WBC Boxing – Round 12: It’s Now or Never

02/21/2023 - No comments

By Mauricio Sulaimán – Son of José Sulaimán & WBC President

On February 20th, but 30 years ago, the world of boxing experienced one of the most important, spectacular and memorable events in its history when Julio César Chávez, the great Mexican champion, packed Azteca Stadium with 136,274 fans, acquiring the Guinness Record for the boxing card with the highest number of tickets sold in what was an unforgettable day for all of us who were fortunate enough to be there, or to see the complete feat on television.

Chávez TKOd Greg Haugen in five rounds, and here is the link for the exclusive note with a lot of information and special photos: https://wbcboxing.com/en/wbc-60-30-anos-de-poker-de-ases-chavez-vs-haugen/

This incredible event from 30 years ago inspired me to write my column of today.

Now or never.

It’s time for fight fans to get the fights they want to see to be confirmed and promoted, so many great ones have been delayed for various reasons. It is not correct to say that there are culprits since there are many factors involved in big promotions, but it is high time to demand that all those involved agree and make them happen.

Promoters, managers, TV networks or streaming platforms, and also the fighters themselves must fulfil their commitments to the fans, put aside their egos and positions of power, to reach an agreement and sign the fights.

Boxing is going through the worst estrangement crisis between promoters. This puts the integrity of the sport at risk, and also complicates the administration of world championships, creating a very complicated scenario for fights to take place when one boxer is with one company and the other fighter has signed for another. This is the time to turn it around and bury the hatchets and make the fights.

Who Won? Cyrus Pattinson - Jenkins Fight Results

Looking at the fights that the WBC ordered for 2023, it turns out that a promotion company has decided to take six boxers to fight for another organization, declining the world championship fights, vacant titles or final eliminators that were ordered. Their explanation is that they cannot do business with other promoters.

If this trend continues, perhaps the rankings will have to undergo a change in the system, since it is impossible to rank fighters who are not available to fight for the title due to their promoter’s disputes and policies.

Back to what matters. What are those big fights the world wants to see in 2023?

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship with all four belts at stake (WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA).

Deontay Wilder vs. Andy Ruiz, final elimination fight to determine the official challenger of the division.

Arthur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith, WBC mandatory Light Heavyweight.

Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, undisputed champion of the super middle division, who will defend his four championships against John Ryder in Mexico, coming back homer after 12 years. It would be tremendous that the winner fights the winner of David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant.

Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford for the undisputed welterweight championship, with four belts at stake (WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA).

Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko, defending his undisputed lightweight championship.

Any combination of great lightweight fighters: Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz, Shakur Stevenson and a few others. *When I originally wrote the article the Davis vs. Garcia had not been announced, so there is good news already!!!

Mauricio Lara: “Leigh Wood deserves a rematch; he gave me an opportunity without being mandatory”

There are already some contracted fights that will take place in the following months, among which stand out:

Naoya Inoue vs. Stephen Fulton, for the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship.

David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant, for the interim WBC Super Middleweight title.

Ilunga Makabu vs. Badou Jack, for the WBC Cruiserweight title.

Errol Spence vs. Keith Thurman, WBC mandatory fight.

Katy Taylor vs Amanda Serrano 2.

2023 has already begun with great action, and even Fight of the Year candidates! Beterbiev vs. Yarde was dramatic, so was Serrano vs. Cruz and the instant classic of Nery vs. Hovhannisyan.

This past Saturday, former world champion Luis “Pantera” Nery gave us a tremendous fight and dramatically knocked out the Armenian warrior Azat Hovhannisyan in 11 rounds, for which he earned the right to dispute the world title against the future super bantamweight champion, which will result from the contest between Inoue vs. Fulton.

Hovhannisyan is such a brave and intrepid warrior. He received a lot of punishment, but he never stopped coming forward, and he also hurt Nery. It is one of those fights, where the corner had to intervene, it was dramatic to see the attrition that the Armenian was subjected to, and that is where careers are shortened if the boxer is put at risk.

Mauricio Lara traveled to England to knock out Leigh Wood, coming from behind on the scorecards and landing a huge left hand. Woods corner must be praised for stopping the fight, there is always tomorrow to come back in boxing.

Uruguayan Middleweight Amilcar Vidal Prepares For Showdown Against Elijah Garcia On Saturday, March 4 Live On Showtime®

Did you know…?

Don King is undoubtedly the greatest promoter in history.

In addition to his legendary events “The Rumble in the Jungle” and “The Thrilla in Manila,” Don King promoted an enormous number of events over two decades in which he scheduled three, four and even five world championship fights on the same card.

DKP cards were amazing events with fights of great importance. Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chávez, Azumah Nelson, Jeff Fenech, Terry Norris, Julian Jackson, Ricardo López and other champions who fought on the same card. Every year a series of mega events happened.

Don King promoted a show in the early 2000s with eight world championships, which is a Guinness Record.

Today’s anecdote

Julio Cesar Chávez defeated Hector “Macho” Camacho and managed to become the Mexican idol of the sport. That led to his next fight being at the Estadio Azteca. Don King was having a meeting at Televisa to close the contract, and after more than ten grueling hours, they were deadlocked on a $100,000 issue.

Then my dad, who was an honorary witness to the meeting, gave his opinion and offered a suggestion to arrive at a solution: “Dear friends, there is no way to unblock this mess. I think what you should do is solve this the Mexican way and toss a coin.” Don’s eyes widened and he exuberantly said, “Let’s do it!”

Don Emilio Diez Barroso won the toss from Don King, they shook hands and signed the contract to achieve that historic plus fabulous event that we celebrate today 30 years later.