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Mauricio Sulaiman Dives Neck-Deep Into Corruption By Refusing To Strip Tyson Fury For Fighting Ngannou

Mauricio Sulaiman Dives Neck-Deep Into Corruption By Refusing To Strip Tyson Fury For Fighting Ngannou featured image
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has decided not to strip Tyson Fury from his WBC title for facing Francis Ngannu on October 28th in Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Once again, the World Boxing Council (WBC) continues its reign of corruption as they neglect to strip Tyson Fury from his WBC heavyweight title. Instead, Fury has been given ‘special permission’ to face Francis Ngannou (who currently sports a 0-0 record in professional boxing); a move which would otherwise have resulted in him being stripped of his WBC belt due to not defending his title against a top 15 contender while active as a champion.

The WBC confirmed president Maurico Sulaiman’s decision on their Twitter account, remarking that there was no official challenger available for Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KO’s) which led to ‘special permission’ being granted to the WBC champion to fight Francis Ngannou (0-0, 0 KO’s) in a non-title bout without being stripped.

As none of Tyson Fury’s two titles (WBC and The Ring) will be defended in his match against Francis Ngannou, the British heavyweight would normally have been considered to have breached one of the WBC’s rules which states as follows:

Mauricio Sulaiman Dives Neck-Deep Into Corruption By Refusing To Strip Tyson Fury For Fighting Ngannou image 1

As it stands, the WBC’s conviction that Tyson Fury could not find an official challenger is a far-drawn assumption not based on actual facts. As a sanctioning body, the WBC dictates who the official challenger is, according to their own rules:

Tyson Fury was not stripped of his WBC title because he allegedly could not strike a deal with two heavyweights that were ranked in the top 10 of the WBC’s heavyweight ranking boards; Andy Ruiz Jr. (35-2, 22 KO’s) and Anthony Joshua (25-3, 22 KO’s), and unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (20-0 ,13 KO’s).

However, there are 13 other heavyweights ranked in the top 15 of the WBC’s heavyweight rankings, aside from Ruiz and Joshua, who were not approached or mandated to fight Fury by the WBC. The special permission that has been granted to Tyson Fury did not take into account that there were other viable contenders that Fury could (or should have, in this case) faced and no attempts had been made by the WBC itself to present a suitable contender to Fury’s WBC title.

In that sense, the WBC failed to conduct themselves as a functioning sanctioning body by neglecting their operations and duties to present Tyson Fury with a worthy opponent. The special permission they granted Fury appears to be a rather blatant sign of corruption rather than a decision borne out of necessity, as neither the WBC or Fury thoroughly explored any other candidate for the WBC to face after the supposed failed negotiations.

Instead, Francis Ngannou, a MMA fighter with no professional boxing record to date or any official ranking, has leapt over at least 13 heavyweights to fight Tyson Fury in what can only be described as a blatant moneygrab for both fighters given the wide disparity of experience and presumably skill between the two fighters. To make matters worse, it has not been clarified whether the fight between Fury and Ngannou will be an official professional boxing match rather than just an exhibition.

As Fury is required by the WBC’s own rules to defend his title as an active champion, his scheduled October 28th non-title bout with Ngannou offers no benefits to the sport regardless of the result as Ngannou is likely to continue his career in MMA given his current contract with MMA promotion PFL.

The advancement of boxing is not a priority for the WBC, however, as they refuse to strip Tyson Fury for fighting a MMA fighter in what could potentially be an exhibition, and the organization themselves have been idle in producing a challenger for Fury to face all while citing failed talks with 2 heavyweights as enough of a reason to allow Fury to keep his world title.