By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán
July 5, 2023 The most important boxer of the last decade, Mexican Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez, has revealed the details of his immediate future in boxing. He signed with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) to fight his next three bouts in what is sure to be a multi-million-dollar deal. His first fight has already been announced, which will take place on September 30 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, and will be one of the greats against Jermell Charlo, undisputed super welterweight champion, who will face Canelo, who in turn, is the undisputed champ of super middleweights. This is something that has never happened in the history of modern boxing, champion vs. champion, each with their four belts: WBC-WBO-IBF-WBA. This is the new era of Canelo. His fight against Charlo will be one of those confrontations which will remain to be remembered due to its characteristics. Whenever a Mexican fights an American, a tremendous battle is guaranteed. For Saúl himself, his victories against Austin Trout, Daniel Jacobs, and James Kirkland were of great expectation, great fights and with important results in the ratings and business in general for the promoter and the boxers. Who is Jermell? He is the younger twin of the Charlos, his brother was born a minute earlier and is called Jermall, and he is the current WBC middleweight world champion. Jermell won his first championship, the WBC Continental Americas super welterweight, 10 years ago. He also won the IBF in 2013 and won the WBC super welterweight world championship in 2016. This means that he has 10 years of experience in high-level title fights. His record is 35 wins, one loss and one draw. He curiously avenged his loss against Tony Harrison and his draw against Brian Castaño, both of whom he defeated by blunt knockouts. He is a strong fighter, with great boxing and punching power. The only rival in common with Canelo is Austin Trout, and both defeated him by decision. There are many options for Saúl Álvarez after his signing with PBC. In addition to Jermell, there is his brother Jermall Charlo, also the official challenger of the division, David Benavidez. In short, an interesting list of great fights in the future of the Mexican star. What a great time for boxing! The month of July will be full of exciting combats. Likewise, August, September and the rest of the year, both in the male and female branches. The Japanese idol, Naoya Inoue, will try to win his fourth world championship by facing the WBC-WBO champion, Stephen Fulton on July 25 in Japan, and a few days later, the big welterweight fight for all four belts will take place in Las Vegas, USA, between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, a fight that is compared to Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns. After the great Muay Thai event last week in Venice, I had the great opportunity to visit Italy. I went to Milan, Sardinia, and Rome, and I realized something that made me reflect on what is so simple, but that I had never appreciated. There are two things that cause great happiness and when they are present, it changes the mood and life: ice cream and music. Every city in Italy has multiple ice cream places. In all the ones I entered, although there were very long queues, there is an atmosphere of happiness, excitement, and expectation. Everyone is smiling, and even more so when they start to savor their ice cream. The music is in the squares, in the restaurants, in the subway, and in the gondolas. Where there is music there is happiness, tranquility, and harmony. Salvatore Cherchi’s attention has been incredible. A dear friend of my dad, one of the greatest promoters in history with more than 50 years in boxing, and now his sons, Christian and Allesandro Cherchi, continue the legacy of their promoter, OPI 2000. DID YOU KNOW…? Boxing history has given a limited number of brothers who have managed to become world champions. Very few have been monarchs simultaneously. Among them are some boxing greats: Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Gabriel and Rafael Ruelas, Saúl and Rigoberto Álvarez, Erik and Diego Morales, Juan Manuel and Rafael Márquez. There is only one case where three brothers have been world champions: Koki, Daiki, and Tomoki Kameda. And no simultaneous world champion twins, only Jermall and Jermell Charlo. Today’s anecdote We were in Jeju, South Korea, during the Annual Convention and as is the tradition, the night before the opening, there is a WBC Board of Governors dinner. On that occasion it was in a local restaurant, with rectangular tables in an oblong place devoid of interest. My dad came to where Salvatore Cherchi was and told him: “My dear Salvatore, I need to ask you a great favor, it’s something urgent.” Cherchi immediately stood up and agreed to help with whatever it was. “Salvatore, please sing ‘O sole mio.’ Look, this dinner is a failure, and I’m sorry that everyone comes from all over the world. Please.” As soon as the beautiful song finished, they were all standing ready to continue with songs from Japan, South Africa, and “New York, New York” by Sinatra, “Guantanamera,” and even Don José sang “Cielito Lindo.” So, it turned out to be one of the most notable dinners that everyone carries, retains. and recalls in their heart and soul. I welcome your feedback at email@example.com.