By Mauricio Sulaiman
WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son
As we begin this week, I am deeply sorry for the loss of several persons close to the WBC and the boxing community of the world. Our heart goes out to Jill Diamond, as she lost her brother, Glenn Stewart Diamond. Russell Peltz lost his oldest son, Matthew Eric, last week. Yesterday, Mario Moreno Ivanova, son of the great Mexican comedian Cantinflas, died at the age of 57. Our prayers go out to their families and friends.
Mother’s day weekend was celebrated with tremendous boxing activity in the female division of the WBC. Both major TV networks in Mexico aired a WBC world championship bout as their main event.
Promociones del Pueblo, with Televisa, promoted the WBC flyweight title in Zapopan, which was also a semifinal fight of the WBC Diamond tournament. Jessica “Kika” Chavez defeated Ana Arrazola to retain her crown and move to the final fight versus Esmeralda Moreno. The tournament was an idea which came from the 2nd WBC Women’s Boxing Convention, and it involved 12 fighters from all over the world – a huge success and it will continue to grow.
Promociones Zanfer, with TV Azteca and Cancun Boxing, promoted the WBC super flyweight championship bout in Cancun. Long reigning champ Zulina “Loba” Munoz was dethroned by WBC silver champ Guadalupe Martinez in a huge upset. It was an action-packed affair and at the end, Martinez took the title via unanimous decision. Zulina was defending her title for the 12th time and was shocked by the unstoppable Martinez. The new champion cried while received the green and gold belt, claiming she did it all for her son!
Turkish promoter Ahmet Oener took a huge risk in putting his WBC International super middleweight champion in the ring versus Marco Antonio Periban. Avni Yildirim is the WBC mandatory of the division and still took the risk and fought in Zapopan against an experienced, strong Periban, with a sold out crowd cheering for the Mexican. Yildirim won a clear but hard fought unanimous decision, and conquered the hearts of the Mexican fans with his impressive nonstop action style.
This week will be special for the WBC activity world-wide:
TOKYO, JAPAN – TEIKEN PROMOTIONS DOUBLEHEADER
WBC flyweight champion Juan “Churritos” Hernandez fights mandatory contender Daiko Higa.
WBC light flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez defends vs. Ken Shiro.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – TOP RANK PROMOTIONS AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
WBC Super lightweight champion Terence Crawford defends vs. Felix Diaz.
OXON HILL, MARYLAND – TGB PROMOTIONS AT MGM NATIONAL HARBOR
WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. vs. WBC Interim champion Oscar Escandon.
LAREDO, TEXAS – TGB PROMOTIONS AT LAREDO ENERGY ARENA
WBC super middleweight elimination bout David Benavidez vs. Rogelio Medina.
What a year it has been for boxing – 90,000 fans at Wembley on April 29, over 1 million buys on PPV on May 6 for Canelo vs. Chavez, and the so many great fights we have witnessed, and the sensational calendar of fights for the rest of the year.
These facts and news can only motivate us to keep working hard and stick to the basics of our sport, and to understand the need to work together and seek unity among the players in the sport. We must never forget the priority, which is safety, and promote rule and order in all aspects to maintain the integrity of the athlete and the sport.
As we approach the International Hall of Fame induction weekend in Canastota, New York, I can only think of all those who have paved the way for today’s boxing, and we all join in to salute and praise this year’s inductees! This is the artwork in which current WBC champions praise the heroes of yesterday.
Thank you very much, and I welcome any comments, ideas, or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.