“I would say he needs to face and defeat a ranked fighter,” Sulaiman said. “Then he would be eligible to be ranked and to compete for a title. … We have plenty of examples of Muay Thai fighters who turn professional in international boxing and they are eligible to fight for the title.
“We also have amateur superstars like Vasiliy Lomachenko. They come into professional boxing and fight for the title, and it’s proven it works.”
Sulaiman went on: “If he is to start boxing and proves with victories in boxing then he should certainly be given the opportunity to fight for a world title. We in the WBC consider the amateur career as one of the criteria for rankings.
“And, for example Muay Thai, in Thailand, we consider that career also when they enter into boxing. … Conor has a mixed martial arts resume. So if he comes into boxing and wins a fight against a ranked fighter, he would be eligible to be ranked.
“This is not a rookie entering the sport. He has a long history of combat sports. So it’s a different scenario of what it used to be in the past.”
Sulaiman believes McGregor has ability as a boxer even though he faded down the stretch against Mayweather and was stopped.
“What we saw with Mayweather was of course different with the times, the rounds, it is not the same to fight five rounds to then go 12 rounds,” Sulaiman said. “But he has ability, he has power, he has status as a fighter. But to compete and become a world champion in the WBC, he would need to fight in boxing and by merit be ranked.
“Then he would be in the position to challenge. I don’t know what weight category he would be, but definitely he would need to get a decisive win against a quality opponent to be considered to be ranked.”
McGregor, 32, is focused on his MMA career at the moment – he is set to fight Dustin Poirier in UFC 257 on Jan. 23 – but he has said he would like to win a boxing title before he’s finished.
Of course, McGregor could end up fighting for the belt of a different governing body.
He and WBA welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao have expressed an interest in fighting one another, which presumably means that McGregor could go directly into a title fight if Pacquiao remains champion and the fight is sanctioned when they meet.