Jose Sulaiman explains Andre Ward’s WBC title status to WBN

World Boxing Council President Jose Sulaiman has confirmed what Sakio Bika stated in a recent interview with WBN – that the WBC super-middleweight title is indeed vacant.

Former world champion Bika, 33, told WBN that he will fight for the full title next month, at the same time that reports indicated that he was fight Nikola Sjekloca for the interim version on February 16 at the Boardwalk Hall.

Sulaiman has now rubberstamped the fact that Andre Ward has been relieved of his title as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but did reinforce that the American will fight for the 168lb belt upon his return to the ring.

“Due to the unfortunate fracture of Andre Ward and the long time that he would be put in recovery the WBC has voted in favour of naming him as the WBC Emeritus Champion,” Sulaiman told World Boxing News.

“This is so the rule is followed for not having frozen titles and that will give him the opportunity to fight back when he is medically approved – with whoever might be the champion.”

Sulaiman continued: “Emeritus champion is a WBC world ambassador for peace and good will, which can be obtained only by great and exemplary champions of the WBC, who remain with such appointment for the rest of their lives in the boxing world and society.”

Bika and Sjekloca face-off on the undercard of Adrien Broner’s WBC lightweight title defence against former 140lb title holder Gavin Rees, with the victor becoming the new WBC king at 168lbs.