World Boxing Council (WBC) president Mauricio Sulaiman unveiled a new weight class this week in honour of six-year-old Bridger Walker, who was brutally attacked by a dog while saving his sister. In July 2020, the Wyoming native deliberately stood in between his 4-year-old sister and a charging German Shepherd mix, who bit him on his head and left cheek. Despite being severely injured, Bridger somehow grabbed his sister and took her to safety. Bridger Walker required 90 stitches on his face as a result of his injuries.
The story of Bridger Walker’s bravery soon went viral and the 6-year-old received a lot of praise from celebrities, including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo and others. WBC also awarded Bridger Walker with the 'Honorary Champion' belt and the organisation's president Mauricio Sulaiman announced this week that they will launch a 'Bridger weight class' in honour of the young hero. The Bridger weight class will fall between the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions and will have a weight limit of between 200lbs and 224lbs.
“We have decided to create a new division called Bridger, as it is the bridge necessary to serve the large number of boxers who are between 200 and 224lbs,” Sulaiman told Boxing Scene.
According to various reports, WBC was considering the creation of a new weight class after former cruiserweight world champ Tony Bellew and others requested the same. The new Bridger weight class would help the cruiserweight fighters who previously struggled in making weight for the heavyweight division. Oleksandr Usyk is the latest boxing star to make the step up from cruiserweight, defeating heavyweight Dereck Chisora on October 31.
After Walker’s story went viral, a number of boxers praised the kid for his act of bravery. However, the most influential words came from boxing legend Mike Tyson, who called Bridger Walker a ‘true champion’. While speaking at the Annual Convention of WBC, ‘Iron’ Mike said: “You are undoubtedly a champion, you have material in your blood to be a champion. When someone without hesitation defends his sister, he is a great person. You are the champion before your sister you are a champion for all of us.”