BECAUSE Tyson Fury and the rest of today’s leading heavyweights are built the size of articulated trucks, boxing is about to create a new weight class.
The idea is that it’s going to be above the cruiserweight 14st 4lb limit and the fighters who will be involved won’t be allowed to be heavier than 16st.
With 17 weight divisions already, you would think the Noble Art needs another as about as much as Manchester needs a goodwill visit from Boris Johnson.
But talks between WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman and British Boxing Board of Control chairman Charlie Giles are at an advanced stage.
It is a sensible move and will protect men like Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk — who clashes with Derek Chisora tomorrow week in London — from being at an unacceptable weight disadvantage.
Usyk, the unbeaten former undisputed world cruiserweight champion ran out of opposition, which forced him to move up among the big boys.
Yet when he had his first heavyweight fight a year ago he was 15st 5lb, which means he will probably be at least three stone lighter than Chisora next week.
Tony Bellew, the former world cruiserweight champ knocked out by Usyk in his last fight, has been asked by the WBC to be an ambassador for the plan.
Bellew said: “I’m very enthusiastic about this because it will allow the small heavyweights and big cruiserweights to have a level playing field.
“Speaking from experience Usyk is technically the best in the heavyweight division. He’s a genius.
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“But the one thing that will hold him back is sheer size. He will not be able to beat the real big boys for that reason.
“Heavyweights are getting bigger and bigger. Look at Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte. They are huge. The new division is inevitable and the need for it is going to get more apparent.”
Glenn McCrory, Britain’s first world cruiserweight champion, is 100 per cent behind Bellew. He said: “When I lost my cruiserweight title I moved up to heavyweight and fought Lennox Lewis.
“He was only a couple of stone heavier but he was throwing me around like I was a rag doll. Imagine what it would be like facing someone three or four stone heavier.”
Fans may be surprised to learn last century’s legendary world champions would never be considered heavyweights in this era of Goliaths.
This what they weighed when they won the title. Jack Johnson (13st 4lb), Jack Dempsey (13st 5lb), Joe Louis (14st 1lb) and Rocky Marciano a mere 13st 2lb.
Can you imagine matching Marciano — 11 inches shorter and six stone lighter — with Fury? He’d be arrested under the Trades Description Act.
The only negative argument I’ve heard is a new super-cruiserweight division will be unfashionable and therefore unattractive to the TV companies’ networks.
But if it was launched with a Usyk-Deontay Wilder — an under 16st man — world championship battle, I doubt if that would be too difficult to sell.
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