Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

WBC The 12th Round

The Presidential Pardon of Jack Johnson!

(May 30th) May 24 will be registered in the books of history as a great day for the sport of boxing, human equality and inclusion, as the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, signed the presidential pardon of boxer Jack Johnson at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D. C.

 

Jack Johnson was the first black boxer to conquer the heavyweight championship of the world. He suffered the discrimination and racial abuse of power, which caused him jail time but most importantly the loss of his honor, as his name was tainted for generations to come.

 

It was the wish from thousands, even millions to see this wrong corrected. It was the efforts of thousands for decades to get this pardon to become a reality. The WBC proudly led some of the efforts with the support of thousands of signatures of boxers and members of the boxing community, including the efforts of U.S. Senators like John McCain, Harry Reid, and Representative King throughout the years, and then the leadership of the greatest ambassador that boxing has ever had after Muhammad Ali, Sylvester Stallone, who was able to present the petition to President Trump.

I would like to thank all of you who participated in this process in one way or another as the end result is what all have been expecting for many years and today the name of legendary boxing hero, Jack Johnson, has been cleaned for eternity.

           

Letter from Jose Sulaiman at below. Similar letters were sent to President Obama, President Bush and President Clinton during the process.

Petition letters at right signed by world champions including Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Nino Benvenuti, Julio Cesar Chavez, Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, and others.

2018 Pardon petition to President Donald Trump below:

Following you will find some of the transcript from the official pronouncement by President Trump.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. This was set up quite a long time ago. And while this is a very interesting day we have going, this was very important to Sylvester Stallone – my friend for a long time, Sly – and the whole group.

 

We have incredible people here. We have the current heavyweight champion of the world, Deontay Wilder. He’s 40 and 0. This gentleman right here. He’s 40 and 0, with 39 knockouts.

 

And we have Lennox Lewis, who, as you know, is one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. Unbelievable heart, and, in all fairness, unbelievable talent. He was a talented, talented fighter. A great and talented fighter.

 

And we also have Linda Bell Haywood, the maternal great-great niece of Jack Johnson. Now, we all sort of have heard of Jack Johnson – had a very tough life, and an interesting life. One of the greatest fighters – Lennox was just telling me – one of the greatest fighters ever of the early 1900s.

 

Today, as President, I’ve issued an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, posthumously, to John Arthur “Jack” Johnson – he was known as “Jack Johnson” – the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. A truly great fighter. Had a tough life.

 

They say he violated the Mann Act, and he had a conviction that occurred during a period of tremendous racial tension in the United States more than a century ago. Johnson served 10 months in federal prison for what many view as a racially motivated injustice. He was treated very rough, very tough.

 

So, I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history, and to honor a truly legendary boxing champion, legendary athlete, and a person that, when people got to know him, they really liked him and they really thought he was treated unfairly as a human being and unfairly as a champion.

 

So, I’m going to be signing that. Don, if you bring that up. And then if you’d like to ask a couple of questions to the folks, I think that Mauricio Sulaiman – we have José Sulaiman, a name I’ve heard probably more than I’ve heard any boxer’s name. He’s a big power in the world of boxing, and somehow your name is mentioned at every major match, and Mauricio Sulaiman. And I think, in this case, Mauricio is going to say a few words. But let me sign this first so we get it done.

 

And congratulations, because I know you all fought very hard to have this taken care of. I know Lennox, and Sly, and my friend, Keith – where’s Keith? And my friend, Keith, who is a very successful guy. And the champ. You all fought very, very hard to get this done. So, it’s my honor to do it. It’s about time.

Mauricio, do you want to say something about the champ?

MAURICIO SULAIMAN: Mr. President, on behalf of the world of boxing, I would like to praise, congratulate, and thank you for taking this gigantic step for human equality and inclusion. Jack Johnson was the inspiration of many, including Muhammad Ali. This is a great day for the sport, a great day for humanity. And I’m just very proud to be here with the best ambassador boxing has ever had, Sylvester Stallone.

 

THE PRESIDENT: I agree with that.

 

MAURICIO SULAIMAN: “Rocky” has motivated so many generations. Lennox Lewis, one of the greatest champions in the history of boxing. And our current king, Deontay Wilder. It is just an unbelievable day for us. And all I can say, just the way you promoted our sport in the ’90s, you’re doing so many things now for the sport of boxing, which is unbelievable, and we cannot thank you enough.

 

THE PRESIDENT: And our country is doing great. It’s nice to see, but we are really doing great.

 

LENNOX LEWIS: Yeah, you know, Jack Johnson is a great inspiration to me, especially throughout my whole career. And I was always wondering how come he didn’t get a lot of press and what the situation was with him. But I’m very happy that I was here this historic day for Mr. Johnson and his family. And I think it’s going to weigh a heavy weight around the world that this actually happened, and everybody will thank you, and I’ll thank you as well.

 

THE PRESIDENT: I think it’s great when a great champion, who, in theory, doesn’t have to worry about somebody from the early part of the century – I think it’s great when a great champion comes to honor and even press that another great champion be honored. I think that’s a great thing.

 

LENNOX LEWIS: Yes, thank you.

 

SYLVESTER STALLONE: I want to thank you, Mr. President. It’s incredible that you’ve done this because – it’s one thing, I’ve been so blessed with the “Rocky” situation and playing that character. And actually, when I was writing it, I’m thinking about inspirations for this Apollo Creed, and that was Jack Johnson – this bigger than life, incredible character, and who is, you know, treated so unfairly – his prime was taken away – but somehow he still managed to persevere and kept a smile on his face, and he’s truly an inspirational character.

 

So, this has been a long time coming. Of course, Linda, thank you very much. You’re so amazing. Probably the – I don’t know how many blood relatives are left, but you’re, like, the one that really, really fought for him, and I appreciate that.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Linda, would you like to say something on behalf of Jack?

HAYWOOD: Yes. This has been a long time coming. And I am really overwhelmed because, for so long, my family was deeply ashamed that my uncle went to prison because of how he was treated, and they never really spoke of him. And I’ve said many times, I did not realize and know he was my uncle until I was 12 years old because of the shame that the family carried, and most of them took it to their graves.

 

By this pardon being issued, that would help to rewrite history and erase the shame and the humiliation that my family felt for my uncle, a great hero, being in prison unjustly. And so many people have come along with me on this journey. So many people, I cannot really thank them all.

THE PRESIDENT: Champ, would you like to say a few words about Jack Johnson?

 

DEONTAY WILDER: Yes, I would. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. The Jack Johnson pardon is something that should have never happened. You know, I’m here to support the pardon and his family. You know, this is an event that’s been long overdue, and it’s amazing to see a wrong corrected. And thanks – all thanks to Mr. President.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Well, on behalf of the White House, on behalf of the presidency, on behalf of this country – our country is a great country, and we have done something today that was very important because we righted a wrong. It was a wrong, and a lot of people knew it. I knew it. Without being an expert on the subject, I knew it for a long time. Jack Johnson was not treated fairly. And we have corrected that, and I’m very honored to have done it, Linda.

WBC Boxing At It’s Best!!

(May 9th) What a sensational week we had in boxing! From Thai hero Wangheng Menayothin's ninth title defense reaching 50-0, to the U.K. with WBC Emeritus champion Tony Bellew demolishing David Haye, to the 5 de Mayo Extravaganza in which women's boxing took a huge step forward with an instant classic, Braekhus vs. Reis, and GGG's spectacular performance knocking out brave Vanes Martyrosian.

 

As I was flying over the Pacific on my way to Thailand, I could only think of my father and how much he loved the country, known as the Land of smiles. WBC Vice President, General Kovid Bhakdibhumi, greeted me with his warm smile and took me to The Oriental Hotel to Room 1010, which was my father’s favorite in the whole world. I attended the Asian Boxing Council annual awards event and was extremely happy to be with some legendary champions, such as Pongsaklek Wongkongham, Chatchai Sasakul, and many other boxing greats. Current WBC super flyweight king Srisaket Rungvisai was awarded the Fighter of the Year trophy.          

Wangheng Menayothin defended his title for the ninth time, knocking out mandatory contender Leroy Estrada from Panama in five rounds. The little giant is now 50-0 in professional boxing after a Muay Thai career with over 350 bouts and very few losses.

Tony Bellew is on top of the world. He has cleared any doubts and is now glorified. Bellew has overcome obstacles, sacrificed and passionately worked harder than anyone to make his dreams come true. As reigning WBC cruiserweight champion, a life-changing opportunity arrived to fight David Haye at heavyweight, and Bellew would only accept if the WBC approved. He was appointed Emeritus Champion and as such represents the organization in all capacities inside and outside the ring. He has defeated Haye twice and even though fame and money has come in abundance, he remains as kind and humble as ever – a true pride of the WBC.

