The World Boxing Council (WBC) – an international governing body that sanction professional boxing bouts – plans to introduce a separate transgender category this 2023.
Under this plan, all boxing matches will henceforth adopt an “at birth” rule. This means that transgender men will not be allowed to compete against cisgender people in tournaments and bouts, and will only be allowed to compete against other trans masculine people.
In an interview by The Telegraph, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman was quoted as saying that this is being done “because of safety and inclusion,” he said. “We have been the leaders in rules for women’s boxing, so the dangers of a man fighting a woman will never happen because of what we are going to put in place.”
For Sulaiman, a “man fighting a woman”, regardless of their SOGIESC, “must never be accepted”, and that there should be “no grey area around this”, so that the governing body wants to “go into it with transparency and the correct decisions”.
In August 2023, the WBC actually issued guidelines that effectively banned trans boxers from competing due to “serious health and safety concerns”. Ironically – and typical of anti-trans rhetoric – it similarly stated that it “firmly and unequivocally supports transgender rights” and recognizes the “gender identity of an individual athlete”, but that neither trans women nor trans men could compete against cis athletes as it would be “unfair” because a “combat sport bout should occur between two equally matched competitors”.