December 2023

Round 12: The most important boxing book in history

Round 12: The most important boxing book in history

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

We have a new world champion! Rey Vargas, former WBC super bantamweight world champion, managed to conquer the WBC featherweight crown in a great fight, getting up from the canvas to defeat Mark Magsayo of the Philippines by split decision. Congratulations Rey!

Finally we made the official presentation of the WBC Greatest Fights Opus, in Mexico City.
The launch of the most important book in the history of boxing took place in the beautiful Soumaya Museum, which gave special meaning and significance to this ceremony, attended by legendary Mexican world champions, who are part of its history, after having been protagonists of some of the very best fights in history.

I wish to thank Carlos Slim for his hospitality at the museum.
Don Carlos has been a great supporter of our sport, as he has been instrumental in the creation of the Ring Telmex-Telcel program, which has supported numerous talented and promising young boxers and has generated 19 world champions to date, the first one being Saul Canelo Alvarez.

He also created a lifetime pension with medical care for 27 former world champions, and for five years supported the José Sulaimán fund, which provides important help to boxers and former boxers around the world.

Fernando Schwartz was sensational as master of ceremonyl in compering the event, together with Francisco Posadas, and that is how the attendees enjoyed the testimonies of joyous said warriors of the ring, who recounted memories of the tremendous fights that appear in the book. From laughter and surprises, to even tears shed.This all came to pass during that unforgettable wondrous evening.

It took a little over two years to get this published with Opus, and the result…fantastic! It is a book that weighs in at 37 kilograms, just ten less than Ricardo “Finito” Lopez at his supreme best.

Selecting the best fights in history was a very complicated process and required hours of detailed plus exacting work from a variety of experts, and yet I am convinced that many great fights were left out.

To select a fight, some variables must be considered: the level of the fighters, their record, career, and when they met; the actions during the fight, if it was a dramatic fight, of a high technical level or a war, the meaning and what title was in dispute, the atmosphere surrounding such event, where it took place and the atmosphere surrounding such event.

Circumstances surrounding the match, rivalries, and what was happening in the world back then were also considered.

The first to be invited to watch and assess the actions of his fight was Rafael Bazooka Limón, involving his fourth battle against Bobby Chacón (RIP) which had been selected.

A fight waged over 15 scintillating rounds, and on that night, Limón lost his WBC super featherweight title.

Carlos Zárate and Alfonso Zamora gave us a face to face when they went on stage and talked about their fight known as “The Zetas War.”

Zárate was WBC bantamweight champion, with a record of 46-0 (45 KOs), and Zamora was WBA bantamweight champion, with 29-0 (29 KOs). It was an incandescent raging, ranging fight, with non-stop exchange of blows, during the four rounds that it lasted, with an emotional hug at the end between the two then…and now all these years later, as they’ve become the best of friends.

Rafael Marquez was present. He fought four times with Israel Vazquez, and the book selected a chapter that celebrated his fights for WBC world titles. There were three, one after another, in which both concluded their careers, but gave the fans unforgettable wars.

Humberto Chiquita González was present with his family, to gift us this memory and recounted that fight against Michael Carbajal in which he lost his WBC light flyweight championship; It was a main event in Las Vegas and the first time two slender/splendor weights won million dollar purses. On that occasion, Oscar de la Hoya fought on this card.

Chiquita knocked down the battle-hardened Carbajal twice. Michael was on the verge of and teetering on the precipice of defeat, when in the seventh round he disconnected the Mexican with a monumental left hook. So, intrepid, dedicated, focused Chiquita, cemented with granite resolve, avenged that loss with two splendid wins over the American.

We were also accompanied by José Luis Castillo from Sonora, a great champion, who starred in one of the most dramatic fights in history against Diego Corrales (RIP) in a lightweight unification championship. In a pulsating round ten, Castillo sent his rival to the canvas twice.

Corrales spat out the mouth guard, buying invaluable recovery seconds and to everyone’s great surprise, dredging up supreme willpower after he got up, and staring defeat full in the face, he knocked out Castillo in the same round.

Erik Terrible Morales was also a leading protagonist of the publication. He was center stage to narrate his legendary trilogy against Marco Antonio Barrera. With every fiber of their being, they fought 36 rounds of bile filled, pride inspiring majesty. Give and take, not ceding a single backward retreating footstep. No quarter asked none given. Rarely has such a intensely distilled rivalry been seen, even between intensely competitive Mexican fighters, and these two warriors are forever fused by their glorious history.

Julio César Chávez “The great Mexican champion” is the highest representative in this WBC Opus.
His legendary fights against Héctor Macho Camacho, Greg Haugen (at the Azteca Stadium), Oscar de la Hoya II, and of course, the most dramatic fight in history against Meldrick Taylor.

Julio recounted just how difficult that fight proved, and how Taylor’s speed plus agility tested him to the very limit, because Meldrick embodied a fight rhythm seldom seen before. Julio felt like he was dying in the ring, but he never for one moment, stopped seeking out victory, and just 20 seconds from the Final bell, he cornered his battered rival and sent him to the canvas with a thunderbolt overhead right hand for Referee Richard Steele to stop it due to an upright but unresponsive, befuddled Taylor, with just two momentous seconds left on the clock.

Chavez’s undefeated reign was hanging by a proverbial thread, when Referee Richard Steele wisely stopped the fight, and in that fateful moment, Chavez was immortalized in the chronicles of world boxing.

Pipino Cuevas, Miguel Ángel González and José Luis Bueno were also present and deservedly accorded rounds of applause.

We decided to pay homage to the Greatness of Women`s Boxing and presented on stage its three most brilliant representatives of Mexico: Ana María La Guerrera Torres, Jackie La Princesa Azteca Nava and Mariana Barby Juárez. Intently listening to their magnificently memorable testimonies, Carl Fowler, World President of Opus, announced that work will be done to create the WBC Opus The Power of Women by 2023.

Did you know…?

Miguel Ángel González is one of the great champions of Mexico. He was a WBC lightweight world champion and made 10 successful title defenses. He then went up to super lightweight, to seek the championship against Óscar de la Hoya and lost. Famously, he drew against Julio César Chávez at the Plaza de Toros México. Today Miguel Ángel is everyone’s hero, after having managed to overcome addictions and fighting that fight, day after day, with the support and constant love of his family.

Today`s anecdote

Last Saturday I had a long video call with Vitali Klitschko, that great WBC heavyweight champion, and now the Mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. It is tragic what`s happening in that country and how thousands of innocent people are dying because of the Russian invasion.

Vitali remembered that my father was always with him and supported him in everything. He recalled that day he injured a ligament just four days before his fight to be held in Las Vegas . The promoter and television were pressuring him to get into the ring and collect his $12 million purse.

“It was the call from your father, my dear Don José, the one that relieved my soul. He told me: “Vitali, you can’t fight like this, there is nothing more important than your health and your dignity. The WBC will give you all the time you need to heal and come back as a champion.

“And so it was then that I decided not to fight, and two years later, I returned to the ring as a champion and ended my career as a WBC world champion … retiring as The Champion!”

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