Ngannou’s WBC Top 10 Backed by Sulaiman

Photo of Francis Ngannou.

Even with Francis Ngannou’s lone boxing defeat, the WBC has included him in the top 10 heavyweight rankings, citing his performance against Tyson Fury as the basis for their decision. Currently occupying the 10th position, this move has generated some criticism. Ngannou, a former UFC heavyweight champion, experienced a split decision loss to Fury in his first boxing match in October. As a result, Ngannou now sits below Otto Wallin and above Filip Hrgovic in the WBC rankings.

However, Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, justified the decision by emphasizing Francis Ngannou’s performance in his 10-round match against Tyson Fury, the reigning WBC heavyweight champion.

Sulaiman provided the reasoning, stating, “Primarily, it is in accordance with the rules. The WBC’s criteria for rankings consider various factors, including a fighter’s record, activity, level of opposition, and participation in amateur boxing, Olympic boxing, or any other contact sport.” He cited precedents, citing examples of fighters from Thailand who successfully transitioned from Muay Thai or Thai boxing to professional boxing.

Sulaiman underscored Ngannou’s inclusion in the rankings as rule-supported, highlighting the impactful knockdown against Fury in the third round. “Ngannou’s ranking aligns with the rules. Who, in their right mind, could dispute Ngannou’s placement?

He knocked down Tyson, the current top heavyweight champion in boxing, and had a close decision loss to the champion,” Sulaiman asserted. “Therefore, there’s no controversy in slotting him at No. 10 in the rankings. It adheres to the rules, and considering his performance, there’s no controversy.”

He commended Ngannou’s exceptional qualities, stating, “It was remarkable. He possesses a strong chin, formidable punching power, and exhibited clean boxing skills. Despite concerns about potential mixed martial arts tactics, he delivered an impressive fight. His humility and hard work make me proud of the WBC’s decision.”


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