By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán
October 3, 2023 Hurrah! Mexico roared again in Las Vegas! The Mexican Independence celebration was fanfared and reverberated not on the 15th, but on September 30th, with a thrilling demonstration of greatness by the Mexican idol, Saúl Álvarez.
Canelo made a great fighter look ordinary. The masterful, maestro dominance was tremendous. He willed, exerted, and imposed himself against Jermell Charlo and it was impressive. From the moment the first bell rang, he brought to bear constant pressure and connected from round one with accurate power punches to the arms, body, and the head, forcing Jermel to mill on the retreat, obliging him to be reactive rather than proactive.
The man from Guadalajara dominated the ring on Saturday with fine boxing, ruthlessly cutting off the ring and thwarting attempts at the classic style by his American rival, who he put under intense and unremitting pressure. The atmosphere was electrifying at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, USA, with a vocal full house in fine voice as the fans, with a crescendo of chanting, cheered him on and on throughout, with shouts of “Canelo!” and “Mexico!” This lasted from the opening to the final bell. Charlo visited the canvas in the seventh round, taking a knee after receiving an overhand right to the temple and an uppercut which would have finished a lesser man. He took a long deep breath, adjusted his trunks, got up and bravely fought on, trying as he might to weather a hail storm raining down on him.
Canelo`s intense tempo and fabulous condition are a testament to his exceptional preparation, which was extraordinary. His trainer, Eddy Reynoso, must be recognized and praised for this dramatic improvement transition by demandingly taking Canelo Álvarez out of the comfort zone and insisting the champion go the extra mile. The camp was far away from home, the golf bag was, of course, discarded, so the complete focus and total concentration was on the fight. Goals were sought, reached, and surpassed. During the action, Canelo stood his ground and didn`t sit down during the rest minute of any round. It was a crystal-clear message he was going to accomplish a feat of distinction against another undisputed champion in this uniquely historic fight.
Canelo Álvarez is the undisputed super middleweight champion, and he has already announced that his next fight will be the weekend of May 5, 2024. A sensational follow up and follow on to celebrate another traditional Mexican traditional holiday. The card on Saturday night was of superb quality. There was also an interim welterweight championship. The Mexican who lives in San Antonio, Texas, Mario Barrios, defeated the so brave Cuban, Yordenis Ugás, by unanimous decision.
In 2021, I was with the Mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, at a ceremony at the Mexican Consulate in that city to recognize the world champions born there, and on that occasion I presented a medal to Barrios, and in front of his entire family. That day, I predicted that one day he would be WBC world champion. Today it is already a reality.
Something wonderful and totally unexpected happened on Saturday night. Floyd Mayweather Jr. visited Canelo in his locker room to wish him success. We can proudly say that the baton is handed over. Saul Álvarez is the best boxer in the world. On Saturday, a commemorative belt was at stake, the one brilliantly created by artist hands from the state of Puebla in which 12 women dedicated themselves to the beautiful weaving for over two months. In addition, the talavera is worked and painted by hand, the white marble plaque with gold inlays, and the legend “Puebla September 2023.” A masterpiece fit for a maestro.
It is a magnificent standout jewel among a wondrous collection, which are works of art, that Mexico and the World Boxing Council gives to the world. El Canelo is the owner of all of the following: • Huichol 1: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr. (2017).
• Chiapaneco 2: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin II (2018).
• Maya 1: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs (2019).
• Mestizo: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders (2021).
• Teotihuacán: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. Caleb Plant (2021).
• Zapotec Jaguar Warrior: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin III (2022).
• Jalisco Puebla: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. John Ryder (2023).
• Puebla: Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez vs. Jermell Charlo (2023).
This week the long-awaited news was announced: Tyson Fury, WBC heavyweight champion, will face Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO, WBA and IBF monarch. In this fight the division will be unified for the first time in 20 years.
Did you know…? This year has been one of the most important in boxing activity around the world, with great idols winning classics. Naoya Inoue in Japan, Gervonta Davis in the United States, Canelo Álvarez in Guadalajara (John Ryder) and Las Vegas (Jermell Charlo) and Terence Crawford defeating Errol Spence Jr., in Las Vegas, USA. The PBC company, together with Showtime, have generated three fights with box office receipts exceeding $20 million in the last six months! Now come fabulous fights that should not be missed: Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia; David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade in November; Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis, and the legendary, flamboyant Don King will have a spectacular card in Miami, Florida.
TODAY’S ANECDOTE My dad met Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez when he was just a shy, smiling, red-haired freckled child. He won the youth world championship, the NABF, and the silver, and it was then that Don José told us at home, and later he also publicly predicted super stardo, every time he had the opportunity: “This young man will be the greatest figure in world boxing. He has everything and learns in every fight. He has a great corner and his winning spirit is unstoppable. In time, he will teach what a champion will demonstrate,” said my dad.
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