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WBC President crushes Katie Taylor’s hopes for three min rounds

World Boxing Council (WBC) president Mauricio Sualiaman has dismissed calls spearheaded by Katie Taylor to bring the format of women’s professional boxing closer in line to that of the men’s pro fighting.

Currently women fight two-minute long rounds, with world title fights taking place over ten rounds. By comparison, men fight in three-minute long rounds, with world title fights taking place over twelve rounds – a scheduled distance 16 minutes longer than women.

Indeed, a woman’s world title fight is less than seven rounds of men’s professional boxing.

Notably, in mixed martial arts, women and men fight in an identical format with major governing body UFC – 3×5 minutes for non-title fights and 5×5 minutes for title fights.

This year, amateur boxing switched to 3×3 minute rounds for women, moving in line with the men after years of fights taking place over 4×2 minute rounds.

Following her most recent win last month, Katie Taylor [4(2)-0] called for an implementation of three-minute rounds for women. in the paid game

The Wicklow lightweight widely outpointed Milena Koleva over eight rounds in Manchester, knocking her down in the seventh, however the punishing body-puncher noted afterwards that stoppages would be more likely with longer rounds.

Taylor told Irish boxing writer Ciarán Gallagher that “if you had three-minute rounds you would have a better chance of stopping these girls, for sure. It does make for a different fight as well. We spar three-minute rounds all the time.”

“I’m happy to go three-minute rounds.”

Taylor’s trainer Ross Enamait elaborated that “to knock the girls out you’re going to have to break them down to the body, and when you have an extra minute that’s a lot more time to get those fatigue stoppages,”

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith also told Gallagher that “I think we’re going to have to look at the three-minute round”

“it’s time to look at the rule because women’s boxing has moved on now from when the regulation was put in place when it first started.

These calls were echoed by the likes of promoter Frank Warren and writer Steve Bunce following the pro debut of double Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams.

However, in his column this week, WBC chief Sualiaman blasted this move toward equality and described how “we sadly see some boxing jurisdictions take steps backwards and make decisions that can only haunt them and put our athletes in serious jeopardy. It has been reported that the U.K. will allow women to fight three-minute rounds!”

“The WBC will never allow three-minute rounds, and will never allow any fight over 10 rounds. That will limit the dehydration and the fatigue elements to lower as much as possible the risk to a tragedy.”

While Sualiaman provided no medical evidence for his stance, he promised that a report will be released which proves the need for the pronounced differentiation between men and women.

“In a separate report, we will share what has been studied through medical research for years, which was also presented in the WBC’s two female boxing world conventions. There is an easy formula: dehydration + fatigue + strong punch = possible tragedy.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: