The WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, has strongly affirmed the choice to place Francis Ngannou in the top ten rankings.
After his impressive showing against Tyson Fury, the former UFC heavyweight champion earned this ranking. Even though Ngannou lost in a split decision, his aggressive style gained him many fans. In round three, he sent the WBC heavyweight champion to the canvas with a powerful left hook. Despite taking some shots, Ngannou kept moving forward and lasted the whole distance. His performance pleased Sulaiman, leading to his inclusion in the rankings.
“First of all it is based on the rules. The WBC rules for the ratings criteria has many parameters; record, activity, level of opposition and other matters including activity in amateur boxing, Olympic boxing or any other contact sport. We have ranked many fighters from Thailand who have had a successful Muay Thai or Thai boxing career and they enter into professional boxing. We have so many precedents. For Ngannou to enter the rankings, it’s supported by the rules,” Sulaiman stated
However, there are concerns about how rapidly Ngannou has advanced in the division. His single fight against Fury, which didn't involve the WBC belt, has granted him opportunities for big fights. In a sport where a career can change with one punch, Ngannou has bypassed the usual path taken by other fighters. Despite this, Sulaiman supports the decision.
“It was amazing. He has a big chin, a huge chin, tremendous punching power and he was very clean. He boxed. There was a concern that he would get to the tactics of mixed martial arts. No, he did a tremendous fight. He’s humble and he’s hardworking. I’m very proud of the decision by the WBC,” Ngannou revealed