WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman explains the dispute with the WBO and the World Boxing Super Series that led them to withdraw recognition from Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki
Shortly before the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight semi-final show began in Riga, news broke that the Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki fight, while still for the latter’s WBO title would no longer be for the vacant WBC belt. It was around 30 minutes before the opening bell rang for the contest that WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, talking to Seconds Out via telephone from an amateur tournament in California, explained why.
"The WBC has been supporting the World Boxing Super Series for two seasons," Sulaiman said. "We had a specific agreement of support, with the Diamond belt in three divisions. Eventually, we came to this fight. Around a month ago, the WBO stated to the WBSS that they would not accept the WBC Diamond belt involvement with an Interim WBO title fight [Glowacki was the Interim champion then]. Afterwards the WBC vacated the cruiserweight division and made this fight for the vacant world title. Then the WBO changed Glowacki from Interim to world champion.
"We accepted that we would appoint two judges, the WBO one judge and the referee, but yesterday, at the rules meeting, they said they would appoint two judges and the referee, and the WBC would have one judge, and they did this without any announcement or anything.
The judges had been flown in and arrived in Latvia. We said, ’Absolutely not, it’s two and two; simple as that.’ So it was the WBO intervening and we cannot accept that. We’re not going to put either fighter in a position to fight for our title when we cannot guarantee the officiating of the fight."
I asked Sulaiman about his statement, circulated on Twitter, that the WBC would be considering its ongoing involvement in the WBSS.
"I don’t want to say anything irresponsible," Mauricio responded. "There is no official position on the WBSS side about this fight. The ultimate responsible party is the local boxing commission but they have been put aside. Who tells the commission which officials will work that fight? No one has been able to answer that question.
"Josh Taylor entered the super-lightweight WBSS as WBC Silver lightweight champion. He fought the IBF champion [Ivan Baranchyk] and they said the same thing: ’We do not mix our world title with the WBC Silver’, so we did not sanction that fight. It was the same in Louisiana when WBC Interim champion Regis Prograis fought the WBA champion [Kiryl Relikh], but the WBA President understood the situation and agreed, so we resolved that.
"It’s a very regrettable situation, we supported the WBSS, we went all out to maximise its success by making sure our champions would enter the tournament. I am extremely disappointed because fans, press and promoters do not deserve this."