By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán  

September 26, 2023   We are now entering the final stretch for one of the most important fights of 2023, a year that has been characterized and distinguished for the great fights which have kept boxing fans from around the world entertained and thrilled to see the best fight the best in many divisions.   Saul “Canelo” Álvarez, undisputed champion of the super middleweight division, will fight against Jermell Charlo, undisputed monarch of the super welterweight division.  

It is the first time that two undisputed champions meet in the ring in the era of the four belts: WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF.   This tremendous event will be at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this coming Saturday, the 30th. It will be available on Showtime pay-per-view in the U.S.A. and on many networks all around the globe. The card is full of great fights, including the WBC interim welterweight championship between two former champions, Yordenis Ugás and Mario Barrios; the WBC silver super welterweight title, between Erickson Lubin and Jesus Ramos Jr.; and the WBC Latin championship between Elijah García vs. José Armando Resendiz. Curmel Moton, Floyd Mayweather’s student, will also make his professional debut. The former amateur WBC champion in 2018 will debut vs. Ezequiel Flores, with a record of 4-0-0, three KOs.
The commemorative belt for this battle, scheduled for Mexican Independence weekend, turned out to be a very beautiful piece, the Puebla 2023 belt made by the highly skilled hands of artisans from this State and with the traditional Talavera, with a white onyx plaque.   There are now seven editions of these works of art, a gift from the WBC and Mexico to the world.

Charlo comes to this fight with great motivation, because it is the fight that he has been looking for his entire life. He comes from winning the most important fight after knocking out Argentine Brian Castaño in a rematch, as the first meeting ended as a thrilling draw.   Meanwhile, Canelo held his camp for the first time in the Truckee area, in the mountains of northern California.   He has been seen to lower his intensity in recent fights after the seventh round and with this camp, he is expected to arrive with renewed, reinvigorated physical condition.

Both men are ambitious and highly focused, but have fully respected each other during the press conferences.   This fight does not need needle or insults to heat up the atmosphere. Without a doubt, it is one of the most important currently. Canelo is making the first of the three fights signed with the PBC company and TGB Promotions.   This great card will be broadcast in Mexico on all networks: Televisión Azteca, the House of Boxing; Televisa, who has decided to get back into the ring and return in a big way with boxing programming, and by ESPN Knockout, which brings boxing shows on Friday, Saturday, and any other day of the week, regardless of the schedule of the fights around the world.    Mexico will be glued to the screens this Saturday in what is expected to be a fight for the ages.

On October 28, there will be a big fight in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Our heavyweight world champion, the British Tyson Fury, will face the former UFC heavyweight world champion, Francis Ngannou, from Cameroon/France.   They are two giants that will be seen in the ring of the Middle East, two mastodons where the designation of the strongest man in the world is at stake.

DID YOU KNOW…? The ring has four corners, in two of them are the boxers and the other two are known as neutrals.   For many years there were no corners, that is, the bearings that are placed in each one. They began to be used to place advertising on them.   Also before, it was the referee who decided the winner, there were no judges.   When the judges began, it was then that colors were designated: red and blue.   This was how the Judges could distinguish in order to score the rounds. It has always been tradition for the champion or favorite boxer to go in the red corner.   Canelo came to change that modality since he began to sponsor the beer brand, Corona, which is distinguished by its blue color, compared to Tecate, which is red.   Even though Corona walked away from boxing many years ago, Canelo Álvarez always continues to use the blue corner, as it is his good luck charm.

TODAY’S ANECDOTE Going to fights in Las Vegas is remembering the countless times I was there with my dad.   First, I was involved in the era of Mike Tyson and Julio César Chávez. The fights were at the Hilton Hotel, away from the strip.   Before that, Don José was present at countless fights at Caesars Palace.   When the Mirage was built, which today is the Hard Rock Hotel, it became the center of world boxing until the MGM and Mandalay Bay took over the boxing action.   Upon arriving in Las Vegas, the first stop, even before arriving at the hotel, was to go to the supermarket.   “Mijito, let’s go to the supermarket to buy water for the room.”   Once there, the cart was filling up. I had all kinds of snacks, because my dad was always on a diet, and curiously, he combined the products allowed in each of them: from cheese, pork rinds, and even yogurt and cold meats, and of course, cokes and diet root beer.

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