Mauricio Sulaiman expressed that it is painful for him every time that he gets asked about how Dmitry Bivol is affected by WBC’s decision to not sanction Russian fighters. Sulaiman believes that Bivol is a victim of this situation.
“At this moment, we can not sanction a fight where (Dmitry) Bivol is involved”, Sulaiman answered to IZQUIERDAZO. “And every time that someone asks me about that, it hurts me, because I have many Russian friends, fighters, trainers, judges, and members of the Government Board that are from Russia”.
Last weekend, Dmitry Bivol granted an interview to Seconds Out where he expressed his disagreement with WBC position about Russian fighters. Bivol considered that it is not fair, and that sports should not be mixed with politics.
Sulaiman replied that it is nothing personal against Bivol.
“Our position is not personal, and we are very sorry if it hurts anyone”, Sulaiman said. “In this case, (it hurts) Bivol because he is Russian, but it is nothing personal against him. We are a sanctioning body that fights for peace, for justice against abuse of power, against discrimination, against aggression. And it’s very unfortunate, he (Bivol) is a victim in this situation, but this is something that neither he nor we can control”.
In his interview with Seconds Out, Bivol explained that he can use the same argument that Beterbiev used to get an exception from WBC, and that is that Beterbiev lives in Canada. Bivol argued that last year he only lived in Russia for four months.
Sulaiman insists that Bivol has to approach WBC and make a petition.
“Its more than clear, and I have said that a thousand times”, salid Sulaiman. “He (Bivol) knows our position, he knows what he needed to do in the past and what he needs to do now. If he has a situation against our sanctioning body, the process is simple. He needs to get a petition like Beterbiev did. (Beterbiev) proved that he has lived in Canada for 15 years, that he has a Canadian residence, that his kids are Canadian, that he has a Canadian passport, and a Canadian boxing license”.
Mauricio Sulaiman reiterated his position against the war between Russian and Ukraine, and he insists that if there is no boxing in Ukraine, WBC will not sanction Russian boxing.
“In the WBC Convention that was celebrated in Ukraine (in 2018), we had a charity event, and with that money a beautiful sports complex was built there. It was about to be inaugurated in May of last year, but was destroyed by a missile strike”, Sulaiman explained. “This is a little example of what is behind our position. There are no gyms (in Ukraine). Five Ukrainian boxers have died in combat, a trainer died in his home. There is no boxing in Ukraine, and definitely, our position has not changed and will not change, unless our Governing Body decides something else”.