WBC President Defends Ngannou’s Ranking – ‘I’m Very Proud’

December 18, 2023
3 months
WBC President Defends Ngannou's Ranking - 'I'm Very Proud'

Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC President, has defended the decision to rank Francis Ngannou in the top ten.

Ngannou’s performance against Tyson Fury won him many plaudits. He went the distance with the WBC heavyweight champion on his boxing debut. He troubled the Gypsy King by dropping him in round three with a left hook, and he continued to come forward to push his opponent back.

Despite losing via a split decision, some in the boxing community gave Ngannou the victory. That earned him a WBC ranking, which drew a lot of criticism. The fact that Ngannou became ranked after one fight was seen as a negative on the sport since other fighters had more fights in an attempt to secure that ranking.

In addition, Ngannou had done nothing in boxing to deserve the Fury fight other than being the former UFC heavyweight champion. Since Ngannou made the biggest payday of his career, he has now been ranked with the chance to secure bigger paydays at the expense of other fighters who have given more to the sport, which has not gone down well.

Ngannou’s Ranking

“First of all it is based on the rules. The WBC rules for the ratings criteria has many parameters; record, activity, level of opposition and other matters including activity in amateur boxing, Olympic boxing or any other contact sport. We have ranked many fighters from Thailand who have had a successful Muay Thai or Thai boxing career and they enter into professional boxing.

“We have so many precedents. For Ngannou to enter the rankings, it’s supported by the rules. But who can, in their state of mind, go against Ngannou being ranked? He dropped Tyson, the best heavyweight champion of today in boxing and he lost a split decision against the champion. So who can go against that?” Sulaiman stated 

Nevertheless, in a sport with many governing bodies, there is a question of whether Ngannou should be ranked since Fury’s WBC belt was not on the line. Therefore, even if Ngannou had won, there was no way of him being a champion. Although he would have gotten the title of lineal champion, does that justify a WBC ranking?

Sulaiman Defends Ngannou

In addition, it gives a false reflection on Ngannou’s ability, as there is no way of knowing just how good he is unless he takes on other fighters. The performance against Fury may have been a one-off, and there is a question of how much this was due to the Gypsy King’s poor performance. But Sulaiman was behind the decision, as he talked up Ngannou.

“It was amazing. He has a big chin, a huge chin, tremendous punching power and he was very clean. He boxed. There was a concern that he would get to the tactics of mixed martial arts. No, he did a tremendous fight. He’s humble and he’s hardworking. I’m very proud of the decision by the WBC,” Ngannou revealed

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