By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán & President of the WBC
A week in which the news that shook the world saw the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England. It was the end of an entire era.
I had the opportunity to see some reports about her life and it is amazing what she was able to achieve. I invite you to look for some of those programs that are really illustrative, since her experience during World War II and the way in which her destiny brought her to the throne is something that should not be overlooked. An example of resilience, intelligence, wit, tact, diplomacy and dedication. An anchor of stability in a rapidly changing world.
We had a very intense week. We begin with the visit to Mexico City of three legendary champions who have now joined forces in a promotion company which has all the ingredients to be a resounding success, with Roy Jones Jr., Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Márquez. They attended the traditional Martes de Café press conference to present their company, ProBox TV, and at the same time announce their first show, which will be in Cancun in co-promotion with Pepe Gómez’ Cancun Boxing. Also in the company are Antonio Tarver and Paulie Malignaggi. I invite you to download the app to enjoy a wide program of boxing and live fights.
The next day we had the official presentation of the belt that Saul “Canelo” Álvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin are going to compete for in their trilogy. That so special trophy that the winner will take home is the Zapotec Jaguar Warrior Belt, crafted by the skilled hands of eight Oaxacan artists, with the genius direction of master Jacobo Angeles. Governor Alejandro Murat was present to unveil this masterpiece work of art.
It gave me great pleasure to hold this event at the Sports Hall of the Carlos Slim Foundation. It is a place in El Toreo, Mexico City, that has a wonderful museum with unique items from the history of Mexican sport. I invite you to visit it. It is free and it has the history of so many heroes who have brought great distinction to Mexico.
The ceremony was one of the most special that we have had. The folklore dances of the state of Oaxaca, the delicious Oaxacan food that was served, the presence of great champions, Olympic medalists and personalities gave rise to the presentation that had a great impact. This hand-painted work, with an alebrije that symbolizes the jaguar with its claws embracing the belt and the snake represented in the drawings, gives the perfect interpretation of what the Guelaguetza means. It is giving, it is sharing, and this belt is a gift that Mexico, the State of Oaxaca and the World Boxing Council gives to the world.
The next day I traveled to Las Vegas to be at the annual Convention of the North American Boxing Federation, which has been affiliated with the WBC since 1968. This organization is one of the most important in the world, since it represents Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Magnificent champions Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Erik Morales, Saúl “Canelo” Alvarez and many more are in its chapters of history.
It was very emotional to be with great friends, who had not seen each other since 2019, due to the pandemic. Duane Ford, who is the current president, has done a great job, achieving the union of the promoters and activity in the three countries.
Bob Arum was recognized with a video of his career. At 90 years old he is still active and is one of the most important stars.
The sessions were of great value, since the presentations were illustrative of how boxing is faring today. The safety of the fighters remains the highest priority, and a lot of emphasis was placed on everything that has to do with judges and referees.
Jack Reiss gave a great talk about the referee, joined by Jay Nady and Kenny Bayless. David Sutherland did the same about judging, and former DEA agent Rocky Herron enthralled the audience with his talk about the dangers of drugs.
My first steps in boxing were in the NABF. When I finished my Business Administration degree at Tec de Monterrey, my father took me to Dallas to a convention of this federation and there I was elected as vice president in 1994. I am very proud of the NABF. I still hold the VP position.
Starting today, the world’s attention will be on the Canelo vs. GGG trilogy. In this traditional celebration of the independence of Mexico, Las Vegas will dress in green, white and red, Mexico will turn to the concerts of artists, to parties in casinos and streets, but everything will revolve around this combat that has been five years in the making. They have fought 24 rounds, all close and intense, a draw and a split decision in favor of the Mexican, and since only that bell the world has waited to see the outcome. This is the good one, the third, whoever wins gets the glory, whoever loses will be recognized as a great warrior but will live in the shadow of the winner.
Did you know…?
It was the Mexican migrants who, through love for our country and its roots, positioned May 5 and September 16 as great celebrations in the United States. It all started 60 years ago, and little by little boxing began to be part of the celebrations until it became a tradition that the best boxers contest. That date has been honored by Salvador Sánchez, Julio Cesar Chávez, Oscar de la Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, and now Canelo Alvarez.
Julio César Chávez defeated Hector “El Macho” Camacho on September 12, 1992, during the Independence celebrations. It was impossible to get a ticket for the fight; even the singer Luis Miguel called my dad to ask for tickets. Don José never took my mother or my sisters to boxing, but on that occasion, Lucy and Claudia insisted on going, and there they arrived at ringside, the atmosphere was unbeatable. There sat Chabelo, José José, among other Mexican celebrities.
El Macho insulted Julio and Mexico to no end; so, did his team, and … even his mom! In the third round, Camacho hit J.C. with a low blow, and suddenly we hear the screams of women: “You’re a coward” and other rude words that I can’t write, and my dad told me: “What a barbarity! How can ladies say something like that?” Then he looked back, and … it turned out that they were my sisters!
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