World Boxing Council respond to criticism over Women’s two minute rounds

RINGSIDE 18/04/2019
World Boxing Council

The World Boxing Council is not a sanctioning body. We are a Governing Body that sanctions fights, always with the interest and safety of the boxers as the most important element.

We are not in the business of selling belts. No one in the WBC board and committees takes a salary. We are dedicated to protecting all those who participate in our sport and will not be influenced by popularity when it jeopardizes the life and future life of our boxers.

Our goal is to have exciting fights that the boxer can reflect on years after they leave the ring. Not just a Championship belt, but a quality of life worth fighting for.

We are a global, nonprofit, and for many years have spent a great deal of money in partnership with UCLA, Cleveland Clinic, Pink Concussion and other accredited, medical institutions from many counties , trying to establish the highest standards possible for the well-being of our athletes, men and women boxers.

Recently we’ve been under attack for maintaining the 2 minute/ten round format for Women’s boxing. We had the same outcry when we lowered men’s rounds from 15 to 12. It ‘s Science not Sexism that has demands we uphold this decision.

“Countless studies have shown that concussions differ between the sexes. Females have been shown to have increased susceptibility, symptom scores, and prolonged symptoms compared to males.

“The reasons for this noted disparity are still unclear as some have postulated a reporting difference, others hormonal, others noting differences in cervical strength, and yet others noting neuronal pathway differences between the sexes.

“Whatever the cause there is still the noted difference between the sexes regarding concussions. Boxing carries the obvious inherent risk of head injury. One of the ways to help mitigate the cranial trauma is modification of the rules which includes the number of rounds and the length of the rounds.

“The typical 12 round three minute per round bout adds up to 36 minutes of total exposure while 10 rounds with two minute per round bout adds up to 20 minutes of exposure. In addition, during each round fatigue and dehydration becomes a significant issue and increasing the time from 2 to 3 minutes leads to significantly more fatigue and dehydration which could result in a significant increase in vulnerability to a contestant.

“For the above reasons Pink Concussions supports the current female boxing rules of 10 two-minutes rounds rather than, what we believe to be, higher risk 12 three-minutes rounds.” Dr. David Wang , PINK Concussions Professional Advisory Board .

In addition to Dr. Wang, our position was reviewed and approved by some of the top experts such as, Dr. Bob Cantu, Dr. Ron Savage, Dr. Anthony Alessi.

We are not being unfair. Inequality in pay, which plagues women in all fields, not just in sports, should be governed by the law, not by women athletes being subjected to more suffering than their male counterparts. This is what’s unfair.

We have fought against gender discrimination for many years – we have organized the only women and medical conventions, in Cancun, Tijuana and Manila exclusively dedicated to women’s boxing, with promotion and safety as being top issues. We believe strongly that talent not gender be the determining factor in creating champions. These conventions have been attended by many female fighters and their input has been significant during the open floor discussions.

It would be easy to ignore the medical findings and take a popular stance by increasing the rounds and minutes fought by women.

We will not.

Being able to do something and the consequences there-of, differ. We want our athletes to be champions in their lives, not only the ring. Being the only boxing governing body with a fund for injured and needy boxers, as well as a Clean Boxing Program, we have firsthand knowledge of the dangers implicit in our sport.

Sadly, most women athletes, in ALL sports, earn less than the men do. We are working on this by creating campaigns and joining forces with organizations in many arenas, not just boxing.


If the science changes, then we will too. For now, … Let’s change the law. Let’s change public perception. Let’s educate the public, the promoters, the people in charge. Let’s leave what’s best for our athletes alone.

Mauricio Sulaiman WBC President

Jose Sulaiman ( + ) Lifetime President

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