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Francis Ngannou WBC Rating: angered Andre Ward lashes out at the WBC president

Former two-weight champion Andre Ward
Former two-weight champion Andre Ward

The WBC president’s decision to rate Francis Ngannou among the top ten heavyweights has come under fire, this time by former two-weight champion Andre Ward.


Ward was talking to The MMA Hour when he was asked his opinion on Mauricio Suleiman’s decision concerning where Francis Ngannou should be on the list of heavyweights.

All this was in the wake of Ngannou’s debut match on October 28, in which he knocked down his opponent, Tyson Fury, who was a world heavyweight champion, and lost by a controversial split decision.

Ngannou’s trainer and mentor, Mike Tyson, already said that Ngannou should have been rated higher than the tenth position in the list of heavyweights because Ngannou contested with Tyson Fury, whom many think is the best heavyweight boxer of the time.

Ward’s stance was that the rating was too high.

‘You don’t get to pick and choose which guy gets in the rankings depending on who you know or what’s going on in the back room,’ argued Ward.

‘Ngannou did a great job, but that’s a one-off. He has to establish himself. They do whatever they want to do. The problem that I have with that… If we weren’t paying them 3% to keep the company going, you don’t make money outside of what the fighters are paying you.

‘If we weren’t paying that, you do what you want to do. If you just want to have these rankings and it doesn’t really affect the fighters, that’s your business.

‘This stuff affects guys’ livelihoods. Guys get phonecalls saying “hey man, we were getting close to a title shot we’re not gonna get out now cause they bumped you out the top ten.” How? I’ve been played around with the rankings, and I just gave the belt back to the WBC at a certain time.’

Ward went further to claim the WBC should be ashamed.

‘The sanctioning bodies, I have no respect for the way they play with these rankings, play with guys’ livelihoods and play with guys’ careers. Shame,’ he said.

Suleiman stepped on a good number of toes through this decision, and most of them could be made up of boxers struggling for the top place in the heavyweight division. In his statement, Andre Ward, who is now retired and helping others climb the ladder, mentioned that Suleiman’s decision was not based on politics instead of sports.

‘You’ve got guys that have been labouring to get into that top 10,’ went on angry Ward. ‘I’m gonna call it what it is – it’s like politics.

‘That’s what it is with the sanctioning bodies. Mauricio [Sulaiman] he gets all in an uproar when I talk about these things, he wants to message me on WhatsApp, and he needs to stop messaging me and make sure he’s doing the right things by the company.’

It is going to cause more noise if Suleiman reverses his verdict by getting the WBC committee to change Ngannou’s place in the heavyweights’ list.

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