By Luke Furman
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman is confident that both Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev can rise up to the heavyweight division and find plenty of success.
This past Saturday night in Moscow, Usyk won a dominating twelve round unanimous decision over Gassiev in the final round of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.
The victory gave Usyk the WBO, WBC, WBA, IBF world titles. He became the first boxer to unify all four of the major titles at cruiserweight.
Both boxers are now considering the possibility of moving up to the heavyweight division.
Sulaiman believes both boxers are more than capable of being players in boxer's highest weight division.
"As for the possible transfer of both boxers to heavyweight... these weight divisions are very close, so any boxer who competes at cruiserweight can be competitive and successful at heavyweight. The ideal example is Tony Bellew," Sulaiman said to Vasily Konov.
Sulaiman explained that he was very happy with the outcome of the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
He placed the entire WBC rankings on hold to make the WBSS tournament possible, because a full division unification was expected for the overall winner.
When the WBSS tournament began, the WBC champion was Maris Briedis, who won his first fight but was later defeated by Usyk with a twelve round decision in the semi-final round.
"This event had everything to be historical, I'm very proud that the WBC supported this tournament from the very beginning. The Saturday battle was special because the wife of the great Muhammad Ali, Lonnie Ali, presented this beautiful trophy. I could not see the fight in Mexico, but I got feedback and comments that the fight turned out to be excellent. I'm proud of both boxers," Sulaiman said.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.