The WBC reportedly is planning to introduce a category for transgender boxers.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told The Telegraph that the decision was made “because of safety and inclusion.”
Under the plan, boxers assigned different genders at birth would not be allowed to face one another in the ring.
“We are going to put out a global call for those who are interested in 2023 and we will set up the protocols, start consultation and most likely create a league and a tournament,” Sulaiman told the newspaper.
“It is the time to do this, and we are doing this because of safety and inclusion. 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.
“In boxing, a man fighting a woman must never be accepted regardless of gender change. There should be no gray area around this, and we want to go into it with transparency and the correct decisions.
“Woman to man or man to woman transgender change will never be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.”
Sulaiman emphasized the desire to be inclusive.
“We are creating a set of rules and structures so that transgender boxing can take place, as they fully deserve to if they want to box,” he said. “We do not yet know the numbers that there are out there, but we’re opening a universal registration in 2023, so that we can understand the boxers that are out there. And we’ll start from there.”
British Boxing Board of Control General Secretary Robert Smith told The Telegraph that his organization, which oversees boxing in the U.K., is in a discussion stage.
However, he seemed to say that the BBBofC would also base its policy on birth gender.
“At the moment this is hypothetical but we can see it coming and we are looking at our transgender policy,” Smith said. “It is what you are born as, as rugby union does. When it does [happen] we intend to be fully prepared. Medical and, perhaps more importantly, legal considerations will have to be taken into account.”
Swimming has been at the center of discussions over how to include transgender women in competition.
FINA, which governs the sport internationally, requires transgender swimmers to have transitioned by the age of 12 to compete against those assigned female at birth.