WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman Wants Extra Judges For Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk Fight

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Posted on 02/19/2024

By: Sean Crose

There’s no doubt the May 18th undisputed heavyweight title bout between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is a major event. Yet World Boxing Council head Maurio Sulaiman, feels the match is so significant that he’s informed Sky Sports “he wants five or six officials scoring the fight ringside.” That’s right – now fans, analysts and possibly the fighters themselves might have more than the usual three ringside judges to rage at after the bout has ended. On a serious note, Sulaiman is right to want to avoid controversy as much as possible. Boxing judges, after all, are known for often providing less than stellar decisions.

Not that Sulaiman is overly confident that the extra judges will be added. “Boxing is a sport in which change is very difficult to get,” he said. “We’re purists, traditionalists, we don’t want changes.” Still, Sualiman made it clear to Sky Sports he’s willing tp push the issue. “I will continue to make the proposal,” he said. “Some like the idea, some of the people in the decision-making process. We will see.” Indeed we will, though it’s frankly unlikely there will be more than three ringside judges come the night of the fight.

Although his goal is to get more judges for a major bout, Sulaiman indicated to Sky Sports that he’s not pointing a finger at contemporary boxing judges. “Anybody can have a bad night,” he said. “If you have one judge have a bad night and the two others get it correct, you still save the fight….you have two judges with a difficult fight and then one round can shift the whole result. The way Sulaiman sees, “if you have more officials then the possibility of a wrong score goes to a minimum.”

Controversy, believe it or not, is never welcome in boxing. The fear of controversy, however, is particularly acute in the case of Fury-Usyk. Unless there’s a draw, a no contest ruling, or a disqualification, a new undisputed heavyweight champion will emerge for the first time in close to a quarter of a century. The nation of Saudi Arabia has gone out of it’s way to present a high end affair and untold millions will likely view the event live via pay per view. Without doubt, it’s all quite the big deal, reason enough for everyone involved to want the event to go down smoothly. Boxing is always in need of success stories after all.

“That’s the only intention,” Sulaiman said, “to make sure there’s no controversy.”

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