World Boxing Council Mauricio Sulaiman indicates that his organization will not sanction a possible fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol at 168-pounds.
A few weeks ago, Sulaiman made it known that the WBC would refuse to sanction a unification fight between Bivol and WBC, IBF, WBO champion Artur Beterbiev.
Sulaiman and the WBC is taking hard line, due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Until the military conflict is resolved, the WBC will not sanction any fights involving boxers from Russia or Belarus.
In May of 2022, Bivol retained his WBA light heavyweight title by outboxing Canelo over twelve rounds to secure a dominant unanimous decision win.
Canelo wants the rematch to take place at 175-pounds for the WBA strap – but Bivol would like to head down to 168 to challenge the Mexican star for his undisputed championship, which includes the WBC belt.
In order to fight for a WBC title, a fighter from Russia or Belarus must submit a special application to plead their case for review and there is no guarantee that the organization will approve the fight.
“No, not at this moment”, Sulaiman replied to Izquierdazo when asked if the WBC would sanction a fight between Canelo and Bivol at 168 pounds.
“Our definition was clear. It is a constant and consistent position. Bivol has not approached the process that we opened for all those boxers willing to apply for their specific case to be reviewed. Bivol has not done it. So for the moment, Bivol cannot participate in a WBC sanctioned fight.
Last Monday, there were images circulating about an amateur boxing tournament celebrated in an underground subway station in Kharkiv, a city in eastern Ukraine which has been on the front-line of the war.
“It is quite dramatic, but such is sport”, Sulaiman expressed. “The necessity to practice boxing, to be active, to let go of what they have inside. God willing there will be peace, it won’t be soon, but miracles happen”.