December 2023

Round 12: Las Vegas

Round 12: Las Vegas

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

My first trip to Las Vegas was when I was 16 years old, I was studying in high school in Boston, and my dad invited me to accompany him in that historic fight in which Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion of the world in history, at just twenty years of age.

Arriving at “The Sin City”, as it is popularly called, I was immediately surprised by the street lights and the spectacular, that everything itself captivates.

Back then, there was Caesars Palace, a few other hotels on the strip, like the Ballys, Flamingo, Sahara, and far away from everything the Hilton, which is where the bout was held.

I had the great fortune to live that end of the 80s, in an intimate way, in which I attended many historic boxing cards that Don King put together, the Mike Tyson and Julio César Chávez era!

In each event he presented four, five and even six world championship fights, and with top-class boxers such as: Azumah Nelson, Julian Jackson, Terry Norris, Ricardo López, Gabriel Ruelas, Jesse James Leija, among many other champions.

Every trip to Las Vegas was a new adventure. My dad took me to see the famous magicians Siegfried & Roy in a small room at the Hotel Riviera, also to see a cabaret show called Jubile, where the dancers had traditional feathered dresses and were topless Wow!

Imagine the excitement, but the pressure to keep your sanity and see it as a fine spectacle…
My dad’s favorite restaurants were off the Strip, and it was quite an adventure to go out to dinner at Tillerman’s or Piero’s or Chin’s…

I also got to know night life with my brothers; there was a nightclub called Sharks, which was the sensation. Going donwtown where there were great attractions, museums, striking lights, a horseshoe in a glass case, with a million dollars, and many other

Those were years of great happiness, my duties and obligations was to stay in the room to receive calls, take messages and attend to the multiplicity of things that happened while my dad went to the press conference, interviews and weigh-ins. You have to understand that at that time there was no cell phone, there was no WhatsApp, no e-mails or social networks…

Suddenly a new hotel appeared, The Mirage, at the end of 1989, it was something inconceivable, with the volcano that was erupting, the interior gardens, the large fish tank in reception, the tigers on the windows, the Siegfried & Roy show, and with a wide variety of restaurants. It was from another world, and it was precisely inaugurated with the third fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Mano de Piedra Durán., the Uno Mas promoted by Bob Arum.

The Mirage became the main venue for boxing, even though the Hilton and Caesars had fights, there was great competition to see who would get the boxing show from Don King, Bob Arum and a few other promoters.

There was a fight so, but so important that it had to take place at the University of Nevada Stadium, in the Thomas & Mack Center, Julio César Chávez against Héctor El Macho Camacho. Such an impressive crowd was never seen, the tickets were considered pure gold, and thousands of people were unable to enter to see the great Mexican champion demolish his Puerto Rican arch rival.

The city began to grow and grow, each trip there were new hotels, attractions, and a great diversity of things to do. MGM arrived, which broke the record for the most rooms with five thousand five. Later, the Bellagio was built, then the Wynn, little by little it ceased to be the place that captivated me, and my capacity for surprise, faded over time.

I don’t know when or how things changed. Suddenly there were no more trips to shows or to go around, and not even to the shopping mall. Everything began to focus on being in the hotel for the fight, and taking care of everything related and many other things about our sport.

Last Wednesday I arrived in Las Vegas to witness Crawford vs. Spence, a fight full of global expectation. Once again the city is changing impressive; Las Vegas Strip is the main avenue and is under reconstruction, as the Formula 1 GP will arrive, and that has everyone upside down.

A new arena called The Sphere will also be inaugurated, it is so spectacular, and nothing more and nothing less than U2, who is going to inaugurate it. In February 2024 they will host the Super Bowl (NFL); this year Golden Knights, an ice hockey team in the desert, was champion (NHL), and the deal is about to close to bring in a Major League Baseball team!

The world goes on, we have to enjoy and adapt, and appreciate everything we can day after day. Do not look back or try to compare, how it was. Or how it is now it is better to feel and live today and make the best of each moment.

This Saturday, Terence Crawford overwhelmed Errol Spence and beat him becoming the undisputed welterweight champion, and positioning himself before many as the leading boxer on the pound-for-pound lists

It was one of the greatest performance by a fighter in a high level event against another elite boxer .

Congratulations to Crawford and Spence must be praised for his incredible bravery.

The T-Mobile was sold out, a show in which two other Mexicans also shone: Alexandro Santiago defeated the legendary Nonito Donaire to win the WBC world featherweight title and Isaac Pitbull Cruz successfully defended his WBC silver championship, defeating the undefeated Giovanni Cabrera, while José Salas made himself known with a tremendous KO, in four rounds.

Did you know…?

Terence Crawford is the first boxer in history to become undisputed champion in the super lightweight and welterweight division, holding all four belts in both categories.

Today’s anecdote

My dad was a very clean living person, he didn’t smoke and very occasionally drank a margarita or a glass of white wine; he simply didn’t party but above all, he did not gamble…“my son ,look at these luxurious hotels, those columns and ceilings, and casinos. Where do you think the money comes from? I ask you to be very careful with gambling, it can end anyone’s life ”, he always told us that. One night, leaving dinner and walking through the casino toward the room, my brother Héctor told him. “Dad: tell me your favorite number?” “Four, which was my number in baseball,” he replied.

We kept walking, and Hector soon came back running excited: “You hit him, dad! I played roulette and we won; here’s your share !

I appreciate your feedback at contact@wbcboxing.com

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  • User AvatarReynaldo Solorzano { Muy merecido hoenaje a mi querisimo amigo Nacho te felicito mi nacho } – Sep 04, 12:17 PM
  • User AvatarPerez { The mayweather vs pacquiao fight was garbage like any other mayweather fight. Waste of money. It staged the obvious that Floyd mayweather bought the whole... } – May 04, 12:23 PM
  • User Avatarchirimicato { IRMA GARCIA ES LICENCIADA EN DERECHO, POLICIA FEDERAL, MADRE DE DOS NIÑOS Y CAMPEONA MUNDIAL , no hay punto de comparacion insisto la chica esta... } – Jan 18, 11:20 AM
  • User AvatarRuth Ortiz { Fué una gran persona . Revolucionó el Boxeo. Gran visión y con mucho carisma. Descanse en paz. Saludos. } – Dec 11, 11:13 AM
  • User AvatarDavid { que un gran campeon en mi ciudad tenga un gimnasio con su nombre, asi me animo a practar box. Doculife } – Nov 29, 11:44 AM
  • User AvatarDavid { Excelente noticia, que un gran campeon en mi ciudad tenga un gimnasio con su nombre, asi me animo a practar box. Doculife } – Nov 29, 11:41 AM