5 de Mayo celebration was a huge success. StubHub center is a great place for boxing, and this time was no exception. HBO featured for the first time ever a women's bout and it turned out to be a thrilling contest. Cecilia Braekhus is considered the pound-for-pound queen and faced former WBC middle weight champ Kali Reis. Cecilia was knocked down for the first time in her career and had to work very hard to retain her titles by decision. The crowd got what they asked for and Cecilia announced a rematch! Cecilia was presented a beautiful bracelet as a special award for winning the 5 de Mayo co-feature.

Golovkin – who is now "GGGG" as another G has been added for "gentleman" – was determined to get back in the ring and fight for his fans. It took extensive work and extreme difficulties to put together a fight card in less than three weeks, but it happened and was a great night of boxing. Vanes Martyrosian was brave and took the fight to Golovkin at the opening bell, and even won the first round. Then came the spectacular demonstration of speed, power and precision, a nine-punch combination which ended the fight with fireworks.

The 5 de Mayo commemorative belt was awarded to Gennady and he wouldn't take it off, understanding the value of representing the world in such an important date for the sport. The beauty of this unique piece of art carries the history of Mexico and its culture.

The WBC also began the long-awaited and very well-deserved recognition to boxing trainers. Trainers who crown a WBC champion will receive a special award, which is a belt inspired by the trainer's traditional towel. Abel Sanchez received his this past Saturday.

 

There are many more great fights to come in this already sensational 2018 – stay tuned and be ready to fasten your WBC belt.

Carlos Cuadras Suspension Update!

(April 25th) Former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras, from Mexico, has been temporarily suspended by the WBC and has entered a rehabilitation program for drugs and alcohol abuse.

 

Carlos has entered a program in which he is accepting to, once and for all, eradicate his unfortunate addiction to recreational drugs and alcohol.

                   

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman spoke at length with Carlos and expressed the WBC’s absolute support during this process.

 

Carlos has always been closely associated with the WBC throughout his professional career which began in March 2010. He has won several WBC affiliated titles, including, Youth, Continental Americas and Silver, and then conquered the Green and Gold glory by defeating current champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and made six title defenses before losing his WBC championship in a very close fight to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

 

Carlos admitted that fame, glory and money, which come from success in the ring, haunted him and he slowly became weak to the temptations and peer pressure from his pseudo friends.

 

“I am convinced that I will win this battle. I have a wife and a son to support and I represent my country. I need to find the strength, with the help of God, to find a cure to this horrible nightmare as I have lived in hell. But I am a champion and will be victorious,” said Cuadras.

 

He added, “I never failed a test in boxing. I respected the sport, but my usage in my private life, between fights, certainly affected my career in the sport I love. I am very thankful to those who have supported me during the difficult times. I am embarrassed and apologize to the public and to the sport but beg you to give me one last opportunity.”

 

The WBC will follow Carlos Cuadras’ progress and will be in his corner in full support with the confidence that he will overcome adversity.

WBC to Honor Boxing Trainers

Who Crown WBC Champions!

(April 25th) One of those plans which were in my father’s notes will now be a reality. I must thank Stephan Pryor, son of legendary champion Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor, for bringing the concept and idea back – to award the boxing trainer who crowns a WBC champion with a belt.

 

The WBC designed and developed a special belt, inspired by the traditional towel worn at all times by boxing trainers.

 

Starting in May, the WBC will present this sensational award of honor. So many great trainers who worked side by side and created great careers for legendary champions will remain the inspiration for this new concept, including:

Charley Goldman, trainer of Rocky Marciano; Jack Blackburn, trainer of Joe Louis; Cus D’Amato, trainer of Mike Tyson; Jackie McCoy; Amílcar Brusa, trainer of Carlos Monzón among other great champions; Ray Arcel, trainer of Roberto Duran; Gil Clancy, Emile Griffith’s trainer; Don Pancho Rosales, trainer of Raul “Raton” Macias; Angelo Dundee, trainer of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and other big names; Emanuel Steward, trainer of Tommy Hearns and other great champions of the legendary Kronk Gym; Arturo “Cuyo” Hernández, trainer of great Mexican champions like Carlos Zarate, Ruben “Puas” Olivares, Lupe Pintor, and others.

WBC update of each division and its status: For clarity and transparency, the official convention ruling remains as published and is found in bold, followed by all activity which has happened within the division.

 

WBC QUARTERLY REPORT ABOUT CONVENTION RULING ON EACH DIVISION – OCTOBER 2017.

HEAVYWEIGHT: Champion Deontay Wilder will make his mandatory defense against No. 1 ranked Bermane Stiverne on November 4. The WBC concluded the process, according to its Clean Boxing Program protocol, for the adverse finding of Luis Ortiz, and has withdrawn its sanction of the Wilder vs. Ortiz fight. An official ruling has been sent to the corresponding parties. Specific details will be released at a later date.

 

Dominique Breazeale will fight a final elimination bout with Eric Molina the same card as Wilder vs Stiverne as he had a valid contract to engage in a final elimination for WBC.

 

Dillian White vs. Robert Helenius for the vacant silver.

· Deontay Wilder defeated Bermane Stiverne by KO1 on November 4, 2017.

· Dominic Breazeale defeated Eric Molina by KOT8 and won the final elimination fight on November 4, 2017.

· Dillian Whyte defeated Robert Helenius by UD12 on October 28, 2017 and won the vacant silver title.

· Deontay Wilder defeated Luis Ortiz by KOT10 on March 3 in New York, in a voluntaary defense.

· Dillian Whyte defeated Lucas Browne by KO6 for the silver on March 24 in London.

 

APRIL, 2018: WBC ORDERS A FINAL ELIMINATION BOUT BETWEEN DILLIAN WHYTE AND LUIS ORTIZ FOR THE SECOND MANDATORY OF THE DIVISION.

 

CRUISERWEIGHT: Champion Mairis Briedis is in the World Boxing Super Series, so his mandatory status depends on who emerges as the winner and will be addressed at a later date.

· Oleksandr Usyk defeated Mairis Briedis by D12 and won the cruiserweight title on January 27 in Riga.

· Maxim Vlasov defeated Olanrewaju Durodola by KOT10 and won the vacant silver title on February 3 in Sochi.

· Olexandr Usyk vs. Murat Gassiev – Saudi Arabia * fight has been postponed due to injury.

· Maxim Vlasov vs. Ilunga Makabu on May for the Silver.

 

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT: Champion Adonis Stevenson is scheduled to make a mandatory defense against No. 1 ranked Eleider Alvarez in December. Number 2 Oleksandr Gvozdyk against number 4 Marcus Browne was approved as final eliminator and when we know the availability of Barrera, he will fight the highest available contender.

· Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Marcus Browne – final eliminator. The manager of Browne did not accept to participate.

· Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Sullivan Barrera for the Interim – purse offer Dec. 22. Barrera did not accept to participate.

· The WBC ordered Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack voluntary May 19, as well as an interim title between Gvozdyk vs Amar.

· Oleksandr Gvozdyk defeated Mehdi Amar by UD12 and won the interim title on March 17.

· The winner of Stevenson vs. Jack to fight the interim champion with 65-35% split.

· Eleider Alvarez remains as mandatory challenger and will fight versus the winner of champions vs. interim champion.

 

APRIL, 2018: ELEIDER ALVAREZ INFORMED THE WBC THAT HE WILL FIGHT FOR ANOTHER ORGANIZATION.

 

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT: Champion David Benavidez will fight a rematch against Ronald Gavril. This Saturday, No. 3 ranked Avni Yildirim is scheduled to fight No. 4 ranked Chris Eubank Jr. and Callum Smith conquered the WBC Diamond. Both Smith and Yildirim entered the WBSS and the WBC accepted to support such tournament. Mandatories will be addressed at the conclusion of the tournament with the winner being mandatory.

· Chris Eubank Jr. defeated Avni Yildirim by KO3 on October 7, 2017 and won the elimination fight in WBSS.

· Juergen Braehmer defeated Rob Brant by UD12 on October 27, 2017 and won the eliminator fight in WBSS.

· Benavidez defeated Ronald Gavril by UD12 on February 17 in Nevada, in a voluntary defense.

· Callum Smith defeated Niekey Holzken by UD12 for the Diamond on Feb. 24 in Germany.

· Azizbek Abdugofurov vs. Renold Quinlan for the vacant silver on May 5 in Uzbekistan.

 

MIDDLEWEIGHT: The WBC Board of Governors ordered a direct rematch between champion Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. Mandatory contender Jermall Charlo will fight an available contender for the WBC interim championship.

· Saul Alvarez was officially pulled out of the fight against Golovkin due to the adverse test results.

· Jermall Charlo defeated Hugo Centeno by KO2 and won the interim title on April 21.

 

WBC CHAMPION GOLOVKIN WILL MAKE A VOLUNTARY DEFENSE ON MAY 5th VS VANES MARTYROSIAN.

 

*WBC WILL SUPPORT THE GOLOVKIN VS ALVAREZ REMATCH IN CASE IT IS RESCHEDULED NEXT AFTER THE VOLUNTARY FIGHT OF MAY 5th THE WINNER TO MAKE THE MANDATORY DEFENSE OF THE DIVISION.

