By Miguel Rivera
Back in October, BoxingScene.com reported that the World Boxing Council (WBC) was planning to seriously explore the possibility of creating a new division - by splitting the heavyweight division in two - heavyweight and super heavyweight.
The WBC mapped out their plan to conduct a six month long study on the matter, to determine if they will move forward with a new weight division.
The immediate reaction was very negative - from fans, historians and fighters.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman was expecting a lot of resistance to the potential move, but he also said that his organization would not be affected by any negative comments because the move was strictly being done for the health of the fighters.
"The reality is that obviously there are fights where the physical difference [in weight] becomes dangerous. In the cruiserweight division, the limit is 200 pounds and then there is no limit," Sulaiman stated last October.
"Recently the weight of the champions [at heavyweight] is 250 or 260 pounds and they fought with opponents who are about 205-210. I want to ask [the WBC's medical team] to do research on the side of medicine to collect data. We will conduct a weight study and perhaps establish the new division. We want boxers to be in the best position to protect their health."
Sulaiman's reasoning for the move was not enough - as there are numerous examples where bigger does not mean better.
There is a 34-pound weight difference (based on their most recent fights) between world champion Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
David Haye weighed 217 pounds when he challenged Nikolai Valuev, who weighed 316, for the WBA title. Even with a 99 pound weight difference, Haye not only won but he came close to stopping Valuev in the final round. Haye was also 210 when he scored knockouts over Audley Harrison at 253 and Dereck Chisora at 247.
A few months have now passed.
After some initial research on the matter, the WBC's leader now admits that it's going to be very difficult to start an entirely new division.
Based on the medical evidence obtained by the WBC's team, there is no clear cut evidence on exactly where the heavyweight limit should end and where the super heavyweight limit should start - nor is there enough evidence to prove that a fighter at 250 pounds would necessarily be more dangerous than a fighter at 230 or 210.
"It is very difficult, medically, to determine the issue of weight. We have a lot of information, we are going to analyze it, but I feel that adding another division will be difficult," Sulaiman concluded.