Mauricio Sulaiman column: Canelo v Chavez; Special belt; WBC 54
This weekend has been very special for me and my wife, Christiane, as we visited our son, Jose, during parent’s weekend at Tabor Academy in Massachusetts.
To sit in his algebra class and remember the good old days at school and to see how technology has also taken over education techniques was marveling. We are flying back with an aching heart but with a profound feeling of pride as our young man makes inroads in life.
Golden Boy Promotions is officially presenting a gigantic fight – Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Mexico City is the first stop to promote this bout, which will catch the world´s attention, as it has been highly anticipated for more than six years, especially in the Mexican and Latino markets.
Both fighters have been closely related to the WBC since the beginning of their careers. Both conquered several WBC affiliated titles, including the World Youth championship and the Silver championship, before conquering the Green and Gold glory. Canelo won the WBC vacant super welter title when Manny Pacquiao decided to move down to welterweight, vacating the belt after beating Antonio Margarito. Canelo defeated Matthew Hatton and went on to defend the title six times before losing it to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013. Canelo then conquered the WBC middleweight crown, defeating Miguel Cotto, and defended it once against Amir Khan. Chavez won the WBC middleweight crown vs. Sebastian Zbik and defended it three times before losing to Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.
This is a fight which my father always envisioned. He used to talk about it with mixed feelings, as both were very close to him, often visited him, and both grew very close to his advice and support.
On May 6, Mexico will have one hero and both will have to be held accountable and respond to their respective fans.
The WBC celebrated its 54th Anniversary since its foundation by then-President of Mexico, Don Adolfo Lopez Mateos.
Lopez Mateos was a boxer in his youth and loved the sport. His leadership to form the WBC led to boxing becoming the most important sport for the country as it is highest generator of Olympic medals and world championships in professional boxing. Boxing has been closely associated to the two most important dates of Mexican history, and boxing matches have been organized on or around Cinco de Mayo and September 15th. Both are now traditions, and the most important dates for boxing in the United States for television networks and boxing promoters.
The WBC has instituted a special award – the “Adolfo Lopez Mateos” belt – to be presented to the winners of the fights which take place on the above mentioned dates, and it will be an exclusive piece of art handcrafted by the Huichol Community. Canelo vs. Chavez will be the first fight to receive the commemorative belt.
54 years of making boxing safer – boxing is so different today from what it was in 1963. It is honorable and dignified, and the protection of the athlete is a must in today’s administration of the sport. The WBC prides itself for introducing most of the changes which have saved so many lives and for having cared for the fighters after their lives in the ring. There is much frustration today, as a few boxing jurisdictions simply ignore the fact that boxing needs to grow into modern times and refuse to implement certain rules and procedures to battle the common problems in our sport. Fortunately, things were different before as, otherwise, fights could very well still be scheduled for 15 rounds and the official weigh-in would be held just six hours before the fights. There would not be mandatory medical examinations or antidoping tests, rings would only have three ropes, gloves would not have the thumb attached and would still be six ounces.