Evander Holyfield, with help from the World Boxing Council, is set to host a major global tournament in boxing's welterweight division.
Holyfield's Real Deal Sports and Entertainment promotional company will hold the Jose Sulaiman World Invitational, a tournament contested by boxers in the welterweight division who are eligible to qualify for the governing body's top 40. The tournament will be an eight-man, single elimination tournament set to start in 2018.
“The welterweight division is among the hottest divisions in boxing and the WBC is the very best organization in boxing to work with on this unique and fan-friendly event,” Holyfield said.
This tournament will experiment with several new ideas mostly untested in the professional ranks. For starters, fights in the first two rounds will be 10-rounds, and five judges will be scoring the bout: four at ringside and a fifth one watching the fight via television monitor with that judge not being able to listen to any audio commentary. If the fight goes the distance and it is still declared a draw, then an 11th round will be contested to declare a winner.
Other features in the tournament will be open scoring to let fighters know if they are winning or losing the bout mid-fight. Aside from the extra judges and open scoring, there will be a standardized scoring process that clearly defines how the judges should score every fight.
The eight men that will compete in the tournament will be seeded with the help of the WBC and fans. The WBC will provide rankings of the top eight, which will account for 50 percent of the final rankings. Fans, who can vote for seeding and first-round fights, will account for the remaining 50 percent. There will be two back-up boxers taking part in the tournament.
The purse winnings for each round are the following:
- Each fighter in round 1 will receive a purse of $15,000.00 (US), with the winner of each bout receiving a victory bonus of $7,500.00 (US).
- Each fighter in round 2 will receive a purse of $30,000.00 (US), with the winner of each bout receiving a victory bonus of $15,000.00 (US).
- Each fighter in round 3 (finals) will receive a purse of $75,000.00 (US), with the winner receiving a $25,000.00 (US) victory bonus.
Boxers can apply for the tournament at this link. The deadline to apply will be January 12, 2018.