WBC introduces weight management program with eye on fighter health

The WBC, which has long been at the forefront of drug testing and fighter safety among boxing's major sanctioning organizations, is stepping up its commitment to making sure fighters safely make weight.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman on Tuesday unveiled a series of initiatives the sanctioning body has instituted beyond its already long-established mandatory weight checks for world title fights, which are required 30 days and seven days before the bout, at which time the boxer must be only a certain percentage above the division weight limit.

"One of the top priorities of the WBC for 2019 will be the introduction of the new weight management program, which is intended to protect the health of the fighters above everything," Sulaiman said. "We will need the collaboration from promoters, matchmakers, managers, trainers, boxing commissions, boxing federations, press, and of course, the fighters themselves."

The first aspect of the program comes at the time a fight is signed, when the WBC will require both fighters to disclose their weight.

"The promoter must require each boxer and their management to submit to the WBC the precise weight that he/she has at the time of signing a bout," Sulaiman said.

There has also been another weight check added to the schedule. Besides weight checks 30 and seven days before the bout there will also be one 14 days ahead of the fight. A fighter cannot be more than 10 percent over the division limit 30 days out, 5 percent 14 days before the fight and 3 percent seven days before the fight.

According to the new rules, the promoter must arrange with the local athletic commission and WBC supervisor to have a scale ready at the site of the bout in order to have both boxers weighed upon arrival on the day of the fight, and boxers must not have gained more than 10 percent of the weight from the official weigh-in the previous day.

Punishments, according to the new rules, can range from a fine of $5,000 to up to 30 percent of the purse as well as having the WBC withdraw its sanction of a bout.

"The WBC will have continuous communications with the promoter in every single event to support the administration of this weight management program," Sulaiman said.