For this week’s episode on Boxing Insider Radio, the crew welcomes WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman as he calls in to talk with our panel on some of the topics that have grabbed boxing by the throat over the past few days.
With Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury reportedly coming to an agreement for a two fight deal in 2021, how realistic is that contest? Also the man behind the deal in Daniel Kinahan finds himself in legal trouble due to his questionable past. Sulaiman gives his thoughts on the situation. How about Dillian Whyte? Where does WBC interim champion fit into the Heavyweight landscape? Sulaiman addresses it all and more on this weeks podcast.
For the first time in roughly four months, boxing fans had a smile on their face. They sat back and watched as COVID-19 took away their 2020 boxing schedule after a promising start. Thoughts of Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3, Leo Santa Cruz vs Gervonta Davis and Canelo Alvarez vs Gennadiy Golovkin 3 all fell by the wayside.
Now, fans were given no choice but to enjoy the grotesque mismatches of Shakur Stevenson vs Felix Caraballo. The frown that accompanied the faces of fans grew to anger. But with one announcement, it was turned upside down.
Fans of the sport broke their chairs, smashed their telephones and screamed uncontrollably as unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) and WBC belt holder Tyson Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) informed the public that they agreed on a two fight showdown in 2021.
But things quickly became strange when the man behind the scenes who helped broker the deal in Daniel Kinahan, is said to have a hand in more than just boxing.
Drugs, illegal firearms sales and a long list of other crimes now accompany the name of Kianhan. Which in turn, makes Fury vs Joshua a moot point. Fans of the sport became confused as to what his alleged illegal associations meant for the biggest fight in quite some time. Joining fans in their confusion is WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman. Much like the fans who read the headlines all across the Internet, a puzzled Sulaiman scratched his head.
“I have no idea,” admitted Sulaiman on Boxing Insider Radio. “Since we have had his pandemic, I have chosen to keep a very clean, mental health. And to do that, I avoid anything that creates anxiety. So I don’t really follow much of what goes on unless it’s something positive or inspires me. I choose not to listen to gossip or whatever is not official. I have followed very little. And I have no interest in getting involved in what is not for the betterment of the sport.”
Kinahan and his current legal troubles aren’t the only thing that is in the way of the mega showdown between Joshua and Fury though. While the rest of the world marks Joshua vs Fury and their collective calendars, Deontay Wilder paces back and forth in his palatial estate. Seething, fists clenched and smoke fuming from the top of his head. With a title reign that stretches five years and the most devastating right hand in boxing history. Wilder is incredulous to the conjecture of most counting him out of their upcoming third clash.
Sulaiman however, is not. The WBC President is quick to remind everyone that although he is unsure of when, their third contest will certainly happen.
“Right now we don’t know when boxing is going to resume for some specific fights such as the rematch between Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury. We don’t know if that fight will happen October, November, December, next year. We cannot control that. But for the WBC there is a legal contract that they signed for a third fight.”
Wilder and Fury of course, gave the fans one of the most dramatic heavyweight contests in history when they battled to a highly controversially draw in 2018. There was nothing contentious in their rematch however, this past February as Fury dropped Wilder twice before ultimately stopping him. One more contest now awaits both men. But while COVID-19 has made awaiting their third contest painfully difficult with no date set in stone, interim WBC titilst Dillian Whyte has been waiting even longer for his own shot at a world title.
It’s been five years since Whyte suffered his lone loss to Anthony Joshua. Since then, Lebron James added another NBA title to his resume, Jay-Z dropped the 4:44 album and Tom Brady grabbed two more Super Bowl titles to give him a grand total of six. During that span, Whyte hasn’t just sat back on his laurels either. He’s taken down three undefeated fighters, two former world champions and won every possible title eliminator thrown in his direction.
With everything completed on his end, Sulaiman believes that he cannot make the British born fighter wait any longer.
“For the WBC there is a mandatory title defense that the champion has to make. The mandatory challenger is the interim champion Dillian Whyte. He has the right to enforce his title shot after the Wilder vs Fury third fight. Fury vs Joshua is just speculation. They have both come out and said that they have a deal which is very good. But there are many things that must take place before it actually happens.”