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Mauricio Sulaiman wants WBC tourney to determine new heavyweight champion

Deontay Wilder boxing photo

By Charles Brun: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman says he wants to put together a tournament that would lead to an eventual replacement champion if Tyson Fury chooses to retire.

The #1 contender in the WBC’s heavyweight rankings is ex-champion Deotnay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder, who is coming off an 11th-round knockout loss to Fury last October.

It’s unknown why the WBC still has the 6’7″ Deontay ranked #1, given that he’s lost his last two fights and hasn’t won a contest in three years since his victory over Luis Ortiz in 2019.

Typically, the sanction bodies have the two top contenders in the rankings battle for the vacated title, which makes sense. In this case, Sulaiman wants to string out the process by having a tourney.

It’s unclear whether a tournament would benefit the World Boxing Council’s bottom line.

Sulaiman’s tournament idea might be a little premature because Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) still hasn’t vacated his WBC heavyweight title yet, and he may have been playing a game in talking about retiring.

With the money the 6’9″ Fury can make fighting the winner or even the loser of the July 23rd fight between IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua, it’s doubtful that ‘The Gypsy King’ will retire.

“Certainly,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said to Sky Sports about Deontay Wilder being in contention to fight for the heavyweight belt if Tyson Fury retires. “Because he is the No 1-ranked contender in the division.

“I spoke to him a couple of months ago, he is doing great, and he is looking forward to resuming his boxing career,” Sulaiman said about Wilder.

At this point, it would be shocking if Deontay chooses to fight again, as he seemed pretty jaded about the sport in a recent interview.

Wilder said he wanted to take a mental trip to decide whether to continue his career, but he’s not yet revealed his decision.

“We have one year to have the next mandatory fight,” Sulaiman said. “At this moment, we will wait for the decision of Tyson Fury, and then we will either do a series of fights – a boxing tournament – going into a final elimination, but at this time, we’re going to wait because we don’t know the specific circumstances.

While Fury gives plenty of lip service about how he doesn’t care about money, it’s fair to say that he does very much care. Hence, he’s revealed that he’ll soon be fighting an exhibition match against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a hybrid boxing fight. Fury will make a boatload of sweet cash fighting Ngannou.

Thus far, we haven’t heard Fury say anything about donating the money from the Ngannou fight, so he’ll keep it.

Potential options for the WBC tourney

1. Deontay Wilder

2. Joe Joyce

3. Joseph Parker

4. Frank Sanchez

5. Andy Ruiz

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