Exclusive: Mauricio Sulaiman reveals plans for WBC's Franchise title

Planet Sport’s extensive interview with the WBC president continues and this time it’s about the creation of their controversial Franchise title.

Mauricio Sulaiman is refusing to accept criticism about the introduction of the WBC Franchise title.

The belt was introduced in 2019 and got a cold reception from the boxing fraternity, who questioned its relevance given the amount of titles currently available to win.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez became the first fighter at middleweight to be crowned as Franchise champion and it has since expanded into other divisions.

Teofimo Lopez - the unified champion at 135 pounds after outpointing Lomachenko last year - holds the Franchise strap at lightweight while Devin Haney is WBC's world champion at the weight.

The Takeover has taunted Haney since becoming the top dog at lightweight, referring to him as the 'email world champion'.

Despite there being calls for the belt to be scrapped, Sulaiman believes the Franchise creation will be something which benefits boxing in the long-term.

"This new concept that the WBC introduced is a very young concept," he exclusively told Planet Sport.

"As with any new role or introduction or protocol, there is human nature for resistance to change. This has been no exception.

"I understand it can create some confusion. The ultimate goal of the Franchise designation is to serve an avenue for the best fights to have and to take place.

"In Canelo, it has successfully proved to be something that led him to jump into the super middleweight division and then look for his dream of unifying the super middleweight division.

"In the lightweight division it helped to create the fight between Lomachenko and Lopez and then create Haney-Gamboa and now Jorge Linares.

"It also helped make Ryan Garcia who fought Luke Campbell [for the WBC interim title] and was going to fight Javier Fortuna," Sulaiman continued.

Franchise title helps make the best fights

Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez are in negotiations for a third bout after their incredible rematch on March 13.

It was, however, a controversial decision with Estrada earning two of the three scorecards in his favour, including a wide 117-111.

Estrada was initially supposed to make his next defense against mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

"SSR" was expected to face Estrada next before the organisation reversed its decision to force a trilogy contest between Estrada and Gonzalez.

Rungvisai was elevated to WBC Franchise status in the process.

"What it is creating is a series of fights like a tournament in a division for the great expectations of the fans.

"The super flyweight division this announcement has been able to create the third fight between Chocolatito and Estrada and on the same card, Rungvisai will fight Carlos Cuadras and then both winners will fight each other.

"I feel very comfortable, very happy with it and will choose the results over the confusion it may create.

"I think that the most important thing us to have the best fights available for the fans at any given moment," the WBC president concluded.

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