New king of the heavyweights – Oleksandr Usyk

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

Last week, we started an event that went viral worldwide concerning the brawl that broke out during the press conference to promote the fight between WBC, WBO, and WBA champion Saúl Canelo Álvarez vs. IBF champion Caleb Plant.

It isn’t necessary to describe what happened because whoever is reading this column saw it on social networks or television.

It’s incredible how we just don’t learn in boxing. What happened could have had significant consequences and repercussions. One of the most critical fights in recent years was put at risk, in which all four super-middleweight belts will be contested.

It is like leaving two children alone in a room full of candies; it is logical to assume and know what will happen. You cannot go two fighters face to face for so long, primarily when they have expressed such a genuine rivalry.

One more black eye for our sport, with so much at stake! A painful act, followed by insults and words that bordered and teetered on the lowest imaginable.

The fight will be held on Saturday, November 6, and will surely be a considerable financial success. Let’s just hope that there’s sportsmanship garnished with the honor that characterizes our magnificent and noble sport.

On Saturday, there was a big surprise in England when the Ukrainian hero Oleksandr Usyk defeated the wide favorite Anthony Joshua in a stadium crowded with seventy-seven thousand fans.

It was all part of a crafty strategy, clever boxing, speed, and heart that Usyk employed to take over the WBO, IBF, and WBA belts. Few gave the Ukrainian a chance to win, as he has been moving up from cruiserweight, and Joshua was considered a grand champion.

There is a contract for a rematch, but I saw Joshua very demoralized at the end, and it will be a matter of time to know if he will seek revenge … or not.

Former WBC world heavyweight champion, also from Ukraine, Vitali Klitschko, was there in the front row. Vitali is the current governor of Kyiv, the country’s capital, and he was a great host during our 57th convention in 2018.

During this convention, the WBC announced a modification to the world champion belt: the Ukrainian flag was added to the primary logo as a tribute and recognition to the greatness of that country in the world of boxing.

In just a few years, since there’s been professional boxing in that country and in all the nations which belonged to the former Soviet Union, they have managed to crown an actual number of world champions, starting with the brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Viktor Postol and, of course, Usyk.

This October 9, the highly anticipated rematch between the WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury against the former champion Deontay Wilder will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder managed to save a draw in their first bout as he dramatically knocked Fury down in the ninth and twelfth rounds. In the second bout, Tyson completely dominated Deontay, overwhelming him for a TKO in seven matches.

Alexander Usyk, Anthony Joshua - Press Room

There was always the great expectation of seeing a unification fight between our champion Wilder and then Fury against Anthony Joshua. Unfortunately, Joshua was knocked out by Andy Ruiz, and now he lost his titles against Usyk.

There are two current undisputed champions (holders of all four belts: WBC, WBO, IBF, and WBA) today. In the super lightweight division, Josh Taylor, and the Honduran-American Teofimo Lopez, in the lightweight division.

In May, we had another fight to unify a division in the super welterweight division. Still, it ended in a draw between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño, and this November 6, the unification between Canelo and Plant will occur.

One day in my office in our paper factory, Controles Gráficos, when I received a call alerting me to turn on the television, as there was news in which my father was involved.

When I saw the scenes, I was shocked and tried, by various means, to locate Don José until, at last, our friend Don Majeski, who was with him, was able to communicate with me.

My dad was at the press conference to announce the fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. “My son, I was standing behind a curtain in a New York theater, talking and waiting for the conference to start; suddenly, everyone who was with me left, and I was left all alone. I began to hear a great commotion from the other side of the curtain, and suddenly a lot of people came on top of me, throwing me from one side to another; I hit my head on the table and lost consciousness for a while, but don’t worry, I’m fine,” he told me at the time.

As it turns out, the promoters had this all planned. Tyson had to go out on stage and go up to the other side to face Lewis and get excited, and thus help sell more pay-per-view. Things got out of control. As Tyson was facing Lewis, an assistant of Lennox prodded Mike, which led to a massive brawl on stage between the two boxers and their respective teams.

Don José was injured for life after that accident due to an irresponsible act of the promoters.

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