By Tris Dixon
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is applying pressure on Tyson Fury to hurry up and enrol in VADA testing ahead of his December 1 fight with Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles.
The controversial heavyweight has not filed any forms and the organisation has yet to inform VADA of any testing leading up to the event.
Sulaiman, whose WBC requires all-rated fighters to sign up to their Clean Boxing Programme, insists action is being taken.
“He just needs to fill the papers,” Sulaiman explained to BoxingScene.com of the documentation for the fight that is less that two months away. “He has the papers, he has committed to enrol, he sent me a personal message on social media that he is enrolling and he must do that during this week.
“We have not set a specific deadline. We were very busy with the [WBC] convention [in Kiev], and now everybody is travelling back. I will personally contact him and Tyson, if you hear me, ‘You need to enrol this week’.”
Sulaiman, who is stopping in London ahead of his return to Mexico, does not believe performance-enhancing drugs are rife within the sport.
WBC ambassador Mia St John recently confessed to taking illegal substances for more than 20 of her sixty-plus pro fights, justifying it by trying to say everyone else was at it, too.
Sulaiman believes St John, who he has subsequently spoken to, has been taken out of context, despite her admissions.
“She has had a very difficult life,” said Sulaiman. “She lost her son to schizophrenia and we’ve been very close in the last years and it’s her belief that it [her comments] was taken in a different context, she was talking about her depression. She was talking about her evils and her role to overcome those demons. And she regrets the way it came out because she does not agree with what she said, that everybody does them, because there are so many fighters that know her and knew her at that time and they are embarrassed and feel bad.
"My personal experience with boxing is that most boxers are honourable. My personal experience with the Clean Boxing Program is most people are willing to sign up and enrol immediately and my personal experience with the Clean Boxing Program is that most cases of adverse findings have been through not being aware and by accident rather than cheating.”
But there have now been several offenders who have posted more than one positive. Should two mean a ban, or three… Sulaiman said they investigate everything on a case-by-case basis, even though that alone leaves everything open to interpretation.
Surely the same person cannot make the same mistakes over and over.
Does it not allow everyone to make excuses?
“No,” Sulaiman continued. “Because every case we do thorough research. Let me give you an example of [Bermane] Stiverne, when he tested positive. He had just bought a supplement and the day the agent came to the gym to test him he wrote down the supplement in the form and he drank while she was there. He was not hiding anything. The thing was that supplement contained a substance that is considered illegal.
“You know, it’s very easy to try to be the police and try to be the hero and it would be very easy to make examples and finish someone’s career and make then an example for others and look like a hero. When you look like a hero you take a stance and then someone suffers the consequences. That would be very easy to do. But what we do is the correct thing. It’s justice. And if you don’t look at every single case and give the due process to the offending party then you are committing an injustice. Every single case we have analysed and there has been a reason, explanation or fault attached. So I don’t think we’re doing anything wrong. I think everyone is due a process, and everyone is different.”
Which brings us back to Fury and Wilder, a showpiece event where the correct protocol needs to be transparently evident throughout, and a contest which fighters should have already been enrolled in the CBP for.
It is for the WBC’s title, but he admits there is a bigger heavyweight contest out there.
“It’s a great fight, it’s a big fight of course we cannot disregard Anthony Joshua,” he said. “Joshua is a tremendous fighter, a great champion and the ultimate fight must be involving Joshua because he’s got championships, he’s undefeated, he’s a huge attraction and Wilder and Fury are fighting for the WBC championship and the winner of that fight and Joshua will be the biggest fight. However, Wilder against Tyson Fury’s a sensational and very important fight.”
Will he persuade the winner to face Joshua?
“We would like to give the world that fight,” he said. “That’s the fight. It was close to being made this year and it’s a fight that the world needs to see. Boxing has tremendous popularity all around the world and that fight would create an era [dynasty].”
So where does that leave mandatory challenger Dominic Brezeale and WBC bridesmaid Dillian Whyte, the silver champion.
“I think Dillian Whyte is a proud boxer, a nice person and I was very happy to meet with him, talk with him and get to know him,” said Sulaiman of their meeting a fortnight ago.
“Of course, he wants his chance, he’s eager, he’s desperate to get in the ring and have the opportunity to fight for the world title and he claims to be the best and that’s natural, we all want to be the best and we all feel we are the best at what we do. And I’m certain he will have an opportunity.”