The World Boxing Council believes the recent scaling of the undercard for Saturday’s heavyweight bill in London justifies the need for super cruiserweight.
A new weight-class, nicknamed ‘bridgerweight,’ was added by the WBC for boxers wishing to compete for a belt between 200 and 224 pounds.
Those heavyweight contenders who find it difficult to compete with the biggest heavyweights can now drop down and fight for a title.
Outlining why Friday’s formalities at the Joshua v Pulev poundage measuring was so important, the WBC said: “A substantial weigh-in of huge heavyweights totaling almost five hundred and ten pounds, demonstratively confirms the case for the new bridgerweight division.
“Martin Bakole Ilunga (born in Congo, based in Scotland) this Saturday night fights Russia’s Sergey Kuzmin this Saturday at The SSE Arena.
“The staggering weigh-in fully tested the scales, indicted: Sergey Kuzmin 258.450 Lbs (kgs 117.250) and Martin Bakole 251.400 Lbs (kgs 114).
“Bakole vs Kuzmin is for the vacant WBC International Heavyweight Championship.
“After Filip Hrgovic relinquished this title voluntarily, the Committee has approved this “Big Fight” for the vacant belt.
“Both fighters have a similar record, with Bakole (15-1-0, 12) and Kuzmin (15-1-0, 11). Both rated by the WBC are complying 100% with WBC requirements.
“Before the introduction of bridgerweight, the Cruiserweight Division limit only reached two hundred pounds.
“This meant that a fighter weighing two hundred and one pounds could have been facing the daunting prospect of facing an opponent nearly sixty pounds heavier…or even more enormous. Remember seven-foot-tall Nicolai Valuev, who at his peak sorely tested the scales at three hundred and twenty-eight pounds!
“Decades earlier, Rocky Marciano was fighting at one hundred and eighty-two pounds. Back then, cruiserweight didn`t exist. Anyone over the one hundred and seventy-five pounds lights heavyweight limit was a heavyweight.
“Bridgerweight is a necessary step. It spans a behemoth and potentially dangerous gulf as it dovetails in. Also, providing a two hundred to two hundred and forty-four pounds requirement. bridgerweight necessarily bridge the gap.
“Change in Boxing is seldom comfortable or easy. The evolution of size in different eras isn’t static.
“Rather, it`s ongoing. It`s inevitable. Our response to it is timely, and it`s necessary to protect the health, safety, plus current and future wellbeing of boxers.”