Media Announcement - 20th April 2022, London and Mexico City
WBC GREATEST FIGHTS OPUS
THE WBC GREATEST FIGHTS OPUS is a colossal book and a unique celebration of the Greatest WBC World Championship fights and the Champions of boxing that rocked the world over seven decades and still live long in the memory of boxing and sports fans the world over. Opus is proud to create this world-first story in official collaboration and partnership with the esteemed World Boxing Council (WBC)
CHAMPIONS WBC - GREATEST FIGHTS DEBATE - The Greatest WBC fights that have made it into this special Opus have been chosen in an unprecedented way, exclusively by WBC World Champions both past and present under the Chairmanship of the WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán, who all came together under one virtual roof whilst travel restrictions were in place due to the COVID pandemic. The remit for the Champions was to debate, argue and decide on the greatest fights from all weight divisions and different eras which they individually believed should be included and immortalised in the WBC Greatest Fights Opus. Bringing the Champions together for such a project could only have been achieved with the collaboration with the WBC and its President Mauricio Sulaimán.
In the debating room we had Jimmy Lennon Jr introducing Champion such as; Tyson Fury, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Durán, Vitali Klitschko, Carl Froch, Julio Chávez, Thomas Hearns, Bernard Hopkins, Jeff Fenech, with Mauricio Sulaimán, President of the WBC presiding over the debate, with involvement and insights from more Champions including Joe Calzaghe, Tony Bellew, Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, Josh Taylor, Frank Bruno, John Conteh toname just a few.
Each Championship fight selected on its own merit has its own chapter, beautifully illustrated with dynamic and iconic fight photography presented in an unprecedented scale. And whilst the Tale of the Tape displays the physical attributes of our protagonists, a stylishly crafted essay written by award-winning writer, Ian Stafford, recounts the story that made each fight so special, what each fighter brought to ring, what they had to gain and lose and ultimately who won the spoils.
THE TOP 12 WBC GREATEST FIGHTS - The competitive spirit of the Champions assembled in the debating room emerged when tasked to rank the top 12 fights of all time with the results of that encounter being kept under wraps until now with the release of the WBC Greatest Fights Opus.
CHAMPIONS PORTRAIT COLLECTION - Another amazing feature in the WBC Greatest Fights Opus is the Champions Portrait Gallery. This particular part of the project began several years ago and includes the steely portraits of champions like Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Floyd Mayweather, Sugar Ray Leonard, Saul 'Canelo' Álvarez, Mike Tyson, Tyson Fury, Josh Taylor, Frank Bruno, Oscar De La Hoya, Roberto Durán, Joe Calzaghe, Tony Bellew to name just a few. Over 50 Champions portraits grace this unique gallery.
THE OPUS EDITIONS
The WBC Greatest Fights Opus is a strictly limited edition. In total there are five different edition titles (listed below) each with its own set of elements.
Every Opus Edition is bound by hand in either green and gold crystals or luxurious leather (depending upon edition) that is adorned with the actual full size 25cm tall iconic WBC gold shield as featured on every WBC Champions Belt.
The Opus has approx 800 giant pages, gilt-edged in gold and printed on luxury heavyweight 200gsm triple-coated silk paper.
All 5 editions are measure 45 cm x 45 cm / 18 x 18 inches square (almost 1 metre wide when open) the Opus is housed in a handmade clamshell presentation case that in total weighs 32kg or 80 pounds.
The Undisputed Edition (Limited to 1 copy worldwide)
Limited to 1 copy worldwide. Cover adorned with green and gold crystals and bound in leather. Comes with 2 x invitations to a WBC Annual Conference. Includes 2 x ultimate WBC sanctioned fights 2 year passes/tickets to any and all fights during the 2 year period. Includes Champions portrait collection boxset. Includes Champions signed glove collection (12 signed gloves), unique signature sheet and presented in a handmade fight poster clamshell case. Includes complimentary bespoke 'tailor made' option. Owner will receive a complimentary 1 year subscription to Hallstein Artesian Water, official partner of Opus.
The President's Edition (Limited to 12 copies worldwide)
Limited to only 12 copies worldwide. Cover adorned with green and gold crystals and bound in leather. Includes 2 x invitations to the WBC annual conference, 2 x tickets to any WBC sanctioned fight of owner's choice. Includes Champions portrait collection boxset. Includes Champions signed glove collection (12 signed gloves), unique signature sheet and presented in a handmade fight poster clamshell case. Includes complimentary bespoke 'tailor made' option and owner will receive a complimentary 3 month subscription to Hallstein Artesian Water, official partner of Opus.
The Champions of Champions Edition (Limited to 100 copies worldwide)
Limited to only 100 copies worldwide. Cover adorned with WBC Gold Buckle on green and gold leather. Includes Champions portrait collection boxset. Includes Champions signed glove collection (12 signed gloves), unique signature sheet and presented in a handmade fight poster clamshell case. Includes bespoke 'tailor made' option and owner will receive a complimentary 3 month subscription to Hallstein Artesian Water, official partner of Opus.
