Round 12: Manny Pacquiao
& The Welterweight Division
By Mauricio Sulaiman / Son of Jose Sulaiman / President of
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
Other great welters were Mexican Pipino Cuevas and American
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
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
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.
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.