World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman announced a brand new super cruiserweight division for the sport they will call ‘Bridgerweight.’
Taking place for fighters between 201 and 224 pounds, the move has caused surprise and controversy in equal measure.
Using his ’12th Round’ platform with the WBC, Sulaiman decided to explain his reasoning for adding an eighteenth weight class.
“Modern boxing was born in England, and for more than a century didn’t have any rules nor weight categories,” said Sulaiman.
“After some rules were established, boxing continued and eventually, the National Sporting Club created the eight original divisions to group into categories by weight in search for similar competition level between the contenders, these being the following:
Division / Pounds
Light heavy 175
Heavy 176 to infinity
“The New York Boxing Commission implemented three more divisions in 1909: Super bantamweight 122, Super Feather 130 and Super Light 140.
“Eventually, the World Boxing Council introduced six more divisions.
“This addressed the urgent need to reduce the difference in weight between divisions.
“It demanded great physical sacrifices with dangerous dehydration practices or the fact that it was going up to the next division.
“This meant giving away a lot of advantage of having to face much heavier and stronger boxers.
“The additions were: Straw 105, Light fly 108, Superfly 118, Super Welter 154, Super Middle 168, and Cruiser 200.
“While the problem in most divisions was largely addressed, humanity’s natural growth has generated important changes in the major divisions.
“Ten years ago, the WBC decided to move the cruiserweight limit from 190 to 200 pounds. Considering the weight of the athletes, as they have grown impressively.
“The major division, the heavyweight, means the maximum glory. The world heavyweight champion has traditionally been recognized as the most important athlete globally, the invincible, the gladiator. The heavyweight world champion initially started at 176 pounds.
“Analyzing the following data, it is clearly shown that in the 20th Century there were champions with weights well below the current weights in the heavyweight division:
Jack Dempsey: 187 lbs.
Gene Tunney: 189 lbs.
Max Schmeling: 188 lbs.
Jack Sharkey: 205 lbs.
Max Baer: 209 lbs.
Jim Braddock: 193 lbs.
Joe Louis: 197 lbs.
Ezzard Charles: 181 lbs.
Jersey Joe Walcott: 194 lbs.
Rocky Marciano: 184 lbs.
Floyd Patterson: 182 lbs.
Ingemar Johannson: 196 lbs.
Sonny Liston: 214 lbs.
Muhammad Ali: 210 lbs.
Joe Frazier: 205 lbs.
George Foreman: 217 lbs.
Leon Spinks: 197 lbs.
Larry Holmes: 209 lbs.
Michael Spinks: 200 lbs.
Mike Tyson: 221 lbs.
Buster Douglas: 231 lbs.
Evander Holyfield: 208 lbs.
Riddick Bowe: 235 lbs.
Lennox Lewis: 235 lbs.
“Now in the 21st Century, we see the different weights in the heavyweight division:
Hasim Rahman: 238 lbs.
Lennox Lewis: 253 lbs.
Oleg Maskaev: 238 lbs.
Samuel Peter: 250 lbs.
Vitali Klitschko: 247 lbs.
Bermane Stiverne: 239 lbs.
Deontay Wilder: 219 lbs.
Tyson Fury: 273 lbs.
“We have decided to create a new division called “Bridger” ( or super cruiserweight to WBN) as it is the necessary bridge to serve the large number of boxers who are between 200 and 224 pounds.
A hero of humanity inspires this name. That 6-year-old boy who, during the pandemic, heroically saved his 4-year-old sister from an attack by a wild dog.
“Yes, this new division is inspired by Bridger Walker!
Did you know that…
“In 1908 the heavyweight champion was Tommy Burns, who weighed 168 pounds (today he would have been super middleweight), lost his title to the so-called “Galveston Giant,” the legendary Jack Johnson, who weighed 192 pounds (currently he would be cruiserweight).
“The WBC has added the BridgerWeight to the official rankings. We will contact through November boxers who compete in cruiserweight and heavyweight to confirm which category they wish to be listed.
“However, there will be a six-month grace period to handle each situation correctly. Any fighter listed in BridgerWeight (super cruiserweight) may compete in the heavyweight division.”