It’s fair to say the reaction to the WBC’s newly introduced weight class – “bridgerweight” – has been pretty much lukewarm at best. Fans want another weight class like they want additional, confusing world titles.
And as for the fighters who the WBC were perhaps hoping would jump at the chance to win the “bridgerweight” world title, well, two big names have already said thanks, but no thanks.
According to reports, former unified cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk isn’t interested in winning the title at the 200-224 pound weight class, and neither is former WBC heavyweight champ, Deontay Wilder.
Wilder spoke about the new weight class when he was a guest on Brian Custer’s The Last Stand Podcast.
“I understand that people have to make money, and this is a way to create a way for people to make money with these belts, but, as a fighter that’s in it, I don’t understand all these different weight classes and stuff like that,” Wilder said. “If it’s specifically designed for me to be the face of it, you know, I decline.
“My career is to be a heavyweight, and that’s what I got in it for, and that’s what I’m going to end with. Guys [have] always out-weighed me. If they really want me to hurt someone and smash the head into an avocado, then be my guest. I have too much power for a weight class that low.”
It will be interesting to see just how many top name fighters actually do have any desire to fight at the new weight. There will undoubtedly be some good fighters willing to box at the new weight – fighters who are too big to make the cruiserweight limit of 200 pounds yet too small for the monster, 250-plus pound heavyweights – but will the stars agree to do it?
With Wilder stating quite firmly that he’s out, this is a big blow to the WBC. Maybe the organization did have it in mind for Wilder to be the “face” of the division. Wilder, who says he will be back in either January or February, is determined to rise to the top of the heavyweight division once again. Whether he can do so or not is another thing entirely.