Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC President, reacted to reports of failed negotiations between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol for the light heavyweight undisputed title, by clarifying that Bivol would not be allowed to fight for a WBC title.
“WBC can not sanction a fight with (Dmitry) Bivol in it”, Sulaiman told IZQUIERDAZO. “That is because of our position with Russia (and its war with Ukraine). WBC would not accept that fight”.
In case that Bivol and Beterbiev reach an agreement for a fight, the WBC title will not be at stake.
“Exactly (it would be without the WBC title)”, Sulaiman explained. “Until today, that is the position of the WBC (about that fight). As long as there is no boxing in Ukraine, we will not accept boxing in Russia. At least, not sanctioned by the WBC”.
Sulaiman insisted that Beterbiev has a mandatory fight.
“At this moment, (our ruling is) that Beterbiev has to fight with his WBC mandatory rival, Callum Smith”, Sulaiman said.
Last Monday, Bivol and his manager, Vadim Kornilov, disclosed that there were negotiations with Beterbiev for a fight, but the offer was not good enough.
“They were discussing, but finally they told me there is nothing interesting for all of us for business, it’s nothing for this time”, Bivol told Big Fight Weekend. “Maybe next fight we could talk because there is not a good offer for this fight (now).”
Kornilov elaborated about the failed discussions for the fight.
“There were discussions for June/July, but the bottom line is what was being discussed was not serious enough to make the fight happen at that point”, Kornilov said. “We were talking about trying to make the fight in June/July, whether it was gonna be in the UAE or the USA. But the numbers that were brought up. What we were trying to materialize, it was just not materializing.
Bivol and Kornilov insisted on their desire to fight Beterbiev for the four belts in the light heavyweight division, or to come down to super middleweight for a rematch with Saul Alvarez with Canelo’s four belts in play. However, with WBC position, Bivol would not be eligible for either of those fights.