 

SUPER WELTERWEIGHT: Champion Jermell Charlo is scheduled to make a mandatory defense on October 14 against Erickson Lubin. The winner of the semi-final bout between No. 4 ranked Maciej Sulecki and No. 5 ranked Jack Culcay will then fight No. 3 ranked Vanes Martirosyan in a final elimination bout.

· Jermell Charlo defeated Erickson Lubin by KO1 on October 14, 2017, in a mandatory defense.

·  Maciej Sulecki defeated Jack Culcay by UD10 on October 21, 2017 and won the semifinal elimination.

· Maciej Sulecki vs. Vanes Martirosyan final eliminator. Sulecki decided to fight for the title of another organization.

· Kell Brook defeated Sergey Rabchenko by KO2 and won the vacant silver title on March 3.

· Jermell Charlo vs. Austin Trout – June 9 in California.

 

WELTERWEIGHT: Champion Keith Thurman, who is recovering from an injury, is scheduled to return to the ring in January. Mandatory challenger Shawn Porter is scheduled to fight Adrian Granados on November 4 for the WBC Silver title.

· Shawn Porter defeated Adrian Granados by UD12 on November 4, 2017 and won the vacant silver title.

·   Thurman will return in a voluntary defense in April.

· Shawn Porter mandatory.

·  Victor Ortiz defeated Devon Alexander BY MD12 in an eliminator fight on February 17 in Las Vegas.

· Danny Garcia defeated Brandon Rios by KOT9 in a final eliminator for the second mandatory, on February 17 in Las Vegas.

· Qudratillo Abdukakhorov defeated Laszlo Toth by UD12 on March 17 in Malaysia and won the vacant silver title.

· Jessie Vargas and Adrien Broner drew in an elimination fight on April 21 in New York.

 

APRIL, 2018: KEITH THURMAN HAS RELINQUISHED HIS WBC TITLE. THURMAN WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT FOR THE WBC TITLE ONCE HE HAS FULLY RECOVERED AND IS FIT TO RETURN.

 

WBC HAS ORDERED SHAWN PORTER VS DANNY GARCIA FOR THE WBC WORLD TITLE.

 

SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT: If champion Terence Crawford vacates the title, No. 1 ranked contender Amir Imam will fight No. 3 ranked Jose Carlos Ramirez for the vacant title. No. 2 ranked Regis Prograis will fight No. 4 ranked Viktor Postol for the interim title and then both winners to fight each other with a 50-50 split.

·   Josh Taylor defeated Miguel Vazquez by KO9 on November 11, 2017 in a defense of his Silver title.

·  Amir Imam vs. Carlos Ramirez – March 17 – New York for the vacant title.

·  Regis Prograis defeated Julius Indongo by KOT2 and won the interim title on March 9.

·  Prograis must fight the winner of Imam-Ramirez fight with a 50-50 split.

· Josh Taylor defeated Winston Campos by KOT3 in a defense of his Silver title on March 3 in Glasgow.

·  Jose Carlos Ramirez vs. Regis Prograis for the undisputed title – purse offer May 4 with a 50/50 split.

 

LIGHTWEIGHT: Champion Mikey Garcia is scheduled to fight Diamond champion Jorge Linares for the undisputed lightweight championship.

· Yvan Mendy defeated Jesus Arevalo by KO8 on December 14 in Paris for the silver.

· Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares are granted to have a voluntary defense of their titles.

· Jorge Linares fought Mercito Gesta on January 27, 2017 but he did not defend the WBC Diamond title.

·  Mikey Garcia defeated Sergey Lipinets by UD12 in a special event on March 10 in super lightweight division.

·  Jorge Linares and Mikey Garcia must fight next – free negotiations started on March 12.

·  Linares did not accept to participate and relinquished all rights in the WBC.

· Zaur Abdullaev defeated Deiner Berrio by UD12 and won the silver vacant title on April 22.

· Yvan Mendy vs. Luke Campbell final eliminator fight – purses offer May 27.

 

MIKEY GARCIA WILL FIGHT IBF CHAMPION IN AN UNIFICATION BOUT.

SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT: Champion Miguel Berchelt is scheduled to make a voluntary defense against Orlando Salido in December. No. 2 ranked Francisco Vargas and No. 3 ranked Jhonny Gonzalez are scheduled to fight in a final elimination to determine the mandatory contender.

· Miguel Berchelt was injured.

·  The WBC ordered Miguel Roman vs. Orlando Salido on December 9, for the interim, but in a very strange situation Salido camp pulled out of fighting a championship fight but only a 10-round over the weight fight against Roman.

· Miguel Roman in a great performance knocked out Orlando Salido and requested the WBC to recognize him as mandatory contender of the division.

·  The Board of Governors voted in favor to name Miguel Roman as mandatory challenger of the division.

· Miguel Berchelt defeated Maxwell Awuku by TKO3 in a voluntary defense on February 10 in Cancun.

· Miguel Roman is mandatory challenger.

 

APRIL, 2018: BERCHELT WILL MAKE A VOLUNTARY DEFENSE ON JUNE 23 AND THE WINNER MUST MAKE THE MANDATORY DEFENSE NEXT.

FEATHERWEIGHT: Champion Gary Russell is scheduled to fight a voluntary defense and mandatory contender, Joseph Diaz, next. That will be mandated for around May.

· Russell vs. TBA voluntary.

· Gary Russell vs. Joseph Diaz mandatory, May 19 in Maryland.

 

SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT: Champion Rey Vargas is scheduled to fight mandatory challenger Julio Ceja, who won a final eliminator. No. 2 ranked Diego De La Hoya and No. 3 ranked Hugo Ruiz will fight in a final eliminator.

· Julio Ceja defeated Breilor Teran by UD12 and won the silver title on November 25, 2017.

· Rey Vargas defeated Oscar Negrete by UD12 on December 2, 2017 in a voluntary defense.

· Rey Vargas vs. Azat Hovhannisyan – voluntary – May 12.

·  Rey Vargas vs. Julio Ceja mandatory.

 

BANTAMWEIGHT: The WBC Clean Boxing Program still has to rule on the findings on a positive test for champion Luis Nery. No. 2 ranked Emmanuel Rodríguez will fight in a final eliminator against No. 3 ranked Petch Sor Chitpattana.

· Luis Nery vs. Yamanaka ordered.

· The WBC ordered the final eliminator between Emmanuel Rodriguez and Petch Sor Chitpattana, but Rodriguez decided to fight for the title of another organization.

· Nordine Oubaali defeated Mark Geraldo by KO7 on December 16 in Paris for the Silver.

· Luis Nery lost the title on the scale and KOT2 Shinsuke Yamanaka on March 1 in Japan.

· Nordine Oubaali vs. Petch Sor Chipatanna for the vacant – purse offer April 27 50/50 split.

 

SUPER FLYWEIGHT: Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has requested a voluntary defense before his mandatory fight against Juan Francisco Estrada.

· Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defeated Juan Estrada by MD12 in a mandatory defense on February 24 in California.

· McWilliams Arroyo defeated Carlos Cuadras by MD12 and won the Silver title on February 24.

 

FLYWEIGHT: Champion Daigo Higa is scheduled to fight Thomas Masson in a voluntary defense on October 22.

· Daigo Higa defeated Thomas Masson by KOT7 on October 22, 2017 in a voluntary defense.

· Andrew Selby defeated Maximino Flores by UD12 on October 7, 2017 and won the elimination.

· Daigo Higa defeated Moises Fuentes by KO1 on Feburary 4 in Naha, Japan, in a voluntary defense.

· Cristofer Rosales defeated Daigo Higa, who lost the title on the scale, by KOT9 on April 15 in Yokohama.

 

LIGHT FLYWEIGHT: Champion Ken Shiro is scheduled to fight No. 1 contender Pedro Guevara, with the winner to fight Ganigan Lopez. It was approved that Hekkie Budler fights against number 3 or 4 for the vacant Silver title and then to make a final eliminator and fight for the title after the mandatory.

· Ken Shiro defeated Pedro Guevara by MD12 on October 22, 2017 in a mandatory defense.

· Gilberto Parra defeated Leyman Benavides by KOT4 on November 18, 2017 and won the vacant silver title.

· Ken Shiro defeated Gilberto Pedroza by TKO4 in a voluntary defense on December 30.

· Ken Shiro vs. Ganigan Lopez – mandatory – May 25 in Tokyo.

 

MINIMUMWEIGHT: Champion Wanheng Menayothin is scheduled to make a voluntary defense in November. The No. 1 ranked contender, Leroy Estrada is the mandatory contender

 

·  Wanheng Menayothin defeated Tatsuya Fukuhara by UD12 on November 25 in a voluntary defense.

·  Wanheng Menayothin vs. Leroy Estrada mandatory – May 2, 2018 in Thailand.

The 12th Round:

Success After A Life Inside the Ring!

(April 17th) Evander Holyfield is now a boxing promoter. A legendary champion – one of the best inside the ring – is now trying to succeed outside the four ropes as a boxing promoter. It is not easy, and history shows few boxers have had success in their efforts as promoters.

