Student Support Specialist at the Lucky Laney School in Minneapolis, where he has created a boxing academy for youngsters. He has helped raise the attendance level at the school by ninety-seven percent.  Although the gym is currently closed due to the pandemic, Morgan has started training sessions in his garage, observing all the health and safety protocols.  He has been arranging lunch and dinners for children, as well as daily training sessions including a three-mile run.  He says his goal is to try and provide for every family in the school. He never charges a fee for his classes and sometimes he puts money out of his pocket to help his boxers continue with their dream.

After seeing their amazing videos and sharing their experiences with all of us on WBC talks segment number 70, the moment that all were waiting for arrived.  The president of the WBC announced, that besides the grand price offered by Suleimen promotions, some members of the WBC family such as Salvador Briman, Teiken promotions and Michael Jackman, after learning about the stories of the finalists offered to donate money to the runner-ups. And the magic moment was when Kara Liebowitz was announced as the winner. She won the top prize of five thousand dollars.  Dorian and Morgan won one thousand dollars each, but besides the money the most important part was that they won the respect and admiration of all the panelists, members of the jury and the boxing family around the world.

Congratulations to Kara and special thanks to Suleimen Promotions to make this award possible.

See you all next year.