Viva Mexico, Canelones!

By Mauricio Sulaiman
Son of Jose Sulaiman – WBC President

The intense rivalry between two great world boxing champions has come to an end. The Mexican Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and the Kazakh Gennady “GGG” Golovkin celebrated the trilogy that resulted in a victory for our great champion and Pride of Mexico.

Thirty-six rounds of dedication, courage, passion and glory. Three fights, one draw and two wins for Canelo. That white heat of competition ended when the bell rang, and the greatness of this sport remains whole and intact, by demonstrating humility merging into a heartfelt hug full of respect and recognition for each other. If everything in life was like boxing, it would be a different world that we live in.

We lived a weekend in which Mexico celebrated with joy, after two years without a signifying event in Las Vegas due to the pandemic. But the Capital of Boxing rose once again clad in green, white and red. Alejandro Fernández was a great representative with his stirring performance in his two sold out concerts and his great surprise came as he appeared on the dressing room to do the ring walk singing alongside Canelo.

On Friday night, another ambassador from our country looked great, Carlos Santana. His music is a delight and the percussions by Karl Perazzo, together with the drummer, who is Santana’s wife, make music for eternity. On Friday at the end of the show, Santana received a replica of the Jaguar Warrior Zapotec belt, that work of art from the magnificent Oaxacan culture, which marked this event as a gift from Mexico and the World Boxing Council to the world.

Julio Cesar Chavez continues to be a tremendous attraction for fans, as crowds of people look for him for photos or autographs, and he, as always, is ready to be with his loyal fans. How marvelous is Julio, The Great Mexican champion.

For me, it was an unforgettable trip. My Dad was present more than ever, because the number of people who approached me and the majority either called me José or gave me beautiful words of remembrance of my dear father.

The migrants who left Mexico for the United States began the special celebrations on two specific dates, May 5 and September 16, with that nostalgia and everlasting love for their homeland, for their roots, they started to celebrate and eventually boxing began to be part of the festivities. It was in 1972 when the first Mexican warrior was crowned amidst these holidays. Gabriel Cordero published remembering this historic event, when Erubey “Chango” Carmona defeated the then WBC champion, Mando Ramos.

Thus, little by little, for 50 years the best fights have been taking place on these two dates. Salvador Sánchez, Julio César Chávez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Márquez, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, dignified these dates until THE current KING arrived, Canelo Álvarez, who has starred in great fights honoring our festivities.

Canelo is a boxer who has grown impressively. A shy, red-haired boy with freckles from a large and humble family, came to the boxing gym to find those who would help to build his destiny and legacy: Chepo Reynoso and his son, Eddy Reynoso.

They took him and under their wing from the age of 14 and debuted him as pro when they saw that there was no structure in Mexico to seek an Olympic medal. Canelo was always fearless, facing whoever was put in front of him. He eventually started to get noticed for his natural charisma and when he got to television, he became a phenomenon.

Successful people experience many things that form their character. Canelo was the boxer for Televisa and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for TVAzteca, the two most important television stations in Mexico. A great rivalry was generated. Canelo was crowned WBC Super Welterweight Champion and Chavez was crowned WBC Middleweight Champion. The rest is history, both took very different paths in life.

Throughout the years Canelo has had to face criticism that few could have endured. He suffered a setback losing to Floyd Mayweather, and very few would have been able to come back and get back on top. Canelo matured and flourished as a boxer and as a person and is an example for all of how with dedication, passion and focus you can become great in life.

He is one of the most professional and disciplined boxers I can remember. Always a week after the fight he returns to the gym and his work habits have not changed, he has never lost his humility, and his loyalty to the Reynosos, who together led him to glory. Eddy has been Trainer of the Year on several occasions, and it goes without saying all the awards that Saúl has won.

It was wonderful to experience the atmosphere at the T-Mobile Arena. A full house that celebrated the Mexican’s triumph and recognized the greatness of GGG. So many nights of glory that boxing has given to Mexico, this sport in which we are a world reference, which has given Mexico 13 Olympic medals and more than 200 world champions. Mexico has boxing as its national heritage sport.

Did you know?

One of the great fights on these national dates was when Floyd Mayweather, who was the WBC welterweight champion, went up to challenge the WBC super welterweight world champion, none other than Oscar de la Hoya.

