In an engaging interview with IFL TV, Mauricio Sulaiman shares his insights from the WBC convention in Tashkent.
Sulaiman expressed his admiration for Tashkent, highlighting its beauty, safety, culture, and the productive work environment at the WBC convention. He noted the presence of big names in boxing, such as Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Oleksandr Usyk, emphasizing Usyk’s dedication to the WBC.
Sulaiman shared his enthusiasm for the upcoming Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight. He explained how the WBC’s flexibility in rules helped avoid obstacles to this unification fight. He also acknowledged the rematch clause, stressing its importance for boxing fans worldwide.
“It’s a culmination of a great process. The WBC has been very flexible within our rules to make sure that there are no obstacles for the ultimate unification of the titles for the Undisputed. It’s going to be an unbelievable event, unbelievable fight.”
Stance on the WBC Belt Situation
Discussing the future of the WBC belt after the Fury vs. Usyk fight, Sulaiman underlined the WBC’s dedication to promoting unification bouts and maintaining clarity for fans regarding champions.
“We have always promoted unifications. We are for Undisputed champions. We want to have fans be clear who the champion is. There’s nothing we can do about what other organizations’ rules and decisions make, but we will always do our best to keep the unified champion and Undisputed Champion.”
Francis Ngannou’s Ranking
Defending the ranking of Francis Ngannou, Sulaiman elaborated on the WBC rating committee’s diverse criteria, which takes into account achievements across different combat sports.
“The WBC ratings committee has a criteria which is a combination of criteria to come up with the rating. One of it is the activity in other Combat Sports or amateur boxing. Francis Ngannou was the heavyweight champion of mixed martial arts of the highest level. So, to rank Ngannou is not unprecedented, highly deserved because he knocked down and he lost a split decision against the best heavyweight in the world, Tyson Fury.”
John Ryder’s Ranking and Performance
Sulaiman praised John Ryder’s exceptional performance against Canelo Alvarez, highlighting his resilience and skill, which warrant his top-10 ranking.
“That was an unbelievable performance, a great fight. I’m very proud of Ryder, former champion, and fought Canelo to the ball. He could have easily decided to quit, but he he continued to fight with the heart of a champion and and gave a hell of a fight to Canelo.”
Critique of the Ring Magazine
Expressing strong disapproval of the Ring magazine’s influence, Sulaiman criticized their decision-making process and questioned their relevance in the sport’s integrity.
“I don’t know why media and champions and promoters give any credit to the Ring Magazine belt which only threatens the credibility of the sport. I am very upset because they just declared a few days ago that the rankings of the organizations are corrupt. If you touch my WBC, I’m going to fight back. I don’t care about the Ring magazine because they are a business, they make money, they are biased. That is not boxing. Boxing is what you see here, the world boxing united to make boxing better and safer. A paper magazine awarding a belt has no meaning.”
Perspective on Boxing in Saudi Arabia
Reflecting on the growth of boxing in Saudi Arabia, Sulaiman recognized its historical significance and expressed hope for its sustained development.
“We’re living history moments, historic moments. I hope this leads to more and does not stop. What I went through with a fight in Saudi Arabia, I never seen something like that. The royalty presence, the support, the many people benefiting from an event like this was tremendous.”
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