The World Boxing Council – one of the four leading sanctioning bodies – will make moves to introduce a separate division for transgender fighters.
Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC‘s President, is keen to create a safe space for athletes who have transitioned to face others of a similar level and background.
As reported by Telegraph Sport, he is tentatively creating the new division by inviting eligible fighters to apply.
“We are going to put out a global call for those who are interested in 2023 and we will set up the protocols, start consultation and most likely create a league and a tournament.
It is the time to do this, and we are doing this because of safety and inclusion. We have been the leaders in rules for women’s boxing – so the dangers of a man fighting a woman will never happen because of what we are going to put in place.”
“In boxing, a man fighting a woman must never be accepted regardless of gender change. There should be no grey area around this, and we want to go into it with transparency and the correct decisions. Woman to man or man to woman transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.”
Sulaiman was keen to confirm that the rules, which are currently being created and discussed, would be strict in the sense of the gender at birth of the participant, saying that they would never allow ‘a transgender born a man to fight a woman, who was born a woman.’
The decision comes amidst an ongoing conversation in the sporting world as to transgender participants, with the hot topic drawing controversy and ire from both sides of the argument.