(KRON) — The World Boxing Council (WBC) announced it will introduce a new category for transgender fighters, the organization’s president told The Telegraph in an article released Thursday. The WBC will begin implementing its transgender program as soon as 2023.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman also confirmed the news via his Twitter. He says the program will be “developed as a form of inclusion.”

According to The Telegraph, Sulaiman says his proposal will have the WBC do the following:

  • The WBC will issue a “global call” for trans athletes to come forward if they want to compete, with the aim of setting up their own separate league or tournament
  • Trans athletes will not be allowed to compete against non-trans fighters
  • The sport would look to adopt the “at birth” rule, meaning a trans fighter born a man would only be able to compete against a fellow trans fighter born a man

Sulaiman emphasized boxing, under the jurisdiction of the WBC, will never have a fight between a “born man” and a “born woman.” The WBC’s transgender category will be separate from its already-existing men’s (18 weight classes) and women’s (16 weight classes) categories.

Middleweight champion Claressa Shields expressed her confusion about the new program on Twitter. “A man, who is now identified as a woman, transgender, is allowed to fight against me,” she said. That prompted Sulaiman to clarify a born man will never fight a born woman.


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The WBC, which is based out of Mexico, is one of boxing’s four major sanctioning bodies across the globe. The World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) are the other three.