A New Weight Division: Bridgerweight

By Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán -President of the WBC

Modern boxing was born in England and for more than a century didn’t have any rules nor weight categories. After some rules were established, boxing continued and eventually, the National Sporting Club created the 8 original divisions to group into categories by weight in search for similar competition level between the contenders, these being the following:

Division / Pounds
Fly 112
Bantam 118
Feather 126
Light 135
Welter 147
Middle 160
Lt.Heavy 175
Heavy 176 to infinity

The New York Boxing Commission implemented three more divisions in 1909: Super bantamweight 122, Super Feather 130 and Super Light 140.

Eventually, the World Boxing Council introduced six more divisions addressing the urgent need to reduce the difference in weight between divisions which demanded great physical sacrifices with dangerous practices of dehydration, or the fact that going up to the next division meant giving away a lot of advantage having to face much heavier and stronger boxers. The additions were: Straw 105, Light fly 108, Super fly 118, Super Welter 154, Super Middle 168 and Cruiser 200.

While the problem in most divisions was largely addressed, the natural growth of humanity has generated important changes in the major divisions. 10 years ago, the WBC decided to move the cruiserweight limit from 190 to 200 pounds considering the weight of the athletes, as they have grown impressively.

The major division, the heavyweight means the maximum glory. The world heavyweight champion has traditionally been recognized as the most important athlete in the world, the invincible, the gladiator. The heavyweight world champion, initially started at 176 pounds;

Analyzing the following data , it is clearly shown that in the 20th century there were champions with weights well below the current weights in the heavyweight division :

Jack Dempsey: 187 lbs
Gene Tunney: 189 lbs
Max Schmelling: 188 lbs
Jack Sharkey: 205 lbs
Max Baer: 209 lbs
Jim Braddock: 193 lbs
Joe Louis: 197 lbs
Ezzard Charles: 181 lbs
Joe Walcott Jersey: 194 lbs
Rocky Marciano: 184 lbs
Floyd Patterson: 182 lbs
Ingemar Johannson: 196 lbs
Sonny Liston: 214 lbs
Muhammad Ali: 210 lbs
Joe Frazier: 205 lbs
George Foreman: 217 lbs
Leon Spinks: 197 lbs
Larry Holmes: 209 lbs
Michael Spinks: 200lbs
Mike Tyson: 221 lbs
Buster Douglas: 231 lbs
Evander Holyfield: 208 lbs
Riddick Bowe: 235 lbs
Lennox Lewis: 235 lbs

Now in the 21st century, we see the different weights on the heavyweight division

Hassim Rahman: 238 lbs
Lennox Lewis: 253 lbs.
Oleg Maskiev: 238 lbs
Samuel Peter: 250 lbs
Vitaly Klitschko: 247 lbs
Bermane Stiverne: 239 lbs
Deontay Wilder: 219 lbs
Tyson Fury: 273 lbs

We have decided to create a new division, called “Bridger,” as it is the necessary bridge to serve the large number of boxers who are between 200 and 224 pounds. This name is inspired by that hero of humanity, that 6-year-old boy who during the pandemic heroically saved his 4-year-old sister from an attack by a wild dog…Yes, this new division is inspired by Bridger Walker!

Did you know that… .. In 1908 the heavyweight champion was Tommy Burns, who weighed 168 pounds (today he would have been super middleweight), lost his title to the so-called “Galveston Giant”, the legendary Jack Johnson, who weighed 192 pounds (currently he would be cruiserweight).

Today’s anecdote….

My dad traveled to Germany to be present in a title defense of the great champion Vitaly Klishtko against Syrian Manuel Charr. At the weigh-in ceremony, a situation arose when these two giants interchanged some heated words. Don Jose with his moral authority got between the two and told them “Calm down, you are the example for the youth and you must understand this responsibility.” Klitschko and Charr immediately shook hands, hugged each other and proceeded to present their weigh-in “The photograph of these two giants with my father between them gave us many moments of happiness as a family.

The WBC has added the bridgerweight to the official rankings and will contact through the month of November boxers who compete in cruiserweight and heavyweight to confirm in which category they wish to be listed, however, there will be a 6 month grace period to handle correctly each situation and any fighter listed in bridgerweight may compete in the heavyweight division.

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  • As usual ANYTHING to get more Chumps and more fee’s paid. Isn’t it time for a national commission to put and end to this 40 CHUMPS per division? Even the WWE does not have 40 chumps as their champ? So in essence boxing is now phonier than wrestling? What complete and utter nonsense. I can see Dempsy,Louis,Johnson,Tunney,Marciano,Liston laughing from their graves, and ALI has decided to comeback from the dead to challenge EVERYONE on the same day. 🙂 Why not have a tea cup division? With a 5 lb weight limit? Man this WBC must be doing some heavy drugs.

  • “Bridgerweight?!” Jeez, you can’t make this stuff up! You’ve got cruiserweight to bridge the gap between light-heavy and heavy. How about doing what has always been discussed, creating a super-heavy division for fighters over, say 225, and keeping heavyweight between 200-225? No matter the weight limits decided upon, making a super-heavy division makes sense if you’re going to change anything at all.

    • I agree completely but would push it to 240, really huge blokes, truly super heavyweights, but not at a minimum weight requirement that is so heavy that you create what would mainly be a fatboy category. 200-240 is a span but those are the two weight extremes.

  • This has to be a joke if not one of the stupidest things the WBC has done. So how would it work? A Bridgerweight moving up to heavyweight? #WBCJOKE

  • Bridgerweight. Hmmmm…..it actually is a kind of talent to pick the stupidest name possible. I was thinking Middleupjuniorbetweenheavyunderweight, but they found something even worse.

  • No new weight class necessary. All Heavyweights at 220lbs can dehydrate to cruiser if they want. Ban WBC if they go ahead.

  • This has to be a joke, right? Bridgerweight? What the hell is that! No fighter wants to be known as the WBC Bridgerweight champion of the world. I’m embarrassed that I actually took the time to read this article.

  • I knew it was the WBC before clicking the article. Mauricio needs to chill tf out. Who asked him for all these crazy ideas? It seems he gets paid for each radical idea he could think of. No other reason for them.

    • NJ Boxing, I don’t think he gets paid. He does those for free. Letting the world know how great he is is worth more to him than money. He is his greatest fan.

  • I’ll only recognize this if there is an interim, silver and emeritus champ at this weight as well.

  • I’m taking bets on who will be the first WBC silver emeritus interim bridgerweight champion in-recess…

  • What about a new division named “Sumoweigh” where fighters like Jarrell Miller can fit in? or Towerweight where Tyson Fury would fit nicely?
    Bottom line: Stop inventing ways to gain more money upon the sweat and blood of the boxers.SMH!!

  • ABSOLUTE JOKE!!!! The WBC is the laughing stock of boxing. Their belts don’t matter. In fact, there are so many belts that NONE of them matter. If the best are fighting the best the fans are happy and the fighters get paid. THAT is all that matters. Not some worthless belt. Boxing is such a joke.

  • I don’t know everyone I gotta admit I can’t stop cracking up about this one. It’s so ridiculous……’And the new bridgerweight champion of the world!!!’ Bahahaha how can they take this serious!!

  • Adopt the Amateur names and call anything over 225 Super Heavyweight and 200-225 Heavyweight

    • David S Ables, that is a great idea. But…1) it’s your idea, not his. And anything he doesn’t fart out isn’t good and 2) it would make too much sense. This idiot (Sulaiman) isn’t interested in common sense, only in telling people how great his ideas are.

  • I can kinda understand the reasoning for the additional weight class, but Bridgerweight sounds stupid (even if it is named after a heroic boy)

    Super Cruiserweight Division would have been better.
    Or
    Classic Heavyweight Division (like Classic Mr. Olympia for bodybuilders under 200 pouns)

  • I’m tired of reading article after article of Sulaiman taking credit for him and his father being the driving force behind the evolution of boxing, and continuing to want to control the direction of the sport.
    Since losing their $31 million lawsuit to “Rocky” years ago, among other financial difficulties, they’ve been trying to con their way back to riches on the backs of the fighters who they are nothing without. Enjoy your underseved sanctioning fees.

  • I feel like it should be only 3 Divisions, Light, Middle Heavy. If can’t beat who’s standing in front of you then Go work the Drive thru!!!!

  • They like to complicate things in the name of pocket dipping. Why not just create the super heavyweight division instead of this nonsense transitional garbage?

    Or, how bout limiting the weight division to 250, forcing some type of dicipline?

  • FFS WHAT A JOKE…SUPER CRUISERWEIGHT FAIR ENOUGH JR HEAVYWEIGHT OK…BUT THIS IS PURE PATHETIC ..LETS ADD MORE NAMES LIKE MINI MINI WEIGHT EXTRA LARGE WEIGHT CAKEWEIGHT ETC ETC..MOCKERY THIS TO A SPORT IVE FOLLOWED 30 + YEARS.ITS A MORE MONEY WEIGHT SIMPLE..

  • It’s about time…but…

    I’ve been campaigning for at least one more heavy weight class for years, but this is not the right name for it. You don’t name weight classes after people. It could be called heavyweight and superheavyweight just like in the amateurs.

  • “Bridgerweight”??!? This is so absurd. Whoever came up with this idea must believe in pet rocks and mood rings. Why is the world becoming increasingly engulfed by absurdity?

    I prefer just having a Super Heavyweight category, for the tall, heavy freak shows like Tyson Fury. Make the heavyweight limit at 225.

  • Just checked the date and it’s definitely 19th November. I could have sworn that it’s April 1st 🙂

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