Mauricio Sulaiman, the President of the World Boxing Council (WBC), spoke to talkSport Boxing about the current state of the heavyweight boxing division, with a particular emphasis on WBC champion Tyson Fury.
“It’s very unfortunate that money is ruling out every other fighter; they don’t want to fight him,” Sulaiman lamented. “Tyson Fury has been willing to fight any of them, the WBC has been waiting, we let a lot of flexibility to try to do Fury against Usyk, which was looking very good for March.”
He explains, “Fury has been more than willing to take on anyone. But the issue we’re facing is that money has become the dominant player. Other fighters are less interested in proving themselves in the ring against Fury, and more focused on leveraging their potential match for maximum monetary gain. It’s just not fair.”
The WBC’s Conundrum with Tyson Fury
The Struggle to Secure Matches
Sulaiman confirmed that the crux of the issue is securing fights for Fury. It’s not about the lack of potential adversaries; rather, it’s the rampant avarice that thwarts these pivotal matches from happening.
“We’ve shown considerable flexibility in trying to make Fury vs. Usyk happen. That was looking promising for March. We’ve also worked towards a Fury vs. Joshua match. We ordered a final elimination for the mandatory spot. But it’s just disheartening to see how many spectacular fights could be happening, but aren’t,” Sulaiman rues.
What’s Next for Fury?
“Frank Warren has expressed hope that we’ll be able to announce an opponent for Tyson Fury within the next 10 days,” Sulaiman revealed, hinting at forthcoming developments.
The Influence of Money in Boxing
Acknowledging the widespread influence of money in the sport, Sulaiman discussed how it affects the potential number of fights. While he recognizes its necessity for the livelihoods of fighters, he’s equally vocal about its impact. He argued, “There has to be a formula that allows more high-quality fights to occur in the division.”
Notably, Sulaiman addressed the current global political climate’s impact on boxing, especially the conflict in Ukraine and its influence on Russian fighters. “There will be no boxing in Russia for the WBC,” he stated, confirming the organization’s stance amidst the ongoing geopolitical turbulence.
Looking Ahead: Potential Matchups
On the topic of future fights, Sulaiman displayed optimism regarding a potential showdown between David Benavidez and Canelo Alvarez. While no official date has been set, Sulaiman assures fans that it’s “just a matter of time” until these details are arranged.
Tackling the Issue of Transgender Inclusion in Boxing
In addressing the issue of transgender boxing, Sulaiman confirmed that the WBC is in the process of developing guidelines for transgender fighters, though it has yet to receive any registrations. “The WBC will never allow a born male to fight against a born female,” he stated unequivocally.
As the conversation came to a close, it was clear that the boxing world is more than just about punches and knockouts. It’s a complex web of ego, finances, politics, and personal choices. Mauricio Sulaiman’s insights into Tyson Fury’s challenges shed light on these complexities, offering a unique perspective on the state and future of the heavyweight division.