The Unified Champions

By Mauricio Sulaimán
President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán

By the time this column is published, I will be on my way to the biggest fight in the heavyweight division this century.

Tyson Fury, world champion of our WBC, will face the Ukrainian, Oleksandr Usyk, who holds the other three recognized belts in boxing. These types of fights are called undisputed, that is, for the undisputed title, which refers to the fact that there is no other person who is called world champion of that division.

The undisputed champion is actually somewhat unusual. Decades ago, this phenomenon occurred when the WBC and WBA champions faced each other. Then came the IBF, and finally, the WBO. So, to make history and to be considered undisputed you must possess all four belts.

It is even more difficult to remain as undisputed champion, due to the regulations, which are different within the four organizations, which lead any of them to order their own mandatory fight.

The most common thing is that an undisputed champion is unknown, or renounces one or more championships, thus fragmenting the division yet again.

Recently several undisputed champions unfortunately stopped being so. Jermell Charlo unified the super welterweight division, was eventually stripped of a couple of his belts, and then moved up to fight at super middleweight against Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez.

Meanwhile, Terence Crawford spectacularly defeated Errol Spence Jr., unifying the welterweights, an honor that lasted but briefly as he was stripped by an organization.

Devin Haney unified the lightweight division and later renounced all the belts when he moved up to super lightweight, and is the current WBC champion of this category.

On June 1, Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol were to have contested the undisputed light heavyweight championship. Unfortunately, Artur was injured with a meniscus tear and the fight has been postponed.

There are currently two undisputed champions in the world, Canelo Álvarez at super middleweight, and Naoya Inoue at super bantamweight and unless the fight ends in a draw, this Saturday there will be a third in the top division.

The last undisputed heavyweight champion was Lennox Lewis, nothing more and nothing less, one of the greatest champions in history.

Lennox beat every boxer he faced. His only two defeats were avenged with aplomb, by beating Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman.

Lewis defeated Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield and many other figures. He won his last fight by defeating the man who eventually took his place as WBC world champion, the current mayor of Kyiv, Ukraine, Vitali Klitschko. Lennox retired from boxing as a world champion, never returned, and is an exemplary figure in the world of sport.

Mexico has a new champion! Pedro Guevara traveled to Australia to win the interim super flyweight world title. He did it with a lot of vigor and vim against high-quality opponent Andrew Maloney, who also had the support of a full stadium, the same one that little by little faded, due to the unrelenting pressure leading to dominance that “Pedrin” imposed. It was a split decision, a close fight with high technical quality, but the systematic hitting to the body and the jarring combinations in the final rounds undoubtedly gave the advantage to the Aztec fighter.

Moloney began promisingly, clearly dominating, but the systematic punching to the body and the strong combinations turned the tide. Additionally, Andrew slowed down his activity and threw far fewer punches. At the end of the action, it was revealed that he injured his left bicep during the fight. It was a great contest which, without a doubt, deserves to happen again in the near future. Pedro is willing to give Andrew a rematch and in Australia!

I recently published my second podcast with the topic “Boxing Scores,” in which I try to explain various important points in relation to this delicate topic. I invite you to watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTGhaNg-BT8

The heat we are experiencing in Mexico is sweltering. In CDMX, it has felt like never before, and our daily life is not used to this type of blast furnace heat. Few places have air conditioning, the techiness increases, the thirst … in short, everything.

Well, this week is going to get even more sizzling in Mexico City, as there will be impressive activity from the world of boxing with visits from two superstars. Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be announcing wonderful news this Wednesday the 15th. Perhaps you already know it, but I better not say what it is about, in addition to a great event in the Zócalo on Thursday the 16th, where he will teach a public class.

On Friday the 17th, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will be celebrating his third “No Golf No Life” tournament, an event of the highest level that is also for altruistic purposes. It would be wonderful to achieve a meeting between the two, who are already legends of the ring.

DID YOU KNOW…?

For a long time, there was no concept of a judge in boxing. The referee was the one who determined the result if there was no knockout in the fight. He would go to the corner to raise the hand of whoever he considered deserved the victory.

Later, there were two judges and the referee, who also qualified, until the WBC eliminated this practice so that the referee could dedicate himself entirely to the action in the ring and the protection of the boxers.

Today’s anecdote

Since we are talking about heat, my dad grew up in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosí, Monterrey, and other places, all hot. He enjoyed finding places with air conditioning, drinking glasses of ice water, and even on his trips, when he was in cold places, he used to dress very lightly.

On one occasion, he traveled to Indonesia, opening regions for the WBC. His hotel was typical from there. It was not a building, but independent cabins in the middle of nowhere. It turns out that there was no air conditioning, and he decided to leave the room to wait for them to pass by to go to an important dinner.

When he returned, he told us what happened: “I sat on a little bench, everything was totally dark, a few lamps here and there. Suddenly, I saw in the distance the car of the Indonesian Sports Minister approaching, who was coming to pick me up. I got up to go towards them. After taking a few steps, splash! I fell into the hotel pool.” After a long pause, in which he tried to control his laughter and tried to continue with the story, he continued, “These guys were more surprised than I was, and one even jumped into the pool with me to help me get out.”

That was my dad, Don José Sulaimán, always with stories, always smiling, sparkling good humor, and a great talker.

I appreciate your comments at [email protected].

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  • Forgot to mention that these four corrupt organizations with their unlimited divisions and champions are responsible for making boxing a fringe sport instead of one of the major ones that it was.

  • Now that Mr. Sulaimán’s mug is plastered on the article before you click we shouldnt be seeing all the complaints anymore.

  • Mr. $. , please do your job and enforce those mandatories equally . some of these “champions” are making a joke out of the wbc “regulations”. The wba and wbo are just as bad . Imagine if other sports were run like boxing. we would have 3 or 4 superbowl champions and they would only play against weak teams they chose to retain their superbowl trophy . the chiefs would only “play ” the forty niners if the were “paid 200 million “. god help us.

    • Well it’s not just on the president is also on prom9ters and boxers
      Shakur did not want to fight zepeda
      Any president can’t put a gun on him

  • Wbc the best boxing organization that’s why every boxer wants the green belt The most valuable belt in boxing

  • Somebody tell SULAIMAN, that the Champion makes the belt, not the other way around. He should be ashamed for stripping Miguel COTTO of his belt, but that belt is not worth much.

  • Its all a joke! Canelo has all the belts but, only fights the mandatories that he feels like it and when he feels it it! Every one else gets unfairly stripped! Regulations have to apply to everyone fairly! If you can’t defend it then, stripped the belts and let the mandatories fight each other for a chance to fight for the belt! Everyone deserves an opportunity! Everyone who can’t defent the title every 6 months should automatically stripped!

    • An advantage to being the face of Boxing. Although more people would know Floyd/Tyson’s face lol.

  • You know, it’s really a joke when the head of a historically corrupt organization frequently tried to convince the people that their version of implementing the “rules” is the correct one. We really live in 2 different realities.

    DID YOU KNOW……?

    In the 80s and 90s, it was really hard to unify the belts because if the WBC specifically. The refused to recognize the other organizations and constantly threatened to strip their champs if they decided to fight for another belt. Just ask the great Julio Cesar Chavez. Paraphrasing Jose Sulaiman, father of Mauricio Sulaiman , son of Jose Sulaimán: Julio, why would you fight for another organization if the WBC crested you and has taken care of you on your title fights. Without the WBC, you would not be where you’re at…..

    Today’s anecdote:

    I wanted to publicly thank Gary for the heads up on the weather report last week before Mother’s Day weekend. Actually, it was on the last article by Sulaiman. As I was flying up from Florida to Jersey, I was able to prepare for my fishing trip on Friday morning. We caught a plenty of porgies, flukes and 2 striped bass. It was cold, but overall, a great time. Good eating Friday night. Cheers Gary.

    • Yeah, because there are rules in every boxing organization.And you’re not gonna do what you want.You wanna follow the rules!!!!It’s like when you are in the classroom.You not gonna do what you want!!!You gonna do what your teacher ask you to do

      • yes . right now , canelo is like the school principal’s son who does whatever he wants in the classroom/school because the teacher is afraid of him and of losing his/her job. its just the “typical spoiled brat” behavior

        • Yeah, we all know that canelo is afraid of Benavides but we are talking about wbc not about canelo

          Mauricio said if canelo doesn’t fight Benavides he is gona be strip off

          But Benavides decided to move to 175 lbs to fight gvozdik

          • benavidez has 10 days after his next fight with gvozdik, to decide if he stays at light heavy weight or returns to super middle weight and be the mandatory for the wbc super middle weight title .

  • – Raining here in southern NJ.
    – Won’t be seeing the big yellow ball in the sky for another week…….

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