Mauricio Sulaiman On The Bridgerweight Division: “Small Heavyweights, With Good Athleticism, Power, Great Fights”

06/06/2023 - By James Slater - Comments

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is proud of the bridgerweight division his organisation formed a couple of years back. Speaking with Sky Sports, Sulaiman said he is also proud of the other changes the WBC has made to the sport over the years, such as the changing of world title fights from 15 rounds down to 12. And, in defending the bridgerweight division – a division that hasn’t yet caught on with the majority of fight fans – Sulaiman said that “every single bridgerweight fight has been sensational.”

Sulaiman, who told Sky Sports that recently dethroned WBO cruiserweight champ Lawrence Okolie could move up and fight for a bridgerweight title, said the new division provides such good fights because the fighters are “small heavyweights, with good athleticism, power, 224 pounds.”

“Just like Evander Holyfield, a cruiserweight then he grew into a heavyweight, bridgerweight is another possibility for cruiserweights. To grow into bridger and eventually heavyweight,” Sulaiman said. “Without having to give up 50 pounds, 60 pounds [in going straight up to heavyweight from the 200 pound division]. Remember, every bridgerweight fighter is also accepted as a contender at heavyweight. So it is a division that has many virtues. The world, as human nature, it’s always rejecting changes. Human nature is to push and not consider any changes. But we’re proud of changes in the boxing world; 15 to 12 rounds, the weigh-in the day before, the changes in gloves. There is pushback [but] every single bridgerweight fight has been sensational. Every single one.”

So, is Sulaiman doing a good job in selling you the bridgerweight division? Are you buying what he’s saying? It is true there have been some good, fast-paced and exciting fights in the 224 pound weight division, and some fans do prefer seeing smaller, more active heavyweights fight instead of the mega-huge but slower, less active giants.

Okolie (who we must agree looked terrible in huis losing fight with Chris Billam-Smith) could make a good addition to the bridgerweight division. Maybe. But the stink surrounding last week’s fight has not gone away just yet.

It took time for the cruiserweight division to become fully accepted, and it will take a few more years yet for the bridgerweight division to do likewise. If the 224 pound division ever becomes fully accepted, that is. Will any of the other governing bodies follow the WBC’s lead and add the weight class to their rosters?