WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman exclusive interview with British Boxing News
During his most recent trip to England, Sulaiman discussed upcoming world title fights and provided an update on Tyson Fury
The WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, was in the UK this week, principally to bestow trainer Jamie Moore with a WBC Trainers belt, for his outstanding work and achievements with undisputed super-lightweight champion, Chantelle Cameron.
A grand meeting took place at the Clermont Hotel in London so that Mauricio and his special guests could spend some quality time together to celebrate Cameron’s career-best victory last month over Katie Taylor, joined by many more boxing stars such as Michael Watson MBE, George Groves, Scott Welch, Spencer Oliver, as well as friends from the media.
Mauricio explained why he arranged the ceremony, “We like to meet the boxing community every time we have an opportunity, so this is a moment to be with Chantelle Cameron – our proud WBC champion, undisputed champion – and presented Jamie Moore with a WBC Trainers belt, which is the inspiration of Angelo Dundee, in the shape of a towel. It’s a special trophy for a trainer who crowns a WBC champion.”
Former British, Commonwealth and European champion-turned-trainer, Jamie Moore, now 44, was extremely grateful to receive the prestigious award and joked, “I didn’t get one as a fighter, so this’ll do!”
When questioned about his special relationship with the UK, the World Boxing Council’s head honcho enthused, “Well British boxing is the best in the world. The fans… you cannot challenge the atmosphere that you leave in the fight in the UK; boxing was born in England, 300 years ago, so everything is so special. The true fans are here, they’re very knowledgeable, very passionate, and it’s just a great moment to be here in London, and boxing is going through a great period and hopefully we’ll see great boxing soon.”
Mauricio continued to discuss several boxing topics, starting with WBC Silver featherweight champion, Nick Ball’s most recent performance, defeating Ludumo Lamati in the 12th round in Belfast on May 27.
The South African’s corner threw in the towel with just seconds to go in the fight, then he worryingly collapsed in the ring just moments later. Celebrations were stalled as Ball and everyone else shared concerns for the visiting fighter, who was taken to hospital immediately with a suspected bleed on the brain.
Now that Lamati is out of intensive care and talking again, Sulaiman was able to heap praise upon their No.4 ranked featherweight for his incredible performance, “Well Nick Ball is a sensational fighter. Boxing is a contact sport, heavily regulated, and the way the British Boxing Board of Control underwent their attention of the fighters’ safety, we’re very proud to see the medical attention, the care for the fighters, and it’s a great relief that the South African is getting better.
“Nick Ball has come along, it’s the third title defence of the Silver title, and he’s sure coming soon to a world title fight.”
On the subject of world title fights, the Mexican shared his excitement for Stephen Fulton vs Naoya Inoue coming up on July 25th, “Very, very good fight. Inoue is taking yet another great challenge, he’s moving from light-flyweight – where he started as a WBC champion – now moving up to super-bantamweight; it’s a great step.
“Fulton is a solid, good, unified champion; it should be a great fight! Great fight in Tokyo in Japan, I cannot be more excited than that.”
That very same week, just four days later, one of the biggest boxing fights of the decade will take place as unbeaten welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford finally lock horns after an agonisingly extended wait for fight fans around the world.
Sulaiman instantly compared the clash to another momentous fight in boxing history, which interestingly ended in a draw when two super-middleweight world champions couldn’t be split after 12 championship rounds, “It is a big fight, this is the Leonard-Hearns of the modern era!
“It’s a fight we all have been waiting for – two natural welterweights, undefeated, putting everything on the line for the undisputed welterweight title – and it will be a tremendous, very, very exciting moment on July 29th for all the belts, all the titles. I will be there, God willing.”
Mauricio then shared his thoughts on other upcoming title fights involving the WBC, such as when Liverpool’s Callum Smith’s get his shot at fearsome unified world light-heavyweight king, Artur Beterbiev, in Canada in August, “Callum Smith is one of the best fighters of today, in all weight categories – [he’s] strong, tall, good technique, solid chin, [and] power punch,” praised the President. “Beterbiev is one of the best champions of today, undefeated with all knockouts, so it’s going to be a tremendous fight, and it depends on the style and the will to win to see who will make it.
“Nobody gave [Anthony] Yarde a chance and he put up a tremendous performance; nobody gave [John] Ryder a chance [against Canelo] – that speaks of the level of British boxing, so now anytime you face a British fighter, you cannot have an easy day.”
The WBC leader than provided fans with an update on his organisation’s heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, who is frustratingly still without a fight date despite being linked with Andy Ruiz Jr. for a UK summer fight, “It’s a shame, it’s an absolute crisis, because Tyson Fury is the best heavyweight in the world, he’s willing to fight anybody and he’s a victim of the situation we’re living in; nobody wants to fight Tyson Fury or they’re pricing themselves out of the fight, and they’re just making excuses and just leaving it out there.
“Fury deserves to be in the ring, but he has no one to box with, we have had all the flexibility, not all the mandatories to allow the unification to take place, and I’m just very sorry for what is happening.
“We’ll just continue to be patient and hopeful that Tyson Fury will go into the ring to defend his WBC title and continue to make us proud.”
This year has seen the revolutionary governing body mark their 60th anniversary and the celebrations are already in full swing, Mauricio confirmed, “Yes, we have been celebrating all year! We’re so proud on how this organisation is united, we are the true dynamo that moves forward and makes all these things every single day around the world, so we’re very happy.
“We had a special luncheon last week, more than a thousand people showed up! It was a tremendous event, a good party, we all felt so happy, so it’s a united, very big family.
“What we do is to care for the fighters 24hours, 365days a year, for 60 years. We care for the fighters before, during and after their time in the ring. We spent much resources, time and effort in medical research to change rules. All existing of modern boxing has come from WBC initiatives – 12 rounds; the day-before weigh-in; anti-doping regulations’ mandatory medicals; four ropes in the ring; all the changes in the gloves; medical check-ups; pre-weigh-ins 30, 14 and 7 days; instant replay; open scoring.. so many things that we have done throughout the years with the help of thousands of people, so I’m very proud of the WBC. Very proud of every member, very thankful for the boxing federations, commissions, to the other organisations, we are a whole little world dedicated to boxing.”
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