WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman quizzed by Simon Jordan about Dillian Whyte’s mandatory situation and Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman was grilled by Simon Jordan on talkSPORT about Dillian Whyte’s mandatory situation.

As it stands, the Brit is not the official challenger for Tyson Fury’s title as he lost the position when he was beaten by Alexander Povetkin last year.

Whyte was the mandatory before his defeat to Alexander Povetkin

Despite Whyte defeating the Russian in a rematch this March, Sulaiman has confirmed the mandatory status remains vacant and will be addressed shortly.

Many expect Whyte, as holder of the ‘interim’ belt, to be appointed as mandatory and his team have previously been involved in a legal process with the WBC, attempting to enforce his position.

On Thursday, Sulaiman joined Jim White, Simon Jordan and Spencer Oliver on talkSPORT.

To begin with, Jordan quizzed Sulaiman on the arbitration ruling which led to the collapse of Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury, and asked him why the WBC hadn’t seen this coming if they’d previously been aware of the Fury vs Deontay Wilder contract.

Whyte regained the WBC ‘interim’ belt by beating Povetkin in their rematch, but is no longer mandatory because of that first defeat
Dave Thompson/Matchroom

Jordan began: “Mauricio, can I ask you a couple of questions and you can help educate us about boxing protocol and policies?

“If you’re the sanctioning body and you’re sanctioning a [Fury vs Wilder] rematch at the same time as sanctioning Fury vs Joshua, aren’t you privy to the contracts that are signed?

“Wouldn’t you understand the obligations, as the WBC champion Fury was signing a contract with Wilder for a third fight, you would be sanctioning that?

“So you must have a view on the contract that they’re entering into and the reality of how enforceable it was at the same time as sanctioning another fight with Joshua for your belt as well?

“And the second question I wanted to ask you – what is the WBC’s policy on mandatory challengers?

“Because it seems to me that what happens is the incumbent champion gets to sign fights and rematches at the expense of a mandatory challenger ad infinitum?”

Joshua vs Fury was supposed to take place on August 14 in Saudi Arabia

Sulaiman replied: “The pandemic year has taken over all activity of, not only boxing, but all sports.

“There was the registrations of a contract for the third fight. The WBC was expecting that fight to take place in December [2020].

“When that fight did not take place in December, then there were talks and a petition to sanction the ultimate unification between Fury and Joshua.

“For several months there was expectations to get the date and the place.

“Eventually the court ruled for the third fight of Fury against Wilder.”

The arbitrator ruled in favour of Wilder, insisting his original contract guaranteed him the right to a third fight with Fury
Ryan Hafey/PBC

Jordan then reiterated his second question: “What is the point of being a mandatory challenger if the incumbent champion can sign fight deals that arrange for three fights sanctioned by the body which makes the mandatory challenger just sit there like a cab waiting to be summoned.

“He can’t be summoned because you’ve got fighters that are signing two-or-three-fight deals, sanctioned by the boxing organisations, that make a mandatory challenger almost redundant?”

Sulaiman responded: “I don’t see it that way.

“Unfortunately there are circumstances at the moment which limit what I can comment and what I cannot comment.

“The scenario is as I have just explained – there is a contract for a fight, there is a pandemic with travel restrictions and many other situations.

“And the WBC is waiting to see all the variables to understand exactly where the heavyweight division is.”

Whyte is yet to fight for a heavyweight world title
Mark Robinson/Matchroom
Sulaiman is the president of the WBC
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

White then went to an ad break with Simon unable to get the chance to quiz Sulaiman further.

Jordan added: “My question that was gonna follow up was – if Fury vs Wilder 3 resulted in Wilder winning, was he gonna sanction the mandatory to fight Wilder, or was he gonna allow another rematch between Wilder and Fury?

“I think that’s an interesting question people would’ve like to have heard the answer to.”