In a follow up to our piece entitled "WBC Weird Bastards in Control" we've since found out just how much the WBC hate unification bouts. Firstly it appears they weren't particularly happy with the WBC/WBA Minimumweight title unification bout between Kazuto Ioka and Akira Yaegashi that took place just a few weeks ago. Whilst both titles in that situation had mandatory challengers it may have made more sense to allow the champion to unify and then face both mandatories over the following 6-12 months instead of forcing the winner (Ioka) to give up one of his titles.
Following the Ioka v Yaegahsi fight the WBC stepped in the way of unification bouts with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (WBC Light Middleweight champion) and Austin Trout (WBA Light Middleweight champion) or Cornelius Bundrage (IBF Light Middleweight champion). The situation for Canelo now sees him defending his WBC world title against career Light Welterweight Josesito Lopez in what can only be described as mismatch.
After the WBA re-instated Amir Khan as the WBA Light Welterweight "Super Champion" ahead of his bout with WBC champion Danny Garcia boxing fans all expected to see a unified champion at 140lbs. Instead of a proper unification the WBC once again threw their toys out of