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July 1, 2013 – Mexico City.

From the office of WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán:

The following is one of the weekly “Hook to the Liver” columns that are published in El Universal every Sunday. From June 30, translated from Spanish:


By José Sulaimán

An extraordinary event took place in Mexico City – the presentation of the fight that everybody wants to see between Floyd Mayweather Jr., who’s defeated all of his rivals, with 17 WBC world title fights (Julio Cesar Chavez had 37!) and who’s regarded as the best pound for pound, and the very popular Mexican fighter, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who has had seven WBC world title fights.

In my personal opinion, this will be a very interesting fight with great fighters who possess very interesting virtues.

Floyd’s a fighter of excellence like few I’ve seen, or maybe none. His style is to hit and not get hit. He has an incredible hand speed. He uses the jab consistently to keep his opponent occupied. He also connects with combinations and then exits to avoid counter attacks.

Floyd goes back and forth, depending on the situation. He has never lost, and none of his victories have been in an agonizing way, but they have been achieved in a very clear fashion – his only minus is that he’s turned 36.

The quality of this super champion was demonstrated by having defeated the great Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez, who was even was floored during the fight, and Floyd won all 12 rounds.

Maybe he’s a smidgeon slower – or should I say less fast? – but in his last fight I did not notice it.

With Canelo, he’s young. However, he has already had more than 40 fights and he has improved in each of them, especially in his last one against Trout, where he demonstrated a waist movement that we didn’t know he had. But I must remind him that fights are won by connecting punches, not just avoiding them.

He has speed and is learning to move well around the ring. He has a good punch, throws great combinations, and he knows how to move away from counter attacks. He has speed and he’s smart.

This will be one of those fights that emotionally moves people. In Mexico there is passion. People are confident that Canelo will win, and everyone hopes for his victory. If he wins, he will become a superstar, which is his dream.

There would also be a rematch, as is very usual nowadays, and he would be billionaire! If he loses, it would lower this stock to the joy of his detractors. But Canelo is very young. He is just 22, and would certainly return to the elite of boxing.

If Mayweather wins, for many it would be normal, another of his triumphs and he will not have many interesting challengers left to face. Only Manny Pacquiao, who, whatever they say after Marquez knocked him with a punch that connects once every half-century, is Mayweather’s most awaited challenger.

If Floyd loses, I do not doubt that there will be a rematch. It would be what everyone would expect. I tend to think that the fight will go 12 rounds and that there will be no knockout, because neither has ever fallen to the canvas during their respective careers. They have jaws of rock. So the coin is in the air … and may the best man win.

Boxing has its gala big fight nights. The audience goes crazy in sold out arenas, television ratings soar, and make of boxing the most spectacular sport worldwide. Because boxing lives in all countries for being a natural sport that everyone, men and women adore.

I remember many of those fights before becoming President of the WBC. One of them – Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier fight in 1971, that sold out the Madison Square Garden. The one of Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard in Montreal – I will remember forever that fight for everything that happened and the extraordinary battle they accomplished.

Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns, where we were witnessed the most dramatic and spectacular three rounds in history.

In Mexico, Vicente Saldivar and Ultiminio Ramos, and “Escorpion” Torres against Choinoi Chartchai – both fights sold out the historic Plaza de Toros.

In Manila, the third fight of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, the most barbarous and dramatic I’ve ever seen in my life, when Frazier did not come out for the 15th round because he couldn’t see the blows of Ali, because his eyes were completely closed, and Ali going to the canvas after the announcement, completely exhausted.

Sugar Ray Robinson and Randy Turpin in London, with the defeat of the great Robinson that no one expected, and then he regained his title in a rematch in New York.

I could go on and on remembering the moments that have revolutionized the globe in this exciting and passionate world of boxing. This is a sport older than the Olympics, loved by millions of fans around the world, because in it we see our own temperament reflected in one of the two contenders, thinking that we are the one who’s in the ring throwing and evading blows. With this, we release those inner passions that all human beings possess internally, as reflections of our emotions in our life.

Thanks for reading my thoughts.

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