Sulaiman Defends WBC For Not Stripping Jermall Charlo

December 27, 2023
4 months
Sulaiman Defends WBC For Not Stripping Jermall Charlo

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has defended the decision of the WBC to back Jermall Charlo by not stripping him of his middleweight title.

Charlo was absent from the sport for more than two years due to mental health struggles. During this period, his WBC mandatory, Carlos Adames, was deprived of the opportunity to fight for his belt. There were question marks over why Charlo was not stripped and made a champion in recess. The American, instead, recently returned to beat Jose Benavidez Jr. in his comeback. But his WBC middleweight belt was not on the line, raising questions over why the American was still allowed to keep the belt. Sualiman has now defended the stance vocally.

Sulaiman On Charlo

“It’s easy to evaluate when you look back. Specifically Charlo, he had a fight contracted when he got injured by his hand. You can take away the whole period, six months, the whole period, because he was going to fight. He got injured and then we ordered the interim and then he had this mental breakdown.

“I will not anyway go against [Charlo]. I’m very proud of us standing strong with Charlo. We had very private conversations in which he basically said, ‘Don’t take away from me the only thing that is keeping me alive, being the champion.’ In this specific case I do not regret a single moment. We are going to finalize whether he stays at 160 or not, and we will move on,” Charlo said 

The decision has been at odds with the other governing bodies. Take, for example, the stance towards Terence Crawford and Jermell Charlo. Crawford was stripped of his IBF title after failing to defend against Jaron Ennis. Crawford had the belt for around two months following his biggest win over Errol Spence Jr. to become the first undisputed welterweight champion of the four-belt era.

Since he was contractually bound to face Spence in a rematch, the fact he was stripped was seen as harsh. As for Charlo, he was on course to face Tim Tszyu before he injured his hand. But after that, a chance to fight for undisputed against Canelo Alvarez came up. There was a feeling that his WBO belt should have been kept since it was too big of an opportunity to turn down. However, regarding the WBC, Sulaiman reassured everyone that Adames was happy with their stance.

Sulaiman On Adames

“I understand your point but I think Adames is very happy. He has made a very good money in this process. He’s in a good position to engage in a very big fight. For the overall, I believe those decisions have been correct,” Sulaiman stated 

Charlo’s future will become a lot clearer moving forward. If the boxer decides to stay at 160, he must fulfil his mandatory obligations. If he decides to move up, the belt will become vacant, freeing the division for the other fighters. Either way, something has to give.

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