 

What are the keys of success?

First, the fighter must have a solid team as partners. A champion like Holyfield is used to having an entourage at his service and it is easy to get used to being praised and glorified, but that doesn't happen when the champ becomes a promoter. Holyfield has made the right decision and has sensational, knowledgeable boxing people in his company, Sal Musumeci and Eric Bentley, as leaders of the group.

 

Second, the promoter must have a plan and take the necessary time to implement its. He must not go out and sign a large group of fighters just to make the first impression with the usual claim of being "the future of boxing promotions." Holyfield Promotions is concentrating on building talent – young fighters who can be guaranteed continuous activity in the ring.

             

Third, promote boxing. It simple to say, but in today's world, difficult to do. Promoting is much different from simply operating an event by booking flights and hotels, making a press conference and weigh-in, and filling the boxes on the checklist. Holyfield has gone out to promote boxing. He has gone back to basics and is going out on the road to promote, create expectations, offer interesting concepts, and get everyone involved.

Evander will take the first step to make my father's dream become a reality. He is promoting a world tournament of professional boxing – eight fighters in the welterweight division from eight different countries. It is an attractive concept with innovative rules, safety and health as a priority, and excellent matchmaking.

This single-elimination tournament will honor my father's legacy and has been named after him: "Jose Sulaiman World Invitational." This gesture will never be forgotten by the WBC and the Sulaiman family.

The first event will happen in Louisville, Kentucky, the home of the greatest, Muhammad Ali, at the YUM center. A capacity crowd is expected, and the event will feature the following matches:

 

Felix Diaz (19-2-0, 9 KOs) of Santa Domingo, D.R. will clash with Derrieck Cuevas (24- 6- 1, 12 KOs) of Santa Barbara, California.

 

Chris Van Heerden (25-2-1, 12 KOs) of Johannesburg, South Africa, faces TIMO SCHWARZKOPF, (18-1-0, 10 KOs) of Stuttgart, Germany.

 

Fredrick Lawson (26-1-0, 21 KOs) of Accra, Ghana, battles Baishanbo Nasiywula (13-1-1, 6 KOs), of Urumqi, China.

 

Paddy Gallagher (13-3-0, 8 KOs) of Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, faces Brad Solomon (27-1-0, 9 KOs), of Douglasville, Georgia.

The 12th Round:

Doping Rights, Facts and Justice…!

By Mauricio Sulaiman

WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

Sports have tremendous influence in the day to day life for millions all over the world. Kids play sports, youth practice sports aiming to compete as amateurs or become professionals and elders do sports to remain fit and healthy and those few who make it to professionalism perform to earn a living.

 

For centuries and recently for decades sports meant honorable, clean competition to win a medal for honor and national pride or win a championship for pride and supremacy. Sports move masses with great interest and when television was invented sports moved from thousands watching at arenas or stadiums, to millions watching on the screen.

 

Then came MR. MONEY. Motivation to win turned from honor and glory to luxury, ambition and fortunes.

 

An Olympic medal represents large earnings for the athlete, the country, sponsors, trainers and moves a nation’s economy. A world championship in any sport represents huge earnings to the athlete, the team, the city, sponsors, managers, trainers, family and friends!

Setting a record, achieve or surpass contracted minimum standards, or simply winning represents additional income, bonuses and sponsorship opportunities, the drive to be the best , the pressure to be victorious and the benefits it brings, began a practice which has changed sports forever….. DOPING. To use performance enhancing substances and illegal procedures to gain advantage over your opponents.

 

Doping became a complex industry, technology and science combined hunting for weak minds, for greedy and ambitious individuals and groups, misleading and deceiving naive athletes, exploiting the trust of those who put their lives in the hands of their trainers, coaches and advisors.

Doping in boxing appears to be rare. Boxers are honorable and mindful athletes that understand the sport, it’s dangers and risks and are sensible to what could happen to their opponents. They pray before the fight begging for both to end the fight healthy and end the fight embracing the opponent recognizing their performance. However it is a fact that doping exists and it must be BATTLED and STRONGLY penalized.

The WBC created the CLEAN BOXING PROGRAM. Administered by VADA under WADA guidelines. We have experienced a wide variety of situations, different substances, different scenarios, complicated research, investigations and rulings. We stand tall to see the WBC CBP working and will continue to have this as one of our top priorities. WE ARE THE ONLY INTERNATIONAL BOXING ORGANIZATION THAT HAS CREATED A PROGRAM TO EDUCATE, ENROLL AND RANDOMLY TEST OUT AND IN COMPETITION , AND BATTLE DOPING IN OUR SPORT, BECAUSE, FOR THE WBC, there is nothing more sacred than the safety and physical integrity of the boxers, while making sure that justice is served through the corresponding application of our constitution, rules and regulations through the due process and world principle of innocence until proven otherwise.

CANELO ÁLVAREZ tested positive for banned substance CLEMBUTEROL. That is A fact and under the doping code, the athlete is the only person responsible for what enters their body.

 

RIGHTS

-WBC champion Genaddy GGG Golovkin has all the rights to challenge the doping of his opponent. He has all the rights to demand an investigation of such doping results.

 

-NEVADA STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION has all the rights to conduct any investigations and rule any decisions as the fight is contracted to take place under their jurisdiction.

 

-WBC has all the rights to investigate the case through the Clean Boxing Program protocol and determine its position as the WBC middleweight championship is involved in this fight.

 

-Saul CANELO Álvarez has all the rights to go through the due process, to provide information and defend his position.

 

FACTS

* NSAC has full authority to make any decision and take any action with regards to the fighters and fight contracted under their jurisdiction.

 

* Nothing is more important other than guaranteeing the safety of the fighters and doping violations must be fully investigated.

* Canelo had 2 tests with adverse findings of CLEMBUTEROL

* 3 additional tests have resulted in negative

* Clembuterol is a well known, well documented substance which has created a series of doping scandals in several sports in Mexico and a few other countries. Why? becasue it´s widey used in agricultural production (although it is ilegal) to fatten cattle, that is why it is a public health problem in México

* WADA, FIFA, NFL, IOC, and many others have absolute knowledge of this substance and its controversies.

* 109 out of 289 soccer players tested positive for Clembuterol during Mexico’s sub-17 World Cup in 2011.

* Erik Morales and Francisco Vargas tested positive for Clembuterol before their respective fights of 2013 and 2016, which in deed took place in New York and California, THE LEVELS FOUND IN THE BOXERS AND THE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE FACTS LED TO CONCLUDE IT WAS DUE TO FOOD CONTAMINATION .

* There are several other cases and sports with examples.

* The levels of Clembuterol found in Alvarez are consistent and lower than other athletes levels from the example as detailed above which were ultimately reported as food contamination.

* Clembuterol contamination is a National health issue in Mexico and other countries.

JUSTICE

Every person is entitled to a due process whenever a fault has been reported. The influence of media, social media and third parties WITHOUT ANY KIND OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROCESS should never interfere and decisions must be made with absolute respect to the rules and regulations, analysis of facts and use of common sense.

 

Canelo, specifically and exclusively to this case may be considered guilty of negligence and ignorance, was careless in his nutrition regime, however with all the facts and information available to analyze this case, cannot be found guilty of doping.

The 12th Round:

Boxing, A Volcano In Constant Eruption!

Mauricio Sulaimán, President

(March 21st) I miss so much writing my weekly column, which I will certainly continue from now on. This year began with extreme demands for travel, meetings, and activities all over which is shaping 2018 as yet another unbelievable year for boxing.

 

My dear father, Jose Sulaiman, often described boxing as “a volcano in constant eruption” – one day a huge problem or controversy arises, then it is resolved just to wake up the following day with a new one. The WBC has 166 affiliated nations and thus the complexities in administering the activities worldwide. Different standards, practices, and cultures make effective and efficient communications a real challenge.

 

There have been incredibly high moments so far this year – and a few lows – which remind us that there is still much to do to make boxing safer and better.

The heavyweight fight between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz was one of those magic nights that brought back the so many memories of the greatest division in our sport. A fight between two undefeated warriors with a combined record of 68 wins, 63 by KO, could only give boxing fans a thriller. Wilder is finally recognized for his greatness and Ortiz reminded all that the American dream is a possibility.   

SUPERFLY 2 was a tremendous success. McWilliams Arroyo surprised Carlos Cuadras and WBC champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defeated tough former champ Juan Francisco Estrada in a sensational fight – that 12th round is one of the best ever. The table is set for SUPERFLY 3.

 

A highly regarded rematch was ruined by Luis Nery who lost his WBC bantamweight title on the scale. This irresponsible act caused tremendous damage to boxing in Japan. It has brought to our attention to the fact that there are dangerous methods being practiced on boxers, such as a weight reduction plan which can lead to kidney failure, liver and heart disease, and even death. We will take on this topic to the fullest to try to eradicate these practices.