The Champions Edition (Limited to 250 copies worldwide)
Limited to only 250 copies worldwide. Cover adorned with WBC Gold Buckle on green and gold leather. Includes Champions portrait collection boxset. Includes 1x Champion signed glove collection (of choice), unique signature sheet and presented in a handmade fight poster clamshell case.
The Green and Gold Edition (Limited to 950 copies worldwide)
Limited to 950 copies worldwide. Hand bound in finest green and gold leather and presented in gold clamshell case.
NUMBER 1 SIGNED & UKRAINE PEACE SPECIAL EDITION
Traditionally Edition Number 1 of an Opus print run is always auctioned for charity and in the past world record bids have been achieved.
During the creation of this Opus the plight suffered by the people of Ukraine has been foremost in our minds.
WBC Champion and Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko and World Champion Wladimir Klitschko have been intrinsic at every stage of this project and we wanted to do something extra special and to send a message of solidarity to the people of Ukraine.
To this end we have dedicated BOTH the very first edition which has been signed by dozens of world champions and icons, and the unique Crystal Edition, which is adorned by hand with thousands of green and gold crystals and housed in a handmade presentation case covered in the colours of the Ukrainian flag to be called - The WBC Greatest Fights Opus - 'UKRAINE PEACE' Special Edition.
BONHAMS ONLINE AUCTION - The WBC Greatest Fights Opus UKRAINE PEACE Special Edition will be offered as part of a unique package hosted by Bonhams one of the worlds most renowned auction houses.
The package comprises the special edition Opus copies including the green and gold crystal edition and Champions signed number 1 edition, as well as a collection of 30 WBC Champions photographic portraits, a Collection of 15 Everest signed boxing gloves, and an invitation to attend the annual WBC Convention and dinner.
Bonhams will be opening the bidding formally today and welcome bids online until the closing date, 5th June 2022.
Bonhams are kindly waiving their fees so all monies from the winning bid will benefit the Ukraine humanitarian efforts, with proceeds going directly to the Official Ukraine Fund and The Sport Together Fund delivered by Beyond Sport.
Details can be found at:
can be made via the Bonhams website at from now until June 5th
We are very grateful to be joined today by Bonhams Managing Director, Bonhams Collector Cars, Mr Maarten Ten Holder
Quote from Maarten Ten Holder:
“Bonhams are honoured to be working together with Opus and WBC to host this charity auction and we are glad to be standing alongside our friends at this important initiative. This is a unique opportunity for any boxing enthusiast to bid for – and potentially to own – an incredible piece of boxing memorabilia while supporting this most worthwhile cause.”
Auction Opening Bid
We are also incredibly pleased to announce here today that we have received our first opening bid of $100,000 US dollars from a Guernsey based consortium on behalf of the people of Guernsey.
A spokesperson on behalf of the Consortium said,“Our thoughts are with all Ukrainians as we make the opening bid for this unique and historic item of sports publishing. Having experienced occupation by Germany from 1940-45, the whole Guernsey community has an empathy with the threat Ukraine is facing from Russia and wants to help however it can. It was key to us that the proceeds of this auction for the Ukraine Peace Special Edition are going to 'WithUkraine', the humanitarian appeal from the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK. It's appalling that it it is needed following Russia's invasion.”
Donations can also be made to the following Just giving page:
are delighted to be joined today live via satellite link from Kyiv by Vitali Klitschko.
A pre recorded message from Wladimir Klitschko
Quote from Wladimir Klitschko
'' We take this opportunity to thank all our friends and partners around the world, especially our WBC and OPUS family with all the support and fund raising efforts with the WBC Greatest Fights Opus - Ukraine Peace Special Edition''
Ukraine ambassador to the United Kingdom - We are also honoured to have the presence here today of His Excellency Vadym Prystaiko, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom.
WBC GREATEST FIGHTS PAPERBACK EDITION - A special paperback edition of the WBC GREATEST FIGHTS OPUS has been published that features the unique narrative of every fight showcased which was specially written for the Opus by award-winning writer, Ian Stafford. Even though there is a RRP of £12.99 for the paperback.
WBC President - Mauricio Sulaimán comments:
“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.
Opus - CEO, Karl Fowler comments:
This special project has been 3 years in the making and it could only have been achieved with the amazing collaborationand partnership with President Mauricio Sulaimán, his WBC team in Mexico, WBC Cares UK Chairman Scott Welch and the family of boxing Champions all over the world , whose involvement is so sincerely appreciated and without which the WBC Greatest Fights Opus would not be so unique and unprecedented.
Opus - WBC Opus Designer/Editor, Bav Mistry comments:
Having been given the opportunity to be the Senior Designer for this incredible Opus in partnership with the WBC, I can truly say it has been an incredible honour and privilege. To re-live these fantastic bouts from the past and present has been both insightful and thought provoking; especially when the stories are combined with the stunning photography. I hope everyone who is a fan enjoys this Opus as much I have had in creating it and finally I would like to thank the members of the WBC who came to together to help create the WBC The Greatest Fights Opus.
