By Mauricio Sulaimán / Son of José Sulaimán / WBC President
It will be difficult for me to be able to summarize in this column what happened this weekend at the Akron Stadium in Jalisco, and everything that took place around this unforgettable great event, which will be marked as one of the most important of the history of shows in Mexico.
Boxing first. What a demonstration of quality Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez gave us, dominating a warrior who came to fight, and who did everything possible to win!
Canelo was cut by an accidental headbutt in the second round and in the third, Ryder suffered a broken nose from a brutal uppercut, connected by the Mexican which caused the rest of the fight to be a total drama.
The amount of blood bathing both boxers was enormous. Ryder went to the canvas, and came close to being knocked out on a couple of occasions, but came back throwing punches and putting on a memorable show.
Canelo retained his WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA belts, in addition to adding to the already large collection of WBC Commemorative belts for him, the “Batalla 5 de Mayo Puebla / Jalisco”, the commemorative trophy awarded to the winner of fights on 5 de mayo and September 16.
Since the official announcement of the fight, a large machinery began to move with elements of all kinds. The promoter of the event was Canelo Promotions and Publicidad y Talento, the producer was Ocesa, who demonstrated its greatness in everything related to shows and security. Televisión Azteca was responsible for television production and for providing the feed to hundreds of television stations and media around the world, thus demonstrating its great capacity for operation and coordination, and our WBC worked hand-in-hand with the Zapopan Boxing Commission to address all medical, regulatory and boxing issues in perfect coordination with the other three sanctioning organizations.
Governor Enrique Alfaro, along with various government departments, in addition to the mayor of Zapopan, Juan José Frangie Saade, and of Guadalajara, Pablo Lemus Navarro.
A variety of activations took place throughout the week, giving the community entertainment and a great sense of belonging after welcoming the boxing world to Jalisco.
Popular activations of our sport were held, fitness boxing in public squares, motivational talks with topics of addiction prevention and anti-bullying. A great tribute to the 27 world champions of the state of Jalisco, and the trajectory and history of my dear father, José Sulaimán. WBC Cares visited the Casa Hogar Cabañas to greet hundreds of girls and boys, as well as special attention to visitors from other countries.
Thousands of people turned to the Degollado Theater, hoping to see their idol from afar and Canelo, with his humanity plus humility, got out of his car and mingled, giving them joy.
Wonderful seeing the largest number of mariachis together, singing the traditional music, heralding Canelo. I will share more of this in following columns.
John Ryder deserves special recognition for his immense courage. He fought 10 rounds with a broken nose, visited the canvas, and was hit hard, but he never gave up, and fought gallantly. Referee Mike Griffin could have stopped the bout without being recriminated, but it would have ended the dreams of the British fighter and the glory of a great event. Ringside doctors monitored, round after round, the condition of Ryder, who was never in any danger, and allowed the fight to continue.
WBC Flyweight Champion Julio Cesar Martinez defended his title with a hard fought 10th round TKO against Batista from Panama.
We are very staisfied with the use of instant replay during both title fights. In the Martinez vs. Batista fight, a knockdown which was called a slip by referee Celestino Ruiz was overturned and ruled as a legal knockdown which prompted the scorecards to be modified to a 10-8 round. During the main event, two instances were reviewed. Canelo was cut on the second round. Referee Mike Griffin could not identify the source of the cut, the review was performed, and the accidental headbutt was confirmed. At the end of 9th or 10th round, Ryder went to the canvas after Canelo threw a heavy shot. Refreee Griffin waved it off and ruled it a slip. The actions in the replay clearly showed that feet were tangled and the punch did not land, as it hit the gloves.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Canelo’s vs. Ryder was designated as the Fight for Peace, within the framework of the BoxVal program, of the pontifex Foundation of the Holy Father Francisco, Scholas Occurrentes.
The WBC has taken BoxVal program to all corners of the world, with various modalities, and this is the second time that Saúl has participated in one of the Fight for Peace events
Canelo’s vs. Khan was the first Fight for Peace, at the T-Mobile Arena. On this occasion, the special prize was a crown of laurels, made by the personal goldsmith of the Holy Father Francisco, Adrián Pallarols, who traveled from Argentina with this beautiful unique piece which depicts ancient tradition.
My dad traveled to Guadalajara many years ago to attend a small club show with a modest promoter who was just starting and begged him to travel to Guadalajara as a special guest.
At the end of card, the promoter has so happy and proud to have Don Jose in his event, and asked him, “Mr. Sulaiman, what would you like to do?” “Dear friend, I have heard that here in Jalisco, there is very good meat.” The promoter nervously asked: “Do you want me to take you to a table dance, Don José?”
“No, no, no, my friend. I’m starving, let’s go to dinner. I want a nice steak.”
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