The news about the highly anticipated second fight between WBC Middleweight champion “GGG” Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez ignited the interest all over the world. Unfortunately, the news has now turned to the adverse finding of Clenbuterol on Canelo. There is much speculation and GGG has, for the first time ever, spoken in a very aggressive manner and has finally shown that he is human. GGG has every right to demand clarity on the issue, and I am certain that the Nevada Commission will handle the matter appropriately.

The WBC celebrated its 55th anniversary, time in which boxing has changed dramatically through the efforts of many great boxing men from around the world. Boxing is now safer than ever, and we continue to find procedures to minimize the risk for all boxers.

           

The 2000th WBC world title fight took place in New York, and destiny made this iconic fight to be one promoted by Don King and Bob Arum, the greatest promoters in boxing history.

I had a wonderful lunch with one of the greatest ambassadors of boxing, Sylvester Stallone. We presented him the WBC tribute belt to commemorate Rocky’s 40th anniversary.

 

There are many more great things to come, and let’s all hope to have many more high moments and less lows.

WBC - The 12th Round

Happy 55th Anniversary WBC!

HAPPY 55th ANNIVERSARY WBC!

(February 12th) The WBC is celebrating its 55th anniversary on February 14th. It has been a great journey from that founding moment back in 1963, when the President of Mexico at the time, Adolfo Lopez Mateos, organized a world boxing summit with the most influential governing authorities of the sport from around the world. New York, California, Nevada, the British Boxing Board of Control, the European Boxing Union, the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation, and a few others met in Mexico City and the World Boxing Council was born.

 

We can take pride that boxing today is much different from those days, and it is in great part due to the relentless work performed by many members of the WBC by leading research programs, implementing new rules and procedures, and always remaining active for the betterment of the sport, but most importantly for the safety of the fighters.

 

Boxing was brutal, regulations were minimal, and boxers were simply seen as merchandise. The reduction of championship rounds from 15 to 12, the implementation of mandatory medical examinations (yearly standard studies), pre- and after-fight examinations, the implementation of the day before the fight weigh-in, the creation of intermediate weight categories, the thumb-attached glove, banning the six-ounce glove, adding the fourth rope in the ring, and many, many more changes were implemented under the leadership of the WBC and my dear father, Jose Sulaiman.

 

The WBC championship is the dream of every boxer, the Green and Gold – the belt once held by Ali, Foreman, Tyson, Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Duran, Chavez, Arguello, Monzon, Mayweather, Pacquiao, and so many great legendary champions. But the WBC is and will always be for the boxers before, during and after their days of glory in the ring.

At the same time, the WBC is approaching yet another milestone as the 2000th world title fight sanctioned by the WBC is fast approaching and will take place in March or April.

 

Today, I celebrate my fourth anniversary as President of the WBC. I say this with mixed feelings, as I can’t help but to immediately relate this anniversary to the one of the passing away of my dear father. Continuing in the WBC has been a blessing for me as it has kept me close to him every single day, every single hour, every single moment. Being the son of Jose Sulaiman is my greatest pride and it motivates me to understand that I must honor his name and legacy with my actions day after day. I will continue to follow his path with the same principles and values which have ruled the WBC and which make our organization different from any other governing organization from any sport.

 

CLEAN BOXING PROGRAM UPDATE

The WBC Clean Boxing program administered by VADA continues to lead our sport in every aspect concerning performance enhancing drugs and procedures.

 

The CBP is moving forward and will put emphasis on teaching fighters and trainers all aspects of PEDs, nutrition, and healthy matters. We will continue to randomly test fighters around the world, continue to contract specific fights for testing, and continue to learn and research how to make boxing safer for all.

 

Luis Ortiz and Luis Nery have both been following the WBC's ruling, with absolute compliance of the required tests ordered by the WBC CBP. Both fighters have been tested during this process and results are in the process by to be reported by VADA.

 

The WBC CBP team will meet next Thursday in Las Vegas to review the results of 2017 as well as confirm the 2018 action plan.

BOXING IN JEOPARDY AT OLYMPIC GAMES

The news came from the IOC and has hit the boxing community around the world. There is a worldwide movement to express absolute support for the sport and its continuation in the Olympic Games competition. Boxing was one of the six sports which founded the original Olympics in Athens and has been an Olympic sport since 1904. Amateur boxing is the basis of the sport and Olympic glory was the platform to create legendary careers of many great world champions, including Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Oscar de la Hoya, just to name a few.

WBC- The 12th Round Super Bowl – Super Box!

The 12th Round

By Mauricio Sulaiman

WBC President – Jose Sulaiman's son

 

(February 5th) I landed in Mexico City at 5:00 in the morning this past Sunday after a trip to Riga, Latvia, and Sochi, Russia, which was a great success. After a short nap, I took my son, Mauricio, for breakfast and then back home to do the one thing I only do once a year – cook Super Bowl chili! It's the only dish I can cook, and I only do it on Super Bowl day. It is really, really good.

 

What a game – incredible! That is why Super Bowl is known as one of the greatest events of the year. The Eagles came out and won the game – they were strong, smart, and took the risks that many other teams failed to do against the Patriots. They took the fight toe-to-toe and beat them. I was very worried to see Gronkowski on the field after being brutally knocked out only two weeks ago. A KO like that would have given any boxer a 45-day suspension without contact. Luckily, he was not hit in the head and played an incredible game in the second half.

I loved the bet that the majors of Philadelphia and Brockton put on for the Super Bowl – the statues of Rocky Balboa in Philly and the one of Rocky Marciano in Brockton are to wear the winner's apparel after the game. They both agreed, and let's see how it plays out. Now Marciano will have to honor the Philadelphia Eagles. This was a great moment to remember the passion which my father put into building the Rocky Marciano statue, which the WBC constructed, shipped, and delivered for the glorious day of the unveiling in Brockton, Massachusetts.

 

Boxing is a great sport – the best of them all – and the only sport which can celebrate several “Super Bowls” during each year. 2018 will certainly give boxing fans a few Boxing Super Bowls or “Super Box” fights.    

I was present in Riga, Latvia to watch the cruiserweight unification fight between Mairis Breidis and Olexandr Usyk. It was one of the greatest cruiserweight fights of all time – 12 rounds in which the sold-out crowd was on its feet with a very loud atmosphere, and with a majority decision going to Usyk. A week later, Sochi, Russia, hosted the other cruiserweight unification in which a sold-out crowd saw the local hero Murat Gassiev knock out Yunier Dorticos. All four fighters were undefeated, and the two winners advanced to the final of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) with the Muhammad Ali Trophy and the WBC Diamond belt at stake.

The fight which will certainly be billed as the Super Bowl of this year is the rematch between GGG and Canelo. All set for 5 de Mayo!

 

On February 24, Superfly II will feature WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada.

 

On March 3, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will battle Luis Ortiz, which will be undoubtedly a great fight with fireworks – another Super Box.

 

Other potential Super Box fights could be:

Mikey Garcia vs. Jorge Linares

Deontay Wilder vs. Anthony Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk vs. Murat Gassiev

Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack

Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia rematch, or some other welterweights.

 

Anyway, boxing is a sport which gives fans great action throughout the year, and I am certain that promoters, managers, TV executives, sponsors, and boxing governing entities will work to give fans the fights they all deserve to see.

We just celebrated a sensational Armed Forces boxing tournament, the fourth "Jose Sulaiman" amateur battle of the badges in Mexico. Police, Army, Navy, Firemen, and Special Forces teams met in high-quality competition which was a tremendous success.

Uncertain Future for Olympic Boxing!

The 12th Round

By Mauricio Sulaiman

WBC President – Jose Sulaiman's son

 

(January 29th) I am in Riga, Latvia, and still feel the great joy of Saturday night's event at Riga Arena, where Alexandr Usyk dethroned local hero Mairis Briedis. It is, without a doubt, the best cruiserweight championship fight in the division's history. The fight card was organized by the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) with extraordinary production, making this "an event." The world-class arena was packed and the atmosphere was electric throughout the 12 rounds.

 

Usyk won by majority decision: 114-114 and 115-113 twice. The WBC judges wore noise reduction headphones, which is a WBC initiative to maximize the ability to concentrate and to limit the influence that noise may have in the subconscious of a judge during the fight. This was one of the loudest crowds I have ever experienced.

 

Instant replay was also available through the WBSS production, but it was not used, as it was an extremely clean fight which only had three clinches in the whole bout.

 

This fight made me cherish our sport and its global nature. We are the "WORLD" boxing council, 166 countries affiliated, and here I was sitting in Latvia, watching a fight between a Latvia national vs. an Ukrainian. It was great to see our new protocol in place in which fighters exchange flags of their countries and of BoxVal (Boxing with Values) in the middle of the ring, and the fight proved to be a great one. Usyk is now going to the finals of the Muhammad Ali trophy and also will earn the WBC Diamond belt.

 

I am flying tomorrow to Sochi, Russia, as I was invited to be part of an International Boxing Forum.

