The WBC has come under fire recently for including Francis Ngannou in its top ten heavyweight rankings following his first professional fight – a split decision loss – against Tyson Fury.
Whilst Ngannou performed well and entertained boxing fans worldwide, the promise and subsequent delivery of marking him as one of the very best in the world after a ten-round defeat has been met with criticism from fighters, fans and pundits.
The WBC has also been called out in the past for failing to enforce a mandatory challenger for Fury or its Middleweight World Champion, Jermall Charlo.
Speaking to IFL TV, President Mauricio Sulaiman took issue with what he saw as allegations of corruption from The Ring Magazine.
“The Ring Magazine is a magazine. I don’t know why media and champions and promoters give any credit to a Ring Magazine belt, which only threatens the credibility of the sport. I am very upset, because they just declared a few days ago that the rankings of the organisations are corrupt. If you touch my WBC, I’m gonna fight back.
I don’t care about the Ring Magazine, because they are a business. They make money. They are biased. That is not boxing. Boxing is what you see here – the world of boxing united to make boxing better and safer. A paper magazine awarding a belt has no meaning. Of course, fighters like it because it gives them positive news.”
“The guy in charge of the sanctioning organisation that proudly put out a press release stating that Jake Paul would join its cruiserweight rankings if the content creator-turned-boxer defeated unaccomplished prospect Tommy Fury this past February should not talk about credibility or accuse others of being ‘biased businesses.'”
The back and forth is the latest in an ongoing debate about the validity of rankings, mandatories and politics in the sport.