By Mauricio Sulaimán – President of the WBC – Son of José Sulaimán
Today, absolutely all Mexicans know the meaning of the celebration of May 5, for as we know, it’s the Battle of Puebla, the defense of our territory against the French invasion.
Yes, it was the boxing cards in Las Vegas that gave this the dimension of a national holiday, and for more than 30 years the most important fights in the world have been taking place on the weekend close to this date and also that of September 16.
Immigrants from Mexico started this tradition of celebrating May 5 with important fights, mainly in California and Texas – Puas Olivares, Carlos Zarate and Salvador Sanchez, plus many more.
It was in the 90’s when May 5 and September 16 became a real fixture for the promoters and the largest television networks, establishing their annual calendar based on those two weekends.
Great representatives of Mexico have fought on this important date. For example, the three great Mexicans in lower weight categories: Erik “El Terrible” Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera, also starring Manny Pacquiao on three dates in Las Vegas The torch has been handled from legend to legend.
Julio Cesar Chavez passed the torch to Oscar De la Hoya, The Golden Boy passed it to Floyd Mayweather, who was the owner of May 5 four consecutive years! And currently, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is right up there.
Canelo took pole position in 2016 when he defeated British Amir Khan defending his WBC middleweight world title. This was not his first appearance on May 5, as in 2012 he defeated Shane Mosley on a card he shared with Floyd Mayweather.
In 2017 he defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and in 2018 the second clash against GGG was scheduled, a fight that had to be put back until September due to the unfair controversy of the Clenbuterol positive. Last year he defeated Danny Jacobs, and just last Saturday there should have been one more fight in Las Vegas against the Englishman Billy Joe Saunders.
Some of the great fights held on this iconic weekend of May 5:
Julio Cesar Chavez regains his WBC Super Lightweight World Championship by defeating Frankie Randall at the 1994 MGM in Las Vegas.
Juan Manuel Marquez gets up off the canvas three times in the first round to magnificently fight back to a draw against Manny Pacquiao in the first of his four fights, this one in 2004.
Oscar De la Hoya knocked out Nicaraguan warrior Ricardo Mayorga in 6 rounds in 2006.
Floyd Mayweather wins the WBC super welter world championship by beating Oscar De la Hoya in 2007.
Floyd defeats Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez defeats Shane Mosley in a big doubleheader in 2012.
Floyd defeats Manny Pacquiao in what is the biggest fight in boxing history in terms of money, highest box office, highest pay per view event sale and highest earnings for boxers, this happened in 2015.
WBC COMMEMORATIVE BELTS
The World Boxing Council instituted a special trophy to commemorate these two Mexican dates, two Mexican dates and the governing body of the boxing world based in Mexico. It is a wondrous gift that Mexico and boxing gives the world. Unique masterpieces, made by indigenous communities representing the diversity of cultures in our Mexico.
In 2017 it was the turn of the Huichol culture, 2018 the Chaiapaneca, 2019 the Mayan culture and in 2020 two cultures from the State of Mexico were chosen to show the world its greatness. For May, the “Mazahua” belt was produced and for September, the Otomi culture belt will be produced.
Unfortunately, there was no fight this weekend. Canelo, who owns the Huichol – May 5, Chiapaneco – September 16 and Maya – May 5 belts, would have fought Saunders. The WBC is evaluating the different alternatives so that Mazahua-May 5 finds the place where it will be placed for eternity.
Did you know?
Floyd Mayweather received the “WBC Emerald Belt” as a special award for defeating Manny Pacquiao. This belt holds the Guinness World Record for being the most expensive sports trophy in sports history.
I was in a room at the Hilton hotel in Las Vegas with my dad when the phone rang, and I heard my dad get very excited and when he finished, he said to me, “Mijito comes down to the lobby and brings my soul brother here to the room.”
After a long talk between them, we went down to eat and I witnessed an endless tale of anecdotes and stories of their experiences. That night my father gave me as a slogan to make sure that this character was very good during the fight. I sat in the front row and we witnessed the great victory of Julio Cesar Chavez over Edwin “Chapo” Rosario.
We finished the night with friends at dinner in which my dad, Jose Sulaiman and his soul brother, Don William Abraham Daguer, enjoyed to the fullest. Today we remember Don William. It’s fifteen years since he took the path of no return. But his memory lives on forever and motivates thousands of people to be better human beings.
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