Pound4Pound, Boxing News


  Round 12: Manny Pacquiao
& The Welterweight Division

By Mauricio Sulaiman / Son of Jose Sulaiman / President of the WBC

This coming Saturday, August 21, Manny Pacquiao will step into the ring in search of a triumphant return. He was scheduled to fight WBC and IBF world champion, undefeated American Errol Spence Jr.

Unfortunately, during the mandatory exams that boxers must undergo, an injury was detected in the retina of Spence’s left eye and he had to undergo surgery, which is going to keep him out of the ring for some time. Now, Pacquiao will face Cuban Yordenis Ugás.

I received an emotional letter from our champion Errol Spence Jr., in which he thanks the World Boxing Council (WBC) for giving him the support to keep him as champion; the easy way out would have been to sanction Pacquiao vs. Ugas for our title. Or also to open an interim, but it was not like that. The WBC ratified support for him, and the medical report was satisfactory, so he will return to the ring as soon as healed and safely possible.
The welterweight division is perhaps the most talented at the moment, and there are a lot of fights that could take place in the months and years to come. Hopefully the promoters will get it right and they will give the fans what they deserve: the greatest fights.

· Errol Spence Jr.: WBC and IBF world champion
· Terence Crawford: WBO champion
· Yordenis Ugás: WBA champion

Other talents in the division: Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia, Vergil Ortiz and Keith Thurman. All are world class fighters.

The welterweight division is the one of the fans’ favorites, as it has the combination of speed, skill and punching power. Legendary champions made their careers in this division: from Sugar Ray Robinson to the current champion Spence Jr. We remember some of the greats in chronological order: Emile Griffith, Jose Mantequilla Napoles, Carlos Palomino, Wilfredo Benítez, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Durán, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar de la Hoya, Tito Trinidad, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, among many others.

Other great welters were Mexican Pipino Cuevas and American Tommy Hearns.
Coming back to Manny, his career has been one of the most brilliant. With a 62-7-2 record and 26 years as a professional, he is the only one who can said he has titles in eight different divisions.

Pacquiao began his championship path by winning the Pacific Federation (OPBF) WBC regional belt in 1995, and in 1998, he conquered the WBC world flyweight championship! He had so much trouble making weight that he moved up three divisions to super bantamweight, where he won and then defended his WBC International title six times (1999-2001). Fate led him to fight in the U.S. and he won the IBF belt. Later, moving up to featherweight, he drew with Juan Manuel Márquez in the first of four epic bouts with him.

Manny managed to position himself globally the day he defeated Érik Morales to win the WBC International Super Featherweight Championship in a highly-anticipated rematch; He fought El “Terrible” Morales one more time and knocked him out in three rounds when clearly the Mexican could not viably make that weight any longer.

The second fight against Marquez was in 2008, when he won the WBC super featherweight belt by split decision. In his next fight, he knocked out David Diaz and took the lightweight belt. That same year he defeated Oscar De La Hoya, when everyone had the “Golden Boy” as favorite.

In 2009, he knocked out Miguel Cotto; this was the first time the diamond belt was presented and awarded. Finally, in 2010, he won the WBC super welterweight world championship from Mexico's Antonio Margarito.

Five years passed, and during that time the most anticipated fight in the last year was formulating, so he finally faced Floyd Mayweather Jr., a match that broke and holds all boxing box office, pay-per-view and total gross boxing records.

We wish Manny the best of luck this Saturday and it would be wonderful if he closed his cycle contesting the WBC Green and Gold belt that has accompanied him throughout his career.

Did you know...?
The first world champion of the WBC era was Emile Griffith and the first champion in the era of José Sulaimán was British John H. Stracey, who defeated the beloved Mantequilla Napoles by KO in the Plaza de Toros México on December 6, 1975, just one day after my father's election as President of the WBC in Tunisia.

Today's anecdote…
Top Rank, Zanfer and TV Azteca brought Pacquiao to Mexico to promote his fight to be held at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

My dad taught me passion for the Cowboys since I was a child. Jerry Jones came to this conference, and at the end of it we were invited to a memorable meal at Televisión Azteca, with the executives in charge of boxing. Bob Arum, Todd Duboef, Fernando Beltrán, Don José and I enjoyed a banquet. My dad drank very little, but he was so happy to be with the owner of the Vaqueros and Arum that he had with them a few tequilas.

Bob and my dad had many differences and for many years they were even enemies. After some emotional words directed by Don José, Arum stood up, and hugged him and gave him a kiss! Thus making this evening unforgettable.


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