 

AIBA, the international federation authorized exclusively by the International Olympic committee to administer amateur boxing and Olympic competition, is now going through a severe crisis. It is unfortunate, as this has a direct impact in the sport overall. Even though amateur boxing and professional boxing are two completely different sports, they have a direct relationship.

 

Olympic boxing was, for decades, a sensational attraction during the Olympic Games and many of the boxers participating would move on to professional boxing to become world champions. Many legendary champions came from the Olympics, such as Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Oscar de la Hoya.

 

After a long reign by Mr. Anwar Chowdri, a new President, C.K. Wu, was elected 11 years ago and made changes in amateur boxing that were creating important problems in the sport, especially with the scoring system and the huge scandals with results in competitions.

 

Wu's administration brought AIBA to its worst level in history, and is still challenging the survival of the federation.

 

Seven years ago, my father led the WBC to challenge AIBA's policies and began a world campaign against the practices which have placed amateur boxing in the verge of disappearing. Wu instituted programs which are intended to eliminate amateur boxing and make all boxers professionals. AIBA created a system in which they would become the promoters and managers of boxers, and tried to have professional boxers compete at the Olympic Games!!!!!

 

The WBC created the WBC Amateur committee and has served as a platform to several countries to revive amateur boxing. At first the national federations from those countries were against our amateur committee, as their affiliation with AIBA seemed to prohibit any amateur boxing activity in their territory. The WBC amateur activity has been sensational, with community programs, boxing competitions, awareness programs, and family-oriented activities, all combined to create a very positive atmosphere for the kids in countries like the United States, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Panama, Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago, just to name a few.

 

Today, AIBA faces extreme difficulties. Wu was ejected and they are in the process of finding a new President to lead an effort to establish its credibility and take on the task of organizing the Olympic competition for 2020 in Tokyo.

 

Amateur boxing is the basis for professional boxing, and we can only hope that AIBA gets on the right track and goes back to basics and concentrates on what their duty is, which is exclusively AMATEUR BOXING worldwide.

THE WBC ANNOUNCES THE BEST OF 2017

(January 10th) World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman said the choices were not easy for discerning fans, due to the sheer quality of impressive knockouts, shining prospects, unexpected returns, and many brilliantly thrilling fights which crystallized as catalysts for an exceptional 2017.

 

He thanks the passion and precision of thousands upon thousands of fans who voted for their favorites in the categories of Champion of the Year, Fight of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Exemplary Champion, Revelation of the Year, Prospect of the Year, Return of the Year, and Revelation of the Year.

 

Behold your winners:

FIGHTER OF THE YEAR: GENNADY GOLOVKIN

WBC Middleweight champion GGG defended the title twice, against world-renowned champions Daniel Jacobs and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, establishing his position as the Number 1 pound-for-pound fighter of the world.

KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR: SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI

WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai knocked out legendary five-division champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

 

 

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: DEONTAY WILDER

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder knocked out former champion and mandatory contender Bermane Stiverne in a dramatic and brief single round, an overwhelming performance that would be admired by Mike Tyson himself!

FIGHT OF THE YEAR: GENNADY GOLOVKIN VS. SAUL “CANELO” ALVAREZ

A 12-round dramatic and highly-anticipated super match between WBC champion Gennady Golovkin and former WBC champ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez resulted in a draw, with Golovkin retaining his championship and winning the Huichol Belt.

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR: MIKEY GARCIA

WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia returned to the ring after a long absence and categorically won the WBC lightweight championship with a dramatic knockout over Dejan Zlaticanin. Mikey Garcia is back and is ready to create yet more tremendous excitement for boxing fans all around the world.

EVENT OF THE YEAR: THE MONEY FIGHT

Floyd Mayweather Jr. came out of retirement to represent the sport of boxing against a bigger and heavier mixed martial arts superstar Connor McGregor. The fight has gleaned the second biggest pay-per-view sales in history. The excitement in the arena with the hype all over the world, as well as the tremendously entertaining fight, made this the Event of the Year.

EXEMPLARY CHAMPION OF THE YEAR: BADOU JACK

Former WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack moved up in weight and conquered another organization’s title. But he remains absolutely loyal to the WBC, even proudly showcasing his belt with pride and honor at all times. Badou is an exemplary family man who represents the best of boxing inside and outside the ring. In March, he’ll challenge WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson.

REVELATION OF THE YEAR: MIGUEL BERCHELT

WBC super featherweight champion Miguel “Alacran” Berchelt conquered the green and gold belt in a dramatic fashion by stopping former champion Francisco Vargas, who was badly cut over both eyes. “Alacran” then swiftly made the mandatory title defense against formidable ex-champion Takashi Miura and is today a new superstar in the world of boxing.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: EDUARDO “ROCKY” HERNANDEZ

At only 19 years old, “Rocky” Hernandez remains undefeated. He’s the WBC Youth champion and Number 4-rated in the WBC super featherweight division. Hard-hitting Rocky is one of the most important and spectacular prospects in the world.

The 12th Round – January 8th!

By Mauricio Sulaiman

WBC President – Jose Sulaiman's son

(January 8th) I started the year with a very fruitful trip to Los Angeles, where I was able to hold several important meetings to kick off 2018.

 

I had the pleasure to meet Antonio Villaraigoza, pictured at left, who is a candidate to become Governor of the state of California. Mr. Villaraigoza loves boxing and has been supportive of our sport for a long time. He will be launching a program which will bring social responsibility campaigns through boxing.

The WBC's Los Angeles office has become a very important asset of the WBC, as it serves as a bridge to be closer to the boxing community, especially the boxers. This office serves as a platform for boxers – we provide photo sessions that result in high quality photographs that the fighters may use, and this is a gift from the WBC. Our meeting resulted in the creation of the action plan for 2018 with many interesting things coming soon.

 

My brother, Pepe Sulaiman, on the left in the photo above, is in charge of the office and is continuously in communication with the fighters in the area, amateurs, four-rounders, or world champions! It doesn't matter – this is the WBC family.

I was so happy to meet Israel Vazquez and Jose Ramirez. We celebrated together the Three Wise Kings tradition at the office, and Ramirez' piece of the round cake had the lucky prize – he won a WBC miniature belt!

 

I met with Dr. Paul Wallace, the WBC Medical Committee Chairman, and we discussed the 2018 action plan. The WBC's success has been based on our interest in medical research and medical studies, which have led to the current rules of boxing – it was through the UCLA/WBC plan that it was determined that rules in boxing needed to be adjusted and changed. Championship fights were reduced from 15 to 12 rounds. The official weigh in was changed from the day of the fight to 24 to 30 hours before the fight. Mandatory safety weigh-ins are held 30 and seven days before the fight. Six-ounce gloves were abolished. Female fights are scheduled for no more than 10 two-minute rounds, and so many more.

 

The WBC Nutrition Committee was created last year, and I also met with the Chairman, Dr. Gogglia, to set the plan for the year. He will interact with other WBC committees, as nutrition is such an important topic and is currently being ignored by many. There will be direct interaction with the Clean Boxing Program, because many fighters mistakenly take supplements which could be easily eliminated through a nutrition plan. The Medical Committee will work hand in hand and the Fight Administration Committee, as everything that has to do with the 30 and seven-day weigh-ins can benefit from a nutritional plan, as well.

 

I was looking at the WBC lineup for 2018. The numbers are simply incredible. The quality of the WBC champions is humbling: 13 out of the 17 champions are undefeated, and three have only one loss. The WBC champions' combined record is 529 wins and seven losses!

One of the WBC's priorities has been the support to women's boxing, and we can proud of ourselves for being the organization that has led the sport to find growth in all aspects for women. The two world female boxing conventions were a great success, and it is a fact that 2018 will be a ground-breaking year for these athletes who deserve the television exposure and larger purses.

 

The WBC will organize the third World Convention for Women's Boxing, and will continue to find ways to support their growth.

 

I wish everybody a healthy and happy 2018, and Long Live Boxing!

The 12th Round - January 2nd!

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

(January 2nd) I wish to thank FIGHTNEWS for allowing me to share a weekly column with the fans of boxing around the world. This is a great opportunity to share some direct information and get closer to the trenches where the sport takes place and is discussed. I welcome all comments and appreciate those critics whose comments are made with respect and responsibility, as they help us become better.

 

The bell has rung, and we are starting a new journey through this 12-round fight of 2018. Last year represented the rebirth of our great sport, as fans around the world witnessed some spectacular matches. I am certain that boxing will carry on, and promoters and television networks will work and join forces to give fans the fights they deserve.

           

The WBC will cooperate and work towards trying to make the best fights possible throughout the year. We are nearing the spectacular celebration of the WBC’s 2000th world championship fight. We enter this year with 1,989 sanctioned fights in our 55-year history, some of them being the best fights ever with legendary champions including Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, and so many other great champions who have fought for the green and gold WBC belt.

 

The WBC convention in Baku, Azerbaijan, reviewed each division and the mandatory status was determined. We pride ourselves on our transparency and open books. Consequently, the WBC reports the mandated status of each division every quarter. Following is the status as we begin 2018 with great expectations.

