WBC president exploring ways to prevent Fury-Usyk controversy

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has proposed radical changes ahead of the undisputed heavyweight encounter between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Uysk, hoping to prevent significant controversy. 

Fury-Usyk, who were supposed to meet in the first undisputed heavyweight encounter in almost 25 years on February 17, will now clash on May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after Fury sustained a cut on his right eye following a sparring session. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, the WBC president revealed that he hoped to increase the number of judges for the undisputed title fight from the traditional three judges to “five or six” but confirmed that the proposal was rejected by all parties associated with both fighters. 

Despite the refusal, Suliaman confirmed he would still recommend increasing scoring officials for the contest.

“Boxing is a sport in which change is very difficult to get,” Sulaiman told Sky Sports. “We’re purists, traditionalists, we don’t want changes. I will continue to make the proposal. Some like the idea, some of the people in the decision-making process. We will see.

“We had proposed to use five judges or six judges. However, that was not considered. It did not happen. I would still recommend [it].

“Anybody can have a bad night. If one judge has a bad night and the two others get it correct, you still save the fight.

“You have two judges with a difficult fight, and then one round can shift the result. But if you have more officials, the possibility of a wrong score goes to a minimum. But we will see. 

“That’s the only intention to make sure there’s no controversy. We have the biggest fight in 25 years in the heavyweight division. So we have to try to do our best.”

Sulaiman also wants to use video technology for the highly-anticipated fight, with a further aim in overruling incorrect calls by the officials, such as missed headbutts. 

“In Fury-[Francis] Ngannou, when Fury was cut, the referee didn’t see any action that made the cut, ruled it a punch and then the British Boxing Board of Control and myself looked at the screen, the big screen in the stadium and saw the head butt so we called it officially a headbutt,” added the WBC president.

“But the idea of having the possibility of reviewing a major controversial happening inside the ring, to make the right decision, the right call at the time is basically it.

“To have the absolute certainty that there will not be a controversy. That, in a fight of this magnitude, would be absolutely unacceptable.”