The WBC is demanding that the use of instant replay, to review contentious incidents mid-fight, be in place for the December 21 rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury. 

It’s a rule that was implemented by the sanctioning body as far back as 2008 but it has only rarely been put into operation due to conflicts in governance. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC), for example, have rejected video replays as a reason for overturning the referee’s spur of the moment decision, believing that the pause required to reach a suitable conclusion – which could stretch to several minutes – ultimately harms the sport.

It is the BBBoC’s substantial involvement in boxing events staged in Saudi Arabia that played a part in the WBC’s wish to add replays to the rules of the first Usyk-Fury contest being all but denied in May. Furthermore, none of the other three sanctioning bodies involved that bout – WBA, IBF and WBO – recognize such technology in their rules, either. Consequently, the WBC’s motion to add replays to the rules was rejected by all but themselves with concerns over mixed messaging being cited as the reason.

“Video replay is a rule that the WBC has had for a few years but it is a complicated situation with the BBBoC as they do not accept its use,” Mauricio Sulaiman, head of the WBC, told TalkSPORT.

“However, during the rules meetings of the last fight between Fury and Usyk we demanded that the video replay be used for the WBC’s sake. We will be pushing for it in the rematch and every fight we are involved in.”

The BBBoC oversaw the entire Usyk-Fury undercard but wasn't the governing body in place for the main event. However, the commission was involved in the decision-making process for rules and the selection of officials.

“The Middle East Professional Boxing Commission was the local authority and the BBBoC had a lot of influence over them so they were claiming not to have it [instant replay],” Sulaiman went on.

“But in the end, the WBC made it clear that if there was absolute evidence of a major controversy then we would reserve the right to make our own decision using the big screen and correct the ruling. 

“For the WBC it was in place but not for the others. We want it to be recognized by everyone involved with proper protocol and a proper system.”

However, should a controversial incident have occurred it is unknown how the WBC would have overruled the event’s governing body and the other three sanctioning bodies to break the action and review the footage. Another example, perhaps, of there being too many cooks in boxing’s kitchen.

In 2019, Sulaiman was ringside in London when Julio Cesar Martinez was announced a KO winner over then-WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards. After reviewing the replays, and satisfied the finishing blow was an illegal one, Sulaiman took to the mic to announce it was a no-contest. Though his actions did not amuse the BBBoC’s General Secretary Robert Smith, the no-contest is the result that remains in the record books.

Sulaiman is also lobbying for six judges in the Usyk-Fury rematch as opposed to the conventional three.