WBC GREATEST FIGHTS OPUS UNVEILING AT WEMBLEY
The buzz around Wembley Stadium is like never before. In just four days time two British boxers, Fury and Whyte will battle for the WBC Heavyweight belt in front of a sell-out 94,000 crowd.
Today however the WBC is celebrating and announcing a heavyweight of a different kind, the WBC Greatest Fights Opus – a colossal book celebrating the Greatest WBC World Championship fights and the Champions of boxing that rocked the world over seven decades.
Joining WBC President, Mauricio Sulaimán at the media announcement is boxing supremo Frank Warren, both share their own memories of fights that they witnessed first hand and that live long in their memory. The packed auditorium is entertained by anecdotes told by the boxing royalty on stage including Mauricio recalling the terrifying noise he heard downstairs one night when he was a young boy which he discovered to be the raucous laughter of boxing icon Don King whilst sharing a joke with his father José.
“The dream is now a reality and we are so excited about this special collaboration with Opus. Countless hours of hard work and dedication have created without question the greatest book in the history of boxing , The WBC OPUS Greatest fights” – WBC President – Mauricio Sulaimán
Scott Welch, Chairman of WBC Cares UK will speak about the work of the charity and explain how thrilled to be a benefactor from the sales of the Opus.
Opus photographer, Zenon Texeira spends a short time on stage talking about the stunning portraits that are displayed at the event and form the Champion’s Gallery Chapter within the Opus. The portraits as a collective is an important body of work as both a documentary and as a creative context and unites boxing icons spanning six decades in an harmonious way.
Last but not least, another guest of honour is invited to the stage, His Excellency Vadym Prystaiko, the Ukraine Ambassador to the United Kingdom. The ambassador is invited to unveil a special, one-of-a-kind WBC Greatest Fights Opus Ukraine Edition, encrusted with over 20,000 crystals, that is being auctioned in partnership with Bonhams of London, to raise much needed funds for the people of Ukraine. His Excellency speaks of how amazed he is at the inventiveness of the British business sector when it came to raising money for his country and is delighted to say there is someone back in Kiev who wants to echo this sentiment. The giant screen above the stage turns black whilst a ringtone awaits answering. Thirty seconds pass and then the call is answered. The fatigued face of former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Vitali Klitschko fills the screen. The stunned audience launches into rapturous applause and only after several minutes of spirited clapping and cheering is Vitali able to address the gathering in London. Simply hearing the ex-champ speak about the fight Ukraine face on a day-to-day basis puts everything happening in Wembley this week very much into context. His fight is real, the greatest he’s ever faced and is hugely helped by seeing the support from nations and communities around the world. The live link with Ukraine lasts five minutes and when it’s over the mood in the room is more sombre.
Luckily there is a fantastic ending to the day’s proceedings when Maarten ten Holder from Bonhams announces that the rolling auction for the special Ukraine Edition is underway with a huge bid of $100,000 from the Island State of Guernsey. An amazing positive energy fills the room as guests witness an immediate response to Vitali Klitschko’s call. There is a buzz of excitement as guests wait in turn to be photographed with the crystal covered WBC Greatest Fights Opus and shake the hand of Ambassador Prystaiko and the boxing icons in the room.