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

When a fight meets and exceeds expectations, it is then that the world does not cease talking about the event, and the fans celebrate with joy, renewing their fascination with maximum passion for our sport.

Last Saturday, Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury thrilled, giving us a fight packed with drama that, without a doubt, positions this battle among the all-time greats in history.

The heavyweight division is, by tradition, the most prestigious. The world heavyweight champion is lauded as the most powerful, revered and feared athlete in the world. This was the case for many decades; Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Vitaly Klishtko…

Lennox retired from boxing as WBC world champion, after his dramatic fight against Vitaly Klitschko, and Lewis was the last undisputed heavyweight champion…until now.

It was in 1999, when he defeated Evander Holyfield, and became undisputed champion, a concept that fans and media like and thirst for. It means that he is the only monarch of the division by holding the four belts currently recognized: WBC, WBA, WBO and the IBF.

Saudi Arabia has become the most interesting destination for today’s most important fights, Riyadh Season is without a doubt the capital of the world for magnanimous events.

His Excellency Turki Alalshikh is an avid fan of the sport of fists and started a spectacular campaign to ensure that the fights that the world wants to see take place, and it is revolutionizing boxing.

After five years and multiple attempts to unify the top division, this was finally achieved, and the Kingdom Arena had a full house, thousands who witnessed Ring of Fire, millions who watched by DAZN, all in all, a historic fight which is now in the book as one of the greatest ones in history.

With an inexhaustible budget, the fight was advertised and promoted throughout the world in a visionary, entertaining way and with highly attractive and effective elements.

A short film was made simulating an Old Wild West duel, an exclusive song was produced, it was announced on giant screens all around England, New York, Tokyo and Mexico City, in the Latin American Tower, in the World Trade Center, trucks, airports, bars and restaurants, and even human signs, who walked the streets with said advertising.

Social networks were flooded for weeks with all kinds of publications, which became a crescendo trending topic on fight week and culminated on Saturday before, during and, above all, after the fight.

Jacob & Co. designed and manufactured a unique watch, which was auctioned in a spectacular event, in which there were other valuable articles, shorts signed by legends, the WBC belt with the signatures of Fury and Usyk, and even a glove signed by the Beatles!

The watch finally was sold for 800 thousand dollars!

The production inside the arena was spectacular, lights, music, lasers, effects and moving screens. The footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. attended, sitting in the front row; actor Jean-Claude Van Damme along with Roberto Manos de Piedra Durán, Antonio Tarver, Ami Khan and Badou Jack, and heavyweight legends Larry Holmes, Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. Inside the ring were Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, with the undisputed belts in their hands.

Spectacular ring walk by both teams, emotive national anthems, indescribable atmosphere.

With all this said, all the paraphernalia and the multi-millions spent on this card, blended and melded into the moment, the high anticipation for the first bell to be rang.

There they were, only Fury and Usyk inside the ring, nothing else mattered anymore, only the battle between these two gladiators was underway. Reminiscent of the Roman Circus Maximus, Madison Square Garden, Zaire Stadium for Rumble in the Jungle and Manila Colisseum for Thilla in Manila, befitting those classics, now it was time for Ring of Fire.

At the end of the fight there was a winner by split decision to the joy of the thousands of attendees and millions of viewers, because we all knew that we had just seen a legendary fight that will be remembered for generations. Congratulations to Usyk for becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion, to Fury for being part of history and demonstrated his heart of a lion, to HE Turki Alalashik for making this a reality and to the promoters of the event Queensberry, Top Rank and K2, DAZN Boxing and all the teams of everyone involved.


Five Ukrainians were scheduled for world championship fights within 45 days. Sergii Bohachuk, Vasyl Lomachenko and Denys Berinchyk won their respective crowns; Usyk took the glory of being undisputed, only Oleksandr Gvozdyk is missing, who will face David Benavidez, on June 15, in Las Vegas.


The fights which are legendary are impossible to recreate, it is what happens between the ropes that generates, precipitates and ignites those emotions for eternity. In boxing, in spite of the grueling, meticulous preparation, nothing can be planned. An ignition of spontaneity lands.

One of the most famous fights is, without a doubt, The Rumble In The Jungle, in 1974, in Zaire, now the Congo. My dad came as a supervisor being the general secretary of the WBC. When Don José arrived, as he should have, he contacted the promoter of the fight, a guy who was starting out in this, Don King.

Something unexpected happened, and Don José told us this story on countless occasions: “I arrived at the headquarters hotel, because they put me almost in the jungle; I called his (King’s) room, and his response was something he has never acknowledged; now that he is my soul brother and I have claimed him on countless occasions.

‘Who is this calling? Listen to me clearly, I only speak with the President of the WBC, and it is not you – only with Professor Velázquez.’”

A couple of days later, Foreman got cut while sparring, the fight was postponed 30 days. And my dad returned home, and he no longer went to the fight because he was so offended, And that’s how he missed the fight that is considered the most important in the history of boxing.

After that sour episode, which Don King has always denied, they became inseparable friends for decades.

I appreciate your comments

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