It was an electric atmosphere for a long-awaited fight. To everyone’s surprise, Floyd came out wearing the green, white, and red colors of the Mexican flag and the traditional mariachi hat. That night, Floyd won over the Mexican fans. It was a truly great fight that was defined via a split decision in favor of Floyd, managing to conquer glory and thus take the baton from Oscar’s hands.

Today’s anecdote…

My dad loved Canelo very much. Ever since he met him, he had a special affection for him and always tried to give him advice and opened to him the WBC platform.

From the youth world championship, Latin championship, North America (NABF), Silver, to being crowned WBC world champion.

Canelo was the first member of the program that Don Carlos Slim and my father created, Ring Telmex-Telcel, which will celebrate 15 years of providing support to young boxing promises, so that they can totally dedicate themselves to this tough sport, having economic and structural support to reach so far. This program has already created 19 world champions!

My dad always came out to defend his Canelito in the face of all kinds of criticism and was very happy to see how he came to stardom.

On one occasion at our traditional Sunday family meals, my brother, Héctor, asked him what he saw in that freckled boy. “My son, Canelo is going to be the next great idol of Mexico, a superstar. He’s starting to have good fights, he still has things to learn, but he is on the right path, and he has that look in his eyes that only the greats one have. He is very brave and he has an iron jaw. You will see. Well, pass me a red sauce “memela” they are great!”

I welcome your feedback at [email protected]

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  • Did you know: Migrants are absolutely flooding our border? Jeez, Mexico is so great!! VIVA MEXICO, as they flee your corrupt country..

    • Well said. What can one say about a country where millions want to flee to a neighbor they apparently despise? It is a mad world.

        • I’ll reverse it then: Mexicans leaving Mexico for the US must hate Mexico and love the US. Clearly, Mexico is not looking after its people otherwise why would they be leaving en masse for a mainly English-speaking country?

          • stop being silly Colson. They dont hate Mexico because they are leaving to the US. They leave to the US because they want a better life, opportunity and options. Most of them bust their butts in jobs that neither you nor I wanna do. doesn’t mean they hate their country. I hear of elderly couples moving to these beach destinations all the time to retire on the beaches in Mexico. They dont leave the US cause they hate it, they leave because it benefits them in their retirement. But, I will agree.. Mexico is all kinds of corrupt.. VERY VERY MUCH SO and do not look after their own people but more so themselves. your either rich or poor. that I am 100% on board with ya.

          • So basically, Mexico cannot look after its citizens and forces them to flee to another country in search of a decent life. So why doesn’t the Mexican Government up its game to keep Mexicans in the country and why is the exodus to the U.S. America’s problem?

          • Can’t that be said for alot of countries? Again, the majority of these imigrants are not from Mexico, they are from other South American Countries. The US is one of those countries that caters to certain individuals as well. Although i love my country and pay crap loads of taxes, our country doesnt look after ALL its citizens either. There is an increasingly amount of homeless people walking the streets now, but our Gov rather send money to other countries and provide them Aid then figure out whats happening at home. Wouldnt u agree? Close the borders, lock em down, AND stop sending unnecessary money elsewhere is what i say.

    • 3/4’s of those migrants flooding the borders arent even Mexicans. Do some research before speaking. Dont believe everything you hear in the media. Just cuz their brown doesnt mean their mexican

  • Canelo is a turd that gave up a belt instead of fighting GGG at his peak. And GGG to his credit still gave Canelo an opportunity even after canelo tested positive for clenbuterol when he was bulking up.

    But, the worst is still floyd running for 5 years instead of facing a prime pacman. floyd came up with all kinds of stories saying pac was on roids in order to avoid him at his peak. He only got the nerves to fight him after pac was ko’d by JMM.

    Both are chickens. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • SteveG, why so bitter bud? Ur usually pretty chill and stick to facts in boxing. U act like Canelo was stagnant waiting for GGG to get old. Canelo was chasing Undisputed. I still ask myself why GGG didnt try to become Undisputed in his weight class? Was he afraid of the hungry lions that wldnt make him as big a check? More than likely..
      As for FML, you act only Pac was out of his prime. So was Floyd. Its not like he didnt age, he was jus as old and had lost a step as well. Im no Floyd fan but fair is fair.

