15 Mar

Suleiman Seeks to Increase Number of Judges for Megafight

In an interview with BoxingScene, WBC president and Ready To Fight advisor Mauricio Sulaiman advocated for increasing the number of judges at the heavyweight (over 90,7 kg) world title fight between WBO, WBA, IBO, and IBF titleholder Oleksandr Usyk (21-0, 14 KOs) and WBC champion Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs).

During the Knockout Chaos show in Saudi Arabia on March 8, the fight between WBC featherweight (up to 57,1 kg) champion Rey Vargas and Nick Ball ended in a draw. Despite Vargas being knocked down twice in the 8th and 11th rounds, one judge scored the fight in favor of Vargas, another in favor of Ball, and the third scored it as a draw.

As a result, Sulaiman said he has approached the WBO, WBA, and IBF, as well as Fury, Usyk, and their promoters, with the request to assemble a group of six judges for the championship fight in Saudi Arabia.

He stated that all involved parties must approve this decision for it to be implemented on the night of the fight. Two judges would be placed on each side of the ring where the broadcasters do not sit.

"What we saw last week in Saudi Arabia was another example of how fragile judging continues to be worldwide. We saw how one judge had one fighter winning and another had the other. Such disputes in the Fury-Usyk fight would kill boxing.

Fights, especially at the highest level, deserve this (increase in the number of judges), and that's why I will put this proposal forward to all sanctioning bodies, promoters, and fighters.

It has to be something we all agree on," Sulaiman said.

The bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury is scheduled for May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.