Round 12: Boxing's Top Division Re-Adjusts
By Mauricio Sulaimán / Son of José Sulaimán / President of
We started last week with an event which went viral
worldwide concerning the brawl that broke out during the
press conference to promote the fight between WBC,WBO and
WBA champion Saúl Canelo Álvarez vs. IBF champion Caleb
It isn`t necessary to describe what happened, because surely
whoever is reading this column saw it on social networks or
It’s amazing how we just don’t learn in boxing. What
happened could have had major consequences and
repercussions. One of the most important fights in recent
years was put at risk, in which all four super middleweight
belts will be contested.
It is like leaving two children alone in a room full of
candies; it is logical to assume and to know what will
subsequently happen. You cannot leave two fighters face to
face for so long, especially when they have expressed such a
One more black eye for our sport, with so much at stake! A
painful act, followed by insults and words that bordered and
teetered on the lowest imaginable.
The fight will be held on Saturday, November 6, and will
surely be a considerable financial success. Let’s just hope
that there’s sportsmanship garnished with the honor that
characterizes our magnificent and noble sport.
On Saturday there was a big surprise in England when the
Ukrainian hero Oleksandr Usyk defeated the wide favorite
Anthony Joshua in a stadium crowded with seventy-seven
It was all part of a crafty strategy, smart boxing, speed
and heart that Usyk employed in order to take over the WBO,
IBF and WBA belts. Few gave the Ukrainian a chance to win,
as he has been moving up from cruiserweight and Joshua was
considered a great champion.
There is a contract for a rematch, but I saw a Joshua very
demoralized at the end, and it will be a matter of time to
know if he will seek revenge ... or not.
Former WBC world heavyweight champion, also from Ukraine,
Vitali Klitschko, was there in the front row. Vitali is the
current governor of Kiev, the Capital of the country, and he
was a great host during our 57th convention in 2018.
During this convention the WBC announced a modification to
the world champion belt: the Ukrainian flag was added to the
main logo, as a tribute and recognition to the greatness of
that country in the world of boxing.
In just a few years, since there’s been professional boxing
in that country and in all the nations who belonged to the
former Soviet Union, they have managed to crown an important
number of world champions, starting with the brothers Vitali
and Wladimir Klitschko, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oleksandr
Gvozdyk, Viktor Postol and, of course, Usyk.
Now, this October 9, the highly anticipated rematch between
the WBC world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury against the
former champion Deontay Wilder will take place at the
T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. In their first bout, Wilder
managed to save a draw as he dramatically knocked Fury down
in the ninth and twelfth rounds and in the second bout,
Tyson completely dominated Deontay, overwhelming him for a
TKO in seven rounds.
There was always the great expectation of seeing a
unification fight between our champion Wilder, and then
Fury, against Anthony Joshua. Unfortunately, Joshua was
knocked out by Andy Ruiz and now he lost his titles against
DID YOU KNOW…?
There are two current undisputed champions (holders of all
four belts: WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA) today. Josh Taylor, in
the super lightweight division, and the Honduran-American
Teofimo Lopez, in the lightweight division.
In May, we had another fight to unify a division, this time
in the super welterweight division, but it ended in a draw
between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño, and this November
6 the unification between Canelo and Plant will take place.
I was one day in my office in our paper factory, Controles
Gráficos, when I received a call alerting me to turn on the
television, as there was a news in which my father was
When I saw the scenes, I was shocked and tried, by various
means, to locate Don José, until, at last, our friend Don
Majeski, who was with him, was able to communicate with me.
My dad was at the press conference to announce the fight
between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. “My son, I was standing
behind a curtain in a New York theater, talking and waiting
for the conference to start; suddenly everyone who was with
me left and I was left all alone. I began to hear a great
commotion from the other side of the curtain and suddenly a
lot of people came on top of me, throwing me from one side
to another; I hit my head on the table and lost
consciousness for a while, but don't worry, I’m fine,” he
told me at the time.
As it turns out, the promoters had this all planned. Tyson
had to go out on stage and go up to the other side to face
Lewis and get excitement, and thus help sell more
pay-per-view. Obviously, things got out of control. As Tyson
was facing Lewis, an assistant of Lennox prodded Mike, which
led to a tremendous brawl on stage between the two boxers
and their respective teams.
Don José was injured for life after that accident, due to an
irresponsible act of the promoters.