Opus - WBC Greatest Fights Opus Writer, Ian Stafford comments:
It was an absolute joy to be the author of the WBC Greatest Fights Opus. The subject, of course, creates huge sporting debate, not only between fight fans but between the boxing greats as well. I think between all the legends of the ring we spoke to we have come up with the definitive list. And, in doing so, brought back so many amazing sporting memories. It was a pleasure to speak to so many of them and this Opus is a must for any sports fan, let alone fight fan. '
Hallstein Artesian Water - Official Water of Opus
Hallstien Artesian Water from Austria is the proud official sponsor partner of all Opus editions and Opus Collection with the Opus community of clients and partners receiving special benefits and complimentary subscriptions to Hallstein Water.
Bottled directly from the aquifer 700 ft below the earth's surface at the base of the Austria's Dachstein mountain, Hallstein is completely untouched, untreated, uncompromised, making it the purest drinking water in earth, perfected by nature.
Phillip Muhr Founder of Hallstein Artesian Water comments:
“We are truly excited to be the official partner of Opus and of all the editions in the growing collection. We are especially proud to partner with such a historically important story and body of work immortalised within the WBC Greatest Fights story and not least to be able to offer the owners of this special Opus the opportunity to elevate the enjoyment with the accompaniment of our velvety water direct from the Austrian mountains.”
OBEX Dental - Official Opus Sponsor Partner
OBEX Dental of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, is the proud official sponsor partner of all Opus editions and Opus Collection. OBEX Dental will partner with the Opus community to offer unique benefits and experiences to OBEX Team members and the communities that we serve. OBEX Dental endeavours to create an inspired environment for its team members to deliver high quality care whilst invigorating the wellness of the team.
Sab Bhandal, founder of OBEX Dental comments:
“We are honoured to be the official partner of the prestigious Opus brand. The WBC Greatest Fights story showcases legendary fighters who have overcome challenges to be the best version of themselves, embodying our shared values. We will embrace this partnership to boost our fight to eliminate health inequalities.”
CHAMPIONS - ON WBC GREATEST FIGHTS
“One of the all-time great fights, maybe one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport ... If that was me in Corrales' corner I may have stopped the fight and saved him from taking anymore punishment but then he gets up and wins the fight”.
Jeff Fenech commenting on Diego Corrales vs José Luis Castillo
“That fight exemplified what great fighters are made of, heart, determination ... I watched that fight a thousand times because it inspired me.”
Sugar Ray Leonard commenting on Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo
“I nominate for both fights to be taken off the (greatest fights) list. In order to be a great fight it has to be super competitive ... for the first fight the only thing that made it super competitive was that I had been out the ring for three years, taking drugs, drinking alcohol and staying out all night and came back and gave him a boxing lesson for 12 rounds. So not a competitive fight. And then the second fight, I dominated his ass and knocked him out. So that's not a competitive fight. So I vote the Fury Wilder fights off the list because they were one-sided beat downs.”
Tyson Fury commenting on Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 1&2
“What a sad tragic ending, but the way Benn was put under the kosh, he was getting hit with big shots, he got knocked out of the ring and how different McClellen's life woud have been if Benn never climbed back in through the ropes. Benn dug deep ... showed the heart of a warrior... he's in there to knock the guy unconscious,thats the beautiful brutality of this sport we love so much.”
Carl Froch commenting on Nigel Benn vs Gerald McClellan
“I remember that fight like it was yesterday ... you knew someone was gonna be knocked out, it was just who.Both guys were just giving and taking - at the top of their middleweight careers ... To see that determination from Nigel Benn and represent that way after almost being knocked out, and go back in the ring and get his own knockout… This is why we talk about it years and decades later because it's embedded in the history of boxing”
Bernard Hopkins commenting on Nigel Benn vs Gerald McClellan
“Great fights have a lot to do with how much contempt you have for one another. It's more emotionally and mentally than it is physically. The desire to hurt somebody, the desire of the fear of losing, that played into it being an exciting fight. Their style made a good fight.”
Mike Tyson commenting on Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield
“It was a fight that had the world's attention. Lennox Lewis had just knocked out Razor Ruddock and became the mandatory challenger. There were a couple of rounds where they both hurt each other, back and forth action, dramatic 10th and 12th rounds so it's absolutely one of the greatest fights.”
Mauricio Sulaimán commenting on Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield
“I was doing commentary on the fight and about that time I was contemplating coming back into the ring and when I saw those incredible, amazing three rounds I said 'No way!'.”
Sugar Ray Leonard commenting on Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns
“That was a fight when Ali thought he had no chance of winning but he overcame that with belief and confidence!'.”
Mike Tyson commenting on Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman
“He (Ali) was the underdog. He was facing the big knockout artist, a long time out of the ring, he wasn't supposed to win, came back, gave the guy a boxing lesson and then knocked him out. You can't get any better than that. One of my all-time favourite fights.”
Tyson Fury commenting on Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman