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

(August 8, 2023) – I must have been about three or four years old when my dad first took me to a boxing show, and I remember walking down a corridor seeing the illuminated ring, as well as the rest of the arena in dim light, with smoke everywhere and euphoric people screaming while two men were hitting each other inside the ring.   My first impression was of great shock and considerable nervousness, but as the rounds went by, I calmed down and that’s when the passion for boxing kicked in and took hold for the rest of my life. From that day on, it was my dream to be a boxer. It was usual that on Saturday nights I went with my dad to the Arena Coliseo. I remember approaching in the car and seeing from a couple of blocks away the huge sign in the street of Peru, Number 77, in the heart of Tepito, Mexico City.
We were always the last to leave. I suppose that Don José stayed and lingered to talk with the commissioners, judges, and referees, so that was my great opportunity to go inside the ropes and play as if I was in a fight while making the roaring noise of the crowd. It was time to leave, so I will run to meet my father at the exit, and remember with fear there was only a small door that gave me claustrophobia, since the shutters had already been closed and I felt great relief when I crossed that portal and was in the street.
The Arena Coliseo was for decades the mecca of Mexican boxing. There was a hive of activity every Saturday, and for many years also on Wednesday.   Fighting as the main event in La Coliseo was the consecration of any fighter, and many of the great classics were waged there. Many legendary careers were built there. It was also the home of the traditional Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament, and whoever won that contest could debut in professional boxing scheduled for six rounds!   The Promebox company achieved a successful formula by having the Arena Coliseo sponsored by Modelo, with Corona beer and the Televisa broadcast, and thus Saturday after Saturday, boxing was presented without interruption for 47 glorious years.
Then, the pay-per-view system arrived and Televisa decided to remove boxing from TV, and that’s how the arena closed its doors, and this ended one of the great traditions that is still fondly remembered with great nostalgia.   This past Friday, an enthusiastic visionary young man, Joaquín Arvizu and his company JAP, promoted a card at La Coliseo. It began with amateur fights where the triumph of Güerito de Tepito, a 13-year-old boy of great charisma and popularity, stood out. In addition, eight professional fights, with the main bout starring two-time world champion, Carlos ‘Príncipe’ Cuadras, who’s assured to face the also ex-champion, Pedro Guevara, in a contest that will be the final eliminatory to be the official challenger of the WBC world monarch, Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada.
It was a spellbindingly magical night. When I saw the sign in the distance, a great evocative emotion coursed through me. Among the ebbing and flowing memories were the roar of the crowds, the pungent aroma of beer, but it was here and now and all over again, as El Embudo de Perú 77 … is back. Alive and well! The quality of the fights was excellent and outstanding; It was an unforgettable night.
So, the welcome and longed for, yearned for return of traditional Saturday boxing to Mexico City. JAP and a handful of other companies will try to maintain continuity, and thus return to the fans of our city this beloved and traditional show.   We will be looking to schedule a weekly calendar, with all the promoters who are interested in setting up a card and thus achieving continuity: Fernando Beltrán (Zanfer), Oswaldo Kuchle (Promociones del Pueblo), Juan Carlos Torres (Bxstrs), Pepe Gómez (Cancún Boxing ) Eric Ibarra (TM Promotions) and Cristian Curiel, as well as Miura Boxing, Decision Dividida, Marvnation, Chacales Promotions and La Chiquita González. We are going to make it! Success is within our grasp!
July was an unforgettable month for this 2023, as it has been a great year for boxing, one of the most important in history, with fights that the fans want to see.   This year, four elite champions have lost their undefeated status, and this exemplifies the greatness of the fights that have taken place: Ryan García lost to Gervonta Davis; Josh Taylor against Teofimo Lopez; Stephen Fulton against Naoya Inoue, and last week, Errol Spence against Terence Crawford. Canelo Álvarez drew 60,000 people to the Akron Stadium, and other great fights have taken place around the world:
• The undefeated, with 19 wins, all by KO, Artur Beterbiev dug deep, going the extra mile to halt Anthony Yarde, in England.
• The Mexican Luis Nery waged a war with the Armenian Azat Hovhannisyan, in California.
David Benavidez and Caleb Plant hit it off in Las Vegas.
Shakur Stevenson achieved the status of official challenger by knocking out the Japanese Shuichiro Yoshino.
Devin Haney achieved glory by defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko in a magnificent fight full of drama.
Bryan Mendoza, who was losing all the rounds, dramatically knocked out the “Towering Inferno” Sebastain Fundora.
• Mexican Jaime Munguía conquered the WBC Silver title with a cyclonic close, knocking down the Ukrainian Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the 12th round and secured the victory on the cards.
Badou Jack won the cruiserweight title defeating Ilunga Makabu, in Saudi Arabia.
Great fights are coming: Navarrete vs. Valdez, Canelo vs. Charlo, Haney vs. Prograis, Fury vs. Ngannou, Martinez vs. Arroyo, among many others.   DID YOU KNOW…? Corona Beer threw in the towel and stopped sponsoring boxing after a change of administration. Immediately, TECATE jumped in and knocked out CORONA, and is now the recognized brand in our country and the world as the champion Mexican beer.   Today’s anecdote At the end of each boxing card at Arena Coliseo, invariably Don José went to Sanborns La Fragua, and there he met Mr. Cota, and others who joined for the late night dinner.   How my dad enjoyed his Sanborns coffee and his “Divorced eggs,” accompanied by grilled bolillo! Everything that happened on the card was discussed, and from there ideas were born on how to improve boxing. Those table talks formed, shaped, and created so many changes that were eventually implemented over the years.   I welcome your feedback at
Print Friendly, PDF & Email