WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has revealed that his sanctioning body intends to create a new transgender boxing category in 2023. He also wanted to make it very clear that he would not allow a man to ever fight a woman on his watch.
Sulaiman believes the sport needs to look closely at the issue for “safety and inclusion” reasons, revealing his plan to Telegraph Sport.
His proposal is that:
- The WBC will next year issue a “global call” for trans athletes to come forward if they want to compete, with the aim of setting up their own separate league or tournament
- Trans athletes will not be allowed to compete against non-trans fighters
- The sport would look to adopt the “at birth” rule, meaning a trans fighter born a man would only be able to compete against a fellow trans fighter born a man
“We will not allow — ever — a transgender born a man to fight a woman, who was born a woman,” he stated firmly.
An “at birth” regulation will be used to group transgender fighters, which means that a transgender woman born a man can only box against another transgender woman born a man, and vice versa.
“In boxing, a man fighting a woman must never be accepted regardless of gender change.
“There should be no grey area around this, and we want to go into it with transparency and the correct decisions,” he told the UK paper.
“Woman to man or man to woman transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.”
The WBC will “put out a global call for those who are interested in 2023,” Sulaiman said.
“We are creating a set of rules and structures so that transgender boxing can take place, as they fully deserve to if they want to box,” he said.
The WBC’s new rules would bar trans athletes who have already achieved success in the ring from ever competing in the group’s tournaments, including those who were born as women but are now competing against men.
The most high-profile trans fighter is Patricio Manuel, who was a five-time women’s US amateur champion before making his professional debut as a male boxer in 2018, winning his first and only fight as a male. Under the WBC proposals, Manuel would only be eligible to box another trans man who was born a woman.
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