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WBC Removes Russian and Belarusian Fighters From Rankings

In February 2022, the WBC stated that it would not approve any boxing in Russia. Due to the ongoing controversy, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said Tuesday at the organization’s convention in Mexico that fighters from Russia and Belarus will be removed from their rankings.

In reaction to the Russia-Ukraine political back and forth, the four major organizations – WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO – issued a united statement earlier this year in which they pledged not to sanction bouts in the two nations.

The political conflict has had enormous effects on the sport. Individually impacted are Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, who have only recently returned to the ring to continue their careers. On the front lines are two of the most recognizable heavyweights in history. As the world watched on in horror, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko became the faces of their country’s defense. Vitaly is the mayor of Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine.

The WBC’s provisional ruling included two decisions

Alma Montiel/ WBC | There are four recognized major bodies in boxing, the WBA, WBC, IBF, and the WBO

The WBC would not approve any fights on Russian or Belarusian soil. The WBC would not authorize any bout between boxers from these nations.

The incursion by Russia has suspended all boxing in Ukraine. Numerous sports centers and gymnasiums have been destroyed, and the population of Ukraine, especially its sportsmen, lives under the constant fear of an attack.

The WBC promotes human dignity, peace, and equality. Throughout its history, the WBC has denounced all forms of prejudice and misuse of authority. The WBC Constitution’s Code of Ethics stipulates that all national laws of every country connected with the WBC must be respected.

Regrettably, the WBC’s approach has resulted in players being innocent victims of aggressive measures outside of our sport, which have harmed the global desire for peace in several ways.

Kerr Ferguson/ Boxing social | The WBA has two championships: a “Regular” and a “Super” titleholder.

At a meeting in Acapulco on November 6, 2022, the WBC Board of Governors voted to remove all Russian and Belarusian fighters from the official WBC world rankings.

Nationals from the above-mentioned countries permanently residing in other countries, being citizens of other countries, or living as refugees who have publicly rejected Russia’s actions in the current situation have the right to petition the WBC to reconsider the application of the WBC’s ruling to their specific case.

The measures outlined in the WBC’s Ruling are effective immediately. They will remain in force until Ukraine can resume regular boxing activities or until the WBC’s Board reevaluates the situation and amends the ruling.

There are some exceptions, after all

Kerr Ferguson/ Mmanews | The WBC opened an office in Ukraine in August 2021 to identify and help young fighters

The WBC specifies that ‘any particular situations of natives of any of those nations permanently residing in other countries, are citizens of other countries, or are refugees, who have openly denounced Russia’s conduct’ will have the opportunity to appeal for a reversal.

Notable outliers are anticipated to include Artur Beterbiev, who resides in Canada despite representing Russia in the Olympics. Currently holding the WBC Light Heavyweight championship, he has a lot of high-profile bouts scheduled.

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