Mauricio Sulaimán, president of the WBC, has made it clear that the governing body will not endorse the rematch fight between Canelo Álvarez and Dmitry Bivol if it takes place at 168 pounds for Canelo’s undisputed titles, as Bivol wants.
WBC won’t allow Dmitry Bivol to contest for Canelo Álvarez’s WBC belt at 168
Bivol, the WBA titlist at Light Heavyweight, assures that he is only interested in fighting Canelo at 168 pounds and not at 175, because he wants to challenge the Mexican for the four super middleweight world title belts, including the WBC gold.
However, the body maintains a sanction against Russian fighters due to the war that Russia is experiencing with Ukraine. And that way, no Russian fighter, including Bivol, is eligible to fight for a WBC title.
“No, not at this time”, Mauricio Sulaimán said in a recent interview about endorsing the Canelo vs. Bivol rematch at 168. “The definition that was made is clear. It is a constant and consistent position. Bivol has not approached the process that was left open for fighters who wanted to apply to have their specific case reviewed. Bivol has not, so at the moment, Bivol cannot participate in a WBC fight.”
Sulaiman emphasized the position that the WBC maintains in the face of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and that he had already reported when there were negotiations for a fight between Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed light heavyweight title.
“Until there is no boxing in Ukraine, there will be no boxing that the WBC can recognize in Russia”, said Sulaimán reiterating what he had already said a few months ago.
However, the WBC’s ban on Bivol in a fight against Canelo would only apply if the fight takes place at 168 pounds with the Mexican’s super middleweight titles on the line. On the contrary, if the fight is agreed at 175, there would be no such impediment since only the WBA title held by Bivol would be at stake.
Sulaiman reacts to boxing fights in the underground metro in Ukraine
Earlier this week, news of an amateur boxing tournament that was organized in Ukraine in an underground metro station to protect itself from bombing, in the city of Kharkov, made headlines. Sulaiman expressed his satisfaction that the sport is returning to Ukraine after almost 15 months at war.
“The something dramatic, but that is the sport” Sulaimán stated. “The need to practice boxing, the need to be active, to bring out what one carries inside. God wants peace to come, it seems far away, but miracles happen.”