 

Heavyweight: Champion Deontay Wilder (USA) made his mandatory defense in November, so he is in a voluntary stage and is free to defend his title. He has also expressed his absolute desire to fight Anthony Joshua, which is the fight the world wants to see, and the WBC will fully support such a tremendous bout.

 

Cruiserweight: Champion Mairis Breidis (Latvia) will fight Alexandr Usyk in a unification about in the World Boxing Super Series tournament. The WBC fully supports this great tournament concept, and the cruiserweight mandatory defense will be addressed at the end of the tournament in May.

 

Light heavyweight: Champion Adonis Stevenson (Haiti-Canada) will fight former WBC super middleweight champion Badou Jack in a highly-anticipated match. Mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez will fight Oleksandr Gvozdyk for the WBC interim title, due to the fact that the mandatory defense has been delayed for several reasons. Both winners must fight immediately after their matches.

 

Super middleweight: Champion David Benavidez (Mexico) will fight a rematch with Ronald Gavril in February. WBC Diamond champion Callum Smith (UK) was crowned during the WBSS, and will continue to participate in the tournament. The mandatory situation will be addressed at the end of the tournament.

 

Middleweight: Champion Gennady Golovkin (Kazakhstan) has been mandated to fight a rematch with Canelo Alvarez, and negotiations are taking place. In order to allow this rematch, the WBC ordered mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo to fight Hugo Centeno for the WBC middleweight interim championship.

 

Super welterweight: Champion Jermell Charlo (USA) made two mandatory defenses. A final elimination bout between Vanes Martirosyan and Maciej Sulecki has been ordered.

 

Welterweight: Champion Keith Thurman (USA) will return in a voluntary title defense, as he has recovered from his injury. Shawn Porter is the mandatory challenger, and Danny Garcia will fight Brandon Rios in a final elimination bout for the second mandatory due to the inactivity of Thurman.

 

Super lightweight: Champion Terence Crawford (USA) will most likely move up in weight. The WBC ordered both Amir Imam vs. Juan Carlos Ramirez and Regis Prograis vs. Viktor Postol, with the winners to fight each other.

 

Lightweight: Champion Mikey Garcia (Mexico-USA) received special permission to fight over the weight in February in a WBC special event. WBC diamond champion Jorge Linares (Venezuela) will defend his championship in January. Both champions will fight each other immediately after their bouts.

 

Super featherweight: Champion Miguel Berchelt (Mexico) will fight former champion Cristian Mijares in February, and will then make his mandatory defense. The WBC is in the process of voting on a request to officially appoint Miguel Roman as mandatory challenger after he knocked out Orlando Salido.

 

Featherweight: Champion Gary Russell (USA) will defend his title in February, and then make his mandatory defense against JoJo Diaz.

 

Super bantamweight: Champion Rey Vargas (Mexico) will make a voluntary defense, and then proceed to his mandatory defense.

 

Bantamweight: Champion Luis Neri (Mexico) will fight the mandated rematch against former champion Shinzuke Yamanaka in March.

 

Super flyweight: Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (Thailand) will make his mandatory title defense against Juan Estrada in a highly anticipated match in the great promotion named Superfly 2.

 

Flyweight: Champion Daigo Higa (Japan) will defend his title against Moises Fuentes. A final elimination bout will be ordered to determine the mandatory contender of the division.

 

Light flyweight: Champion Ken Shiro (Japan) defended his title on December 31st, and will now fight the mandatory challenger, former champion Ganigan Lopez, in a mandated rematch.

 

Minimumweight: Champion Menayothin (Thailand) will make his mandatory defense against Leroy Estrada from Panama, searching to match Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s record of 50-0.

 

Next week I will be disclosing the status of the WBC Women’s Championship commitments for 2018. The WBC has several priorities for this year and has been working on the proper structure of several committees in order to continue growing in the right direction.

 

The WBC’s Top priorities are:

Reinforce the Clean Boxing Program and complement the works with the newly created Nutrition Committee to find education materials and procedures to properly reach the boxing community.

 

The Mismatch Prevention System, to find reciprocity among national boxing federations worldwide and to continue identifying those dangerous matches to be stopped before they take place. Illegal entities exist and license fighters who are contracted to tremendous mismatches. Promoters and matchmakers must participate in this process as well.

 

Social Responsibility Programs to continue changing lives around the world through WBC Cares and Pope Francis’ Scholas Foundation program BoxVal, Beyond Sports, and Heroes de Mexico.        

           

Emiliano Marsili from Italy will fight Victor Betancourt from Mexico for the Peace Champion Award in a benefit promotion to aid the victims of the earthquakes which struck Italy in 2016 and Mexico in 2017.

The launching of the WBC worldwide licensing and merchandising program with direct benefit to former and current fighters.

Continue the Brotherhood campaign to dignify our sport with several activities.

 

Fighters will exchange the flags of their countries before each championship match.

 

Boxing is the greatest sport on earth. It is the friendly hand extended to those who have very few options in life, and when they find the gym, their lives change and they then change the lives of many others.

 

I wish you all a prosperous year, and hope that health and happiness is around you and your loved ones.

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President - Jose Sulaiman’s son

 

The abuse of power has once again hit our sport in a dramatic way as Orlando Salido  and Micky Roman will be prevented of accomplishing their dream of winning the WBC title due to a decision taken by a man sitting on a desk mandating terms of their bout.

 

HBO has mandated their fight to be only for 10 rounds.

The promoters have no say in the matter and simply take the orders from the Power force of the sport, the TV Network. Tom Loeffler, Fernando Beltran and Oswaldo Kuchle simply have to vow down and remain quiet and accept to go against the essence of our sport, I wonder how will they look into the eyes of their fighters to explain that they will not be competing for the WBC green belt, that  their fight is a simple 10 round fight with no meaning what so ever. It will be like watching a pre season game of the NFL.

 

HBO will be airing a 10 round main event next Saturday night from Las Vegas Mandalay Bay.

 

The WBC will not disrespect the sport and sanction a world title fight for 10 rounds, that would have been easy to do and join the bandwagon, but the WBC Board would not favor such as there is no real explanation of the change from 12 to 10.

 

The WBC accepted a request for Salido to fight Miguel Berchelt in a title defense of the WBC super feather  championship, the fight was accepted by HBO. Then, when Berchelt injured his hand, The WBC, supporting the card, accepted to sanction a fight for the WBC interim title between Salido and Roman.

 

I am very sorry for Salido as he has expressed countless times his dream of becoming WBC champion, I am very sorry for Roman who has done the same and I am very sorry for boxing as a main championship fight has been downgraded to a 10 round fight with nothing at stake. 

 

On to a better note, to what  the real world is and matters…..

 

I am sitting in my hotel room in Chicago simply thinking of the great memories that these past four days have given me. The WBC Amateur committee supported a 5 state amateur boxing tournament at Cicero Stadium in Illinois.

 

It was great to be with the kids and their families during these four day event which crowned some talented boys and girls after sensational matches.

Amateur boxing is so important and it is often ignored by most in the boxing community and supported by very few. It all starts here, at the amateur level, Muhammad Ali, Leonard and almost all fighters began their journey with a solid amateur career which led to glory in the Olympics and then into the professional world of boxing. They all started as young kids, hungry and dedicated. Their families following their steps day after day, going to competitions, learning, growing, dreaming ……..

 

I saw great talent this past few days and saw the reality of our sport. It is the greatest sport in the world. It was all family gathering around a boxing competition, all fair play and respect…….

 

I had the opportunity to meet with Mike McAtee, executive director of USA Boxing and discussed the future of Amateur boxing in this great country USA. I am extremely happy to learn that USA Boxing, which is the entity in charge of regulations of amateur boxing in the USA, shares most of the concerns that most in the world have regarding the practices of AIBA which have hurt the sport in recent years and will not allow such practices to take place in the USA, including the rejection of professionals in the Olympics and making head gear mandatory in all amateur bouts.

WBC lightweight champion, Mikey Garcia was here with us as The Godfather of the tournament and he keeps on making me feel so proud of him every time I see him. He was there for all fights, enjoyed every second of it, took pictures and signed autographs with a sincere smile. Mikey is a class act, a true role model and ambassador of our sport .

 

The boxing commission of Illinois is a true example of excellency and support. Nancy Illg has a tremendous team with Joel Campuzano and all the members who participated in support of this event with passion for the betterment of the youth.

November is gone, so is my mustache!

The WBC dedicates the month of December to HIV / AIDS awareness and Safe Driving!

By Mauricio Sulaiman

WBC President – Jose Sulaiman’s son

The WBC was the first organization in sports to implement mandatory anti-doping tests to all championship fights since 1975. The WBC has been a leader in boxing and all sports with regards to safety and it is the WBC who has changed the sport making it more human and safe for all participants with the implementation of many rules and procedures.

