WBC President Dr. José Sulaimán said that the WBC World Diamond Belt will be in dispute during the rematch fight between the WBC light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal of Canada and WBC Emeritus Champion Bernard Hopkins of the USA, as it could not be presented to either of the champions after their sensational first fight, scored a draw, in Quebec City last November. The fight was voted “Fight of the Year” by the WBC.
Pascal told President Sulaimán after the fight that he would get it next time. Hopkins answered a TV interviewer who asked him what did Pascal have better, and Hopkins responded: THE BELT.
The WBC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the service of boxers and promoters, trying its best to have the most competitive and attractive fights for the benefit of the boxing fans and of boxing as a sport. Boxers and promoters who promote fights for a WBC championship are committed to respect the constitution, rules, regulations and rulings of the WBC, in absolute respect to its exclusive ownership of its trademark, as well as the WBC championship accolade.
We have read statements, articles and letters, some aggressive, from our longtime and good friend Gary Shaw, an active WBC promoter, and we understand the position of some promoters strictly in favor of their business. But neither he nor anybody else ever registered any contract for a second fight between our proud champion Pascal and Chad Dawson, which would have required WBC approval and sanction. The WBC never had any official knowledge of a condition to Pascal, who is the champion and not the challenger, to resign to his WBC world championship if he did not fight Dawson next. No promoter or boxer can agree to a fight for the WBC world title without first obtaining WBC approval and sanction.
The WBC, whose obligation is to lead the organization for the benefit of boxing, voted overwhelmingly, 30 to 2, to order a new fight for Pascal-Hopkins – their first fight also earned Showtime's highest rating for a boxing match in the last four years - but also included in its ruling that the winner should make his next mandatory defense against Dawson as proof that the WBC is also supporting him for the good of the boxing matches that boxing needs to continue being one of the most popular sports in the world.
The WBC expects our promoter and friend Gary Shaw to participate amicably and in good faith in favor of this ruling, cooperating for the good of all boxers and not only of one, and continue participating in the WBC where he has always had its maximum support. The WBC will continue its system and style of amicable and positive participation for the good of boxers, promoters, and boxing fans of the world, but it will never stop to struggle to protect the interests of boxing and the WBC, based on its constitution, rules and regulations, regardless of what it might take.
Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins deserve the opportunity of fighting again and win the Most Famous WBC Diamond Belt, which has only one owner in Manny Pacquiao, and also make a very important purse, which would lead also to an immediate new opportunity for Chad Dawson. This is what the WBC is looking for, and will struggle to the end to accomplish.