World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman has expressed his caution as a spate of exhibitions begin to appear on the boxing roster, the latest being Floyd Mayweather.
Following Mike Tyson’s comeback to face Roy Jones Jr., many other legends have made it clear they plan to do something similar.
Evander Holyfield and Oscar De La Hoya, to name just two of many.
After witnessing Floyd Mayweather’s sorry return on Sunday night, the WBC chief released a statement on the urgent matter.
“The top leader of the WBC, Mr. Mauricio Sulaimán, was emphatic when saying during the traditional “Coffee Tuesdays.”
“There is genuine concern for all those boxers who, after several years of retirement, have shown that they want to return to fighting – such as the case of Evander Holyfield and Oscar de la Hoya.
“At this point, he clarified that it is not the same to do an exhibition fight as to do it professionally. So, the WBC is taking action with the different commissions to give maximum attention to these fights. They will be extremely strict with medical protocols so that they can reduce the risks.
“Likewise, the president of the WBC explained that times are changing, and today, we have to accept it. New generations are approaching boxing.
“We must be empathetic and open to changes as long as the integrity of all involved is not put at risk while they get into the ring.
“An example of this, explained Mr. Sulaiman, was the exhibition fight of the multiple world champion, Floyd Mayweather.
“Mr. Mayweather returned to the ring to face a YouTuber in a fight that attracted a new audience and where Floyd showed that his quality is still intact.”
CALCULATED FLOYD MAYWEATHER
Elaborating on his stance in an interview with Sirius XM this week, Sulaiman added further concern despite stating the fight was “calculated” to minimize risk.
“The crossover fights have been going on for decades and are increasing in popularity. But what happens when someone who hasn’t trained properly gets seriously injured?
“We have to be careful with these fights and have all the precautions ready for these cross-over fights. These crossover fights are good for boxing, but it is dangerous and fragile.
“I think the Mayweather fight was very calculated. But thought the fight was entertaining even though neither had their greatest performance.
“Mayweather had fun, and [YouTuber] was exhausted after the first four rounds due to the heavy gloves and not used to boxing.
“I think Floyd tried to knock out [YouTuber]. But he could not physically do it. If [YouTuber] would have gotten hit by someone his size in round six or seven, that could have been dangerous. So some type of guidelines needs to be created.”
On a couple of issues in the news at the moment, Sulaiman concluded: “We will see what happens in Fury vs. Wilder this time around.
“Wilder will be bringing the power. Fury will be very well prepared and is ready for the fight.
“Teofimo Lopez is a modern-day Roberto Duran, and Lopez-George Kambosos Jr. fight should be really good.”