By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC- Son of José Sulaimán
May 16, 2023 – After a week of continuing to celebrate the great event that took place in Jalisco, with the idol Saul “Canelo” Álvarez appearing before his audience at the Akron Stadium, and with so many pleasant moments of reflection, I’m happy to conclude that Mexico is a great country, and when Mexicans put something in mind, everything can be achieved with hard work, passion, and hospitality.
That Canelo ring walk was spectacular, which was acclaimed by millions of viewers around the world. Televisión Azteca produced the signal that reached all corners of the world through more than a hundred platforms. Rodolfo Vargas has become a very important asset for world boxing, with great management and leadership skills. The municipalities of Zapopan and Guadalajara worked in unison to ensure that the previous events during the week generated great expectation and a sense of belonging among all Jalisco. Governor Enrique Alfaro demonstrated his great sense of humanity and gave himself, body and soul, to achieve the collaboration and coordination of all so that El Rey returned home.
I was impressed by the modernity of Guadalajara, with spectacular restaurants and delicious food, entertainment centers, friendliness, and hospitality. I keep singing mariachi songs in my mind and flashes of what that week was like, and that I will never forget. I am sure that we will not have to wait 30 more years for the next great boxing show in our country.
I had the great good fortune to celebrate Mother’s Day with my precious and adoring mom. It is a blessing to have her so healthy and in perfect condition with us. Our family was formed based on unity, love, and respect, and it was my mother who was always and continues to be aware of everything. She is the undisputed boss. My brother Hector gave us a beautiful letter dedicated to Dona Martha. “Mothers are the earth, the seed, the rain that gives life, they are the miracle that creates miracles giving life, they are love without barriers, they are guides, teachers, warrior defenders, sweetness and they are the reason why life flourishes and grows with the purest and most unconditional love. Relentless guardians and are our shelter from storms. They are our Sun and our shade, as well as our Moon and our Light in the dark.”
On Saturday in South Africa, Kevin Lerena beat Ryad Merhy, from Belgium, in a good fight, thus winning the right to dispute the Bridgerweight world championship against the current champ, Lukas Rozanski from Poland. This division continues to produce great results, as all the fights are of great interest, being in themselves small heavyweights who compete with each other with skill and power without giving advantages to the mastodons of boxing’s mother division.
This coming Saturday is so special: the best of the best from Men and Women will meet in the rings of Las Vegas and Ireland. Vegas will host one of the most anticipated fights of the year. The undisputed WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA world champion, the undefeated Devin Haney will face who was The King, pound for pound, just three years ago, Vasiliy Lomachenko. That same day undisputed super lightweight champion Shantell Cameron will defend against undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor. What an unbelievable weekend of boxing.
I traveled to Mérida to inaugurate a gym at the Arrayanes Institute, a very well-established place under the leadership of José Chapur and the great champion Guty Espadas. I was able to greet many dear friends of sports and society in that town, especially Mr. Jorge Carlos Ramírez Marín, Mr. José Manzur, and the two Guty Espadas. This gym is first class, equipped with a ring, speed balls, punch bags, all from the Cleto Reyes brand, and everything necessary to comply with the WBC certification. Now it remains to promote Yucatecan boxing and to find the champions of the future soon.
DID YOU KNOW…? Devin Haney started his career in fights that took place in bars and nightclubs in Tijuana. Devin is the reversed American dream. His father, Bill, trusted our country to take care of them, and thus be able to start his career at a young age. Not being able to fight in the United States because he was a minor, he found a helping hand to develop in Mexico. Many fights took place in Tijuana, many lessons, times of shaping to be a great contender winning WBC affiliated championships. Devin won The WBC World Youth championship, the NABF, The Continental Americas and the Silver championship before winning the interim title, the WBC world title, and now is the undisputed king of the division.
TODAY’S ANECDOTE My mom accompanied my dad on a trip to the Orient, something unusual, and in one of the stops, they attended a world title fight in South Korea. The attention to my mom was as if she were a queen. Already in the arena, she was seated next to the Minister of Sports of that country. Everything was going well until in the third round, Guty Espadas Sr. knocked down the local idol with a crushing right hand, and my mother stood up to shout euphorically, in favor of the Mexican, while the stadium was completely silent before the fall from Korean. Don José turned around and firmly said: “Madam: shut up and sit down please!” Eventually, Guty did not manage to be crowned, the local hero from Korea won. Regardless of that fact, the Minister no longer spoke to my mother a single word. Little by little, in our family we learned that in boxing there are no nationalities, colors or races. All fighters are the same and they are loved in an extraordinary way, regardless of whether they are champion or challenger, and that’s how you feel: a legitimate and sincere pity and respect for the loser, at the same time there is joy, jubilation, and pride for the winner. I welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.