 

The WBC introduced the Clean Boxing Program in 2016 after many years of preparations and planning. The Clean Boxing Program is unique in boxing and has no compromise and the only priority is to protect the safety of our fighters.

 

The WBC has an agreement with VADA which is the voluntary anti-doping association who as an agency is in charge of administering the Clean Boxing Program. VADA coordinates the sample collection, chain of custody and laboratory analysis. The WBC is in charge of managing the results.

The CBP has performed close to 400 tests all over the world and there have been a few adverse findings from these tests which are recorded as positive tests of prohibited substances.

 

The CBP has a specific protocol to handle each individual case and a study is performed taking into consideration all factors of importance that have to do only with that specific case. Each case is different from one another, different substances, amounts, and many other factors that need to be analyzed during the investigation protocol.

 

It is of extreme importance that the general public understands that each case is absolutely different from each other and each case has its specific process of evaluation.

 

The WBC takes the anti-doping program as a top priority and proof for that is the Clean Boxing Program, which has all transparent administration and which has cost the WBC a large amount of money and countless hours of additional work, which is our pride as there is nothing more important than the protection of the fighters. The WBC results management will certainly be questioned and criticized, however, we stand tall knowing that safety and justice are being served. This is not a popularity contest and each adverse finding must be handled with absolute respect to the athlete’s rights to due process.

 

As an example, it is important to understand the complete process performed on the Luis Nery adverse finding from the test performed in Tijuana on July 27 before traveling to Japan for his challenge of the WBC title against Shinsuke Yamanaka. Such test was reported as positive several days after the fight took place for the substance Zilpaterol. Nery was tested in Japan 3 additional times with the results coming out negative.

 

The WBC conducted a thorough investigation with anti-doping experts, consulted the Health Ministry of Mexico and the National Ministry of Sports of Mexico. The WBC conducted interviews and research about the specific substance of that finding on Luis Nery.

 

Each case is handled independently and the same process applies.

 

The Clean Boxing Program is a reality and it is, through the exemplary participation of most members of the boxing community, a huge success. It is due to the commitment shown by most promoters, managers and especially fighters, that the program is working.

 

It is time to enter Stage 2 of CBP. The WBC is in the process of implementing a diversity of programs to work in conjunction with the CBP, including :

* The creation of the WBC Nutrition committee – Dr. Philip Goglia has been appointed as chairman and a variety of important programs are being developed to be introduced in 2018. Nutrition has a direct relation with potential doping, as many fighters are used to consume “ supplements “ and it is a fact that many supplements contain PEDs, other supplements are contaminated from the production facilities and some supplements are recommended or given to the fighters without even looking at the contents.

 

* Establishment of a world awareness campaign with the support of Continental Federations, National boxing authorities and local boxing commissions. The CBP webinar is a tool that everyone must watch and learn its contents. But also there is need to continuously educate the boxing community on PEDs, illegal procedures, new drugs, and most importantly on the dangers that anyone ingesting illegal substances has.

 

* Reinforcement of the testing plan worldwide via VADA.

 

* Weekly awareness and instructional bulletins to all fighters enrolled in CBP.

Boxing is a noble sport. Boxers are humble and believe in fair play. Boxers need to be educated and guided and we must help them identify those areas of concern. We must all battle the few criminals who reach out to gyms and fighters to offer illegal substances and procedures by misleading them, that is a reality and we must face it. Boxing has no room for cheaters, you don’t play boxing, Doping can result in fatal injuries to the opponent but also will certainly damage irreversibly the person taking drugs by damaging liver, kidneys, and heart and in many cases developing cancer.

 

Any person who wishes to learn more about this subject, any questions about products, supplements, food, training methods, weight cutting methods… feel free to reach out and learn.

By: James Blears

(October 2nd) For openers, at the opening session of its 55th annual Convention, the World Boxing Council has ruled for an immediate rematch between WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Saúl "Canelo" Alvarez.

Somewhat appropriate that the flame haired Mexican got this fan pleasing second opportunity from Boxing's most important summit, which is being held in Azerbaijan, known as the land of flame!

 

In announcing the decision of the Board of Governors, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said it's the fight that the world wants to see.

 

Gennady's Promoter Tom Loeffler predicts: "I think you'll see Gennady knowing that he has to win more than eight rounds to get  the decision, he'll be even more persistent in the re-match.

 

"It doesn't get any better than the fight with Canelo.  It really became an international sporting event, instead of a world boxing championship match."

 

Tom, who's already had an initial meeting with Golden Boy, says the date being considered is between March and May of next year, with the clear favorite being the traditional Cinco de Mayo Mexican holiday.

 

Looking back on fight one Tom says Gennady got tired by chasing Canelo around: "But to Canelo's credit, he survived, and did a good job of fighting in spurts.

 

"Gennady still has all his titles. He's still the World Champion. And this is a fight that the fans want again, so we can have a more definitive ending to the next one. We'll do whatever we can on our side to make it happen.

 

"I don't think we have ever seen Canelo going backwards and fighting off the ropes for twelve rounds. That's the style Gennady forced him into.

"With their styles, their punching power, their speed, with both in the primes of their career, it can only get better.”

By Mauricio Sulaiman - WBC President

(September 19th) It would be impossible not to dedicate this week's column to Gennady "GGG" Golovkin. Saturday night in Las Vegas at the T Mobile Arena, Golovkin finally received the world recognition as the best fighter in the middleweight division and one of the best in the world. Canelo Alvarez fought GGG in a very entertaining fight that had the sold-out arena chanting throughout, hoping that Alvarez would bring back those glory days of Mexican warriors like Salvador Sanchez, Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Juan Manuel Marquez and win the fight of his life precisely on Mexican Independence Day. It didn't happen.

 

It was GGG fighting "Mexican Style," going forward at all times, dominating the action and trying to engage in a brawl which eventually happened in the last three rounds. Alvarez decided to be the aggressor in the 10th round, too late in my personal opinion.

 

There was a long uphill road to get to do this fight. Too many difficult things happened and make no sense mentioning, but at the end it was a great night for boxing. Ultimately, this was the fight the WBC had mandated and it took place.

The fight was in the middleweight division, which has been one of the greatest in the history of the sport. Carlos Monzon, Nino Benvenuti, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Julian Jackson, Gerald McClellan, Bernard Hopkins, and in recent years – which created all the anticipation for this match – Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, and Gennady Golovkin.

 

I am extremely proud of Gennady Golovkin for his accomplishments inside and outside the ring. It has taken him too long to be the star of the sport, and this mostly due to his low key, humble way of being. He has never been involved in any scandal, which often makes people famous and popular. He is a family man, married with two kids. GGG has remained loyal to everyone who has been there through his journey to glory – his management team, his promoter, and his trainer and mentor, Abel Sanchez. GGG cares for the sport, respects the rules and the structure, and respects the belts which recognize him as champion. He followed his dreams and continues to dream.

 

Gennady is the favorite son of a whole nation: Kazakhstan. He is close to his fans and is constantly doing things to help and support his country.

 

GGG feels that Mexico is his second home – Chavez is his hero, Abel teaches him the style, and he eats Mexican food every day. His favorite place for vacation is Cancun, and he travels to Mexico City after every fight to visit children's hospitals and schools.

 

A draw. That was the official result as announced by Michael Buffer. GGG retains his titles and remains WBC champion, and Canelo proves he stepped into the ring to fight the best and was competitive in making a very entertaining fight.

 

Mexico has two special celebrations: Cinco de Mayo and September 16. They are so important that today, and for many years, all major promotions and champions' schedules are planned for those two dates and work to contract them. Mexico is the second most important country for boxing in the world. As far as number of world champions, it holds the second place only behind the United States, and boxing fans from the U.S. are largely of Mexican origin and Latino countries.

The WBC created the "Adolfo Lopez Mateos" commemorative belts for these two dates to celebrate the fights taking place on these occasions. This year has been the "Huichol" belt, and a different community will be featured every year. These belts are pieces of art that have the heart of Mexico on them.

 

It is difficult to express the moment when GGG received the Huichol belt after the fight. He and his team are honored to take such a masterpiece uniting Kazakhstan and Mexico through a belt, building bridges of peace and harmony, of good sportsmanship, fair play and clean boxing.

 

Boxing is going through a sensational moment worldwide. 2017 has witnessed great fights since the first bell with Badou Jack versus James DeGale back in January. I am certain that it will be extremely difficult to select the Fight of the Year, the Knockout of the Year, and all the other awards as, fortunately, there are many to evaluate for the honors.

 

Floyd Mayweather placed boxing at the top of the world with the sensational fight against UFC hero Conor McGregor. Anthony Joshua brought 90,000 fans to Wembley in his fight versus Wladimir Klitschko. Claressa Shields was the main event in a Showtime fight, opening doors for women's boxing, and we are still in September with some huge fights still to come during the rest of the year.

 

I refuse to write about the scoring controversy of this past Saturday. There is no room for that to overshadow the great fight which happened and the very well-deserved crowning of Gennady "GGG" Golovkin – "and still the WBC middleweight champion of the world!"

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