Lawrence Okolie came up short against Chris Billam-Smith in an upset, but WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says Okolie could soon find himself in title contention should he make the move its new bridgerweight division, despite that not being a recognized division among the other three major sanctioning bodies.
Sulaiman tells Sky Sports that one of the benefits of a potential move to bridgerweight for Okolie would be that it would allow him time to grow into an eventual heavyweight without having to suffer considerable weight disparities until that point.
“That’s one of the virtues [of the new division]. Just like Evander Holyfield, a cruiserweight then he grew into heavyweight, bridgerweight is another possibility for cruiserweights. To grow into bridger and eventually heavyweight.
“Remember every bridgerweight fighter is also accepted as a contender at heavyweight. So it is a division that has many virtues.”
The WBC president would continue by acknowledging that there isn’t currently much of any prestige associated with a bridgerweight title, and says that it’s only human nature that people initially reject change, but obviously expects the division to garner more credibility as time passes. I suppose having a recognizable name as its champion would help some, too.