By: Hans Themistode
While Mauricio Sulaiman might be sitting comfortably in his palatial estate, the WBC President can still hear the nonstop criticism. Most of the condemnation stems from the “Franchise” title Sulaiman recently added to the gluttony of belts already circulating in the sport of boxing.
Even though Sulaiman understands the confusion surrounding it, he simply asks that the public give it more time before airing out their disapproval.
“I just ask the public to give the Franchise designation an opportunity,” said Sulaiman during an interview on Barbershop Conversations. “It’s only one year so let’s give it a chance. It might be confusing but the WBC are very satisfied and proud.”
For the most part, the addition of the “Franchise” title is viewed as nothing more than a money grab from Sulaiman and the WBC. Typically, sanctioning bodies take three percent from the purses of both the champion and challenger. In short, more belts equal more money.
Despite those thoughts, Sulaiman continues to regurgitate that the inclusion of the “Franchise” title is for the fan’s benefit only.
“That is a new concept and designation. We have given it to a very few amount of fighters which allows them certain privileges. Canelo Alvarez and Teofimo Lopez. Those are the only two Franchise fighters that have the designation. What they can do is move up and down in weight to fight the important fights without having the commitment of a mandatory that would fragment the division.”
Although Sulaiman continues to defend his position, fans continue to poke holes in his story. Upon first introducing the “Franchise” title, Sulaiman claimed that it could not be won inside the ring. However, former multiple division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko lost his tag in his latest ring defeat to the aforementioned Teofimo Lopez.
While the “Franchise” title has become somewhat obtrusive and a magnet for castigation, Sulaiman points to the track record of his organization as a reason for those who continue to doubt him to have faith in what he’s doing.
“The WBC has historically been the organization that has changed the sport of boxing. If you go to the past we changed from 15 to 12 rounds. We changed the day of the weigh-ins to do it a day before so fighters can rehydrate. We changed from three ropes to four ropes and so many different things that are now natural so you don’t notice these changes in today’s boxing. But we keep looking into what can be done to bring fans to the sport, safety features, entertainment and we continue to improve in many aspects of the sport.”