      • Tony – I give canelo props for moving up and sweeping 168. I also thought going to 175 was stupid. Too much of a size diff. But taking on a 40 yr old GGG and saying it’s personal is pathetic. Especially when he didn’t have the cojones to take him on at 32 or 33 whatever GGG was when canelo (25ish?) won the belt from cotto.

        I just can’t respect a fighter for dumping a belt to avoid someone! Just like riddick bowe did when he threw the belt in the trash to avoid another beat down by lennox (Olympics).

        GGG did dodge some fighters as he aged. And he looked like crap against derevchenko and should have retired at that point. But his run prior to the canelo cotto fight was very impressive. He should have gotten to fight cotto first, and definitely the winner of that fight. I had read that the prime age of an Olympic sprinter is 29. And i would guess the prime age of a fighter is 30-32. So Canelo waited him out of his prime and juiced to compete with him..

        As for FM, he was older than pac. But it’s the fact that Floyd prevented that fight for 5 years! Pac was on an absolute tear going through opponents and floyd obviously had his doubts and waited until pac showed he was vulnerable.

        So ya I’m irate because the real boxing fans got screwed out of dream matchups by top guys in their primes.

        • Ur comments make a ton of sense. And Yes, agreed when you put it that way. I as well would have liked to see those fights happen sooner. Or even GGG fighting Andrade or Charlo when they called him out. IMO GGG would have beat then both back to back. But overall, Well put my friend.

          • A 34 or 35 yr old GGG against andrade or either charlo would have been great!

            GGG these last 5 years is no where near the same fighter. The energy level, output, and even the snap on his punch are far less but it is to be expected as a fighter ages.

            With that said I think they all outpoint him rather easily now..

            Boxing is the one sport where prime athletes rarely face each other and it just really sucks.

            even crawford and Spence is happening 2 years too late.

          • that is for sure.. GGG is just a different kinda athlete though. It is very odd to me that at his age, he is still a second half fighter. The last few fights he literally sucks the first 4 to 5 rounds and then he starts turning it on. IDK man, I still think he beats Charlo and Andrade and probably KO’s them in the later rounds. GGG hits overdrive at around the 7 while charlo fades typically in the 8.
            agreed on spence and crawford. by the time they fight, alot of people wont be interested anymore.

      • How about he faces his mandatory David Benividez? Instead of kissing Canelos ass, maybe Sulaman can have his own rules put into effect. How long has Benividez been Number #1 contender?? Defend it or lose it!

        • Chalf – agreed, that is a fight that needs to happen asap.

          Benavidez is a tough out for anyone at 168. I honestly don’t know how much longer he can make that weight.

          It’s the only fight I care to see at 168 besides charlo and canelo.

          • thats the problem with Benavidez. he can barely make it right now. WHY is he doing this to himself. He complains that no one wants to fight him, but yet literally kills himself to make weight. It’s time he realizes that he is NO LONGER a SMW. He needs to let that go and move up to LHW where he belongs. Guaranteed he will have plenty of fights there. If it was anyone else, he would be called a weight bully and criticized for not moving up already.

      • I wonder why canelo jumped from 160 to 175 for old Kovalev and waited until zurdo and Benavidez were no longer champions to chase all titles at 168. . With the pillow gloves champions PLANT AND SAUNDERS. HE DIDNT TRY IT AT 160… and now he don’t want to defend any belt with top contenders CHERRY PICKING AT MAXIMUM..CANELO IS DONE CANNOT BEAT ANYONE OF THE INTERIMS 168 champions (Benavidez,morell ) and obviously none of the champions at 175 (Bivol , Beterbiev). Maybe the Paul brothers are next

  • Thank you Canelo, for giving us the WBC a big bonus in the form of sanctioning fees.We the board are very grateful .Viva Mexico!

  • – I read on another web site that the WBC paid for the funeral of Ernie Shavers.
    – I give them credit for this.

  • It’s obvious what’s happening here. Team Canelo are waiting for Benavidez to get old, like they did with GGG.

  • Mauricio igual de corrupto que su papa, el CMB se formo con dinero del gobierno Mexicano (Lopez Mateos) para luego convertirse en un negocio familiar de la familia Sulaiman.

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