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WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman explains why organisation rejected three-minute rounds for women's world title fights

Amanda Serrano vacated her WBC world title because the sanctioning body will not permit women the option of competing over the same distance as men; at their convention last month, the WBC confirmed women's bouts for their titles would remain 10 two-minute rounds

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Amanda Serrano boxes against Erika Cruz to become the undisputed featherweight champion of the world on February 4, 2023 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image: Amanda Serrano has said she will vacate her WBC title

The WBC has explained why it will not sanction 12 three-minute rounds for women’s world title fights, with president Mauricio Sulaiman saying it is for the "safety" of the sport.

While the men's championship distance is 12 three-minute rounds, women's title fights are generally 10 twos.

In a trailblazing development in October, Amanda Serrano fought 12 threes. But the WBC would not sanction it so only her IBF, WBA and WBO belts were on the line for that victory over Danila Ramos.

President of the World Boxing Council (WBC) MAURICIO SULAIMAN speaks with journalists during a joint press conference with former heavyweight boxing champion and current Mayor of Kiev VITALI KLITSCHKO (not pictured) in Kiev, Ukraine, on 27 September 2018. The 56th WBC Convention in which will take part boxing legends Evander Holyfield,Lennox Lewis, Eric Morales and about 700 participants from 160 countries will be held in Kiev from September 30 to October 5.
Image: Mauricio Sulaiman is the president of the WBC

Ultimately Serrano vacated her WBC title in response.

Following the decision, the WBC's President Sulaiman has told Sky Sports News: "There is not much to say. The WBC has changed the world of boxing in many ways to make our sport safer and will never compromise safety for popularity.

"This is not discrimination, this is not sexism, this is not about equality it is about safety and safety only. WBC has specific guidelines and rules for women in boxing, including not charging any sanction fees to any female boxer."

At their convention last month, the organisation confirmed their women's championship fights would remain 10 two-minute rounds. Sulaiman explained why.

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"We made a strong commitment for safety. We ratified everything that we have studied," Sulaiman explained.

"Whoever wants to try challenging risks, it cannot be within the WBC structure."

He also cited out how exciting recent women's championship fights over 10-twos have been.

"Perhaps it's a coincidence, it came naturally but the two-minute rounds create huge action, great emotions," Sulaiman said.

"The risk with fighting for more time, you become more dehydrated and also tired and that is very dangerous.

"We love the two-minute rounds, especially for protection and safety but also it's a great spectacle."

Mikaela Mayer defeated Silvia Bortot via unanimous decision on the undercard of Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr. II
Image: Mikaela Mayer wants to follow Serrano's lead

The WBC is considering creating a new event for male boxers to compete over shorter rounds.

"We're even looking into maybe doing a pilot test or something for men fighting two-minute rounds," he said. "It will be very interesting."

Serrano's argument though is that sanctioning bodies should give women the choice to compete over the same distance as men.

It's a stance that has been championed by other fighters. Mikaela Mayer wants to follow Serrano's lead and called for her January 20 world title fight with Natasha Jonas to be contested over 12 three-minute rounds.

"We're the type of pioneers who should be doing that," Mayer told Sky Sports.

"These are the type of moves we should be making."

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