The World Boxing Council (WBC) will launch a separate category dedicated to transgender fighters to ensure the “safety” of competitors, officials announced Thursday.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told The Telegraph in an interview published Thursday:

“We will never allow a transgender born male to fight a woman born female,” he affirmed.

Instead, transgender fighters are organized by the “at birth” rule. This means that a male-born trans female fighter can only box against a fellow trans-her fighter born male, and the same if born female.

“Now is the time to do this, and we are doing this for safety and inclusivity,” said Sulaiman, who is the life president of what is one of the sport’s four major organisations.

2018 WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman.
Sulaiman said his organization “creates a set of rules and structures so that transgender boxing can take place.”
NurPhoto via Getty Images

“In boxing, men fighting women should never be accepted, regardless of gender change.

“There should be no gray areas in this and we want to work with transparency and the right decisions,” he told the British newspaper.

“A female-to-male or male-to-female transgender change is never allowed to fight against a different gender at birth.”

The WBC will make a ‘global call to interested parties in 2023’
Sulaiman said it wasn’t immediately clear how many transgender aspirants would be interested.

WBC belt.
Sulaiman said the WBC will “make a global call to interested parties in 2023.”
Future Publications by Getty Images

“We’re creating a set of rules and structures so that trans people can do boxing because it’s a given if they want to do boxing,” he said.

The goal is to “set up protocols, start consultations and possibly create leagues and tournaments,” he said.

The new rules follow controversy over athletes in other sports, most notably record-breaking swimmer Leah Thomas. It also focuses on other martial arts, such as mixed martial arts, where Alana McLaughlin choked a female opponent in September.

The WBC’s new rule bans transgender fighters who have already found success in the ring from fighting at the organization’s events.

The most notable of them all is Patricio Manuel, who won the women’s amateur title five times and won his first and only fight as a man before making his professional debut as a male boxer in 2018.

Under the WBC’s proposal, Manuel is only eligible to box another transgender man who was born female.

British boxer Natasha Jonas, a light middleweight world champion, told The Telegraph that the planned switch “makes sense”.

“It’s dangerous no matter how you look at it. If you’re born female, you shouldn’t fight men, and if a man transitioning to female fights a born female, there’s definitely a physiological disadvantage for women.

“As a female boxer, I have no problem boxing transgender, but if you turn into a female, you can’t compete as a female. You can’t compete with me. It’s that easy,” Jonas said. I was.

“I am all for people participating in sports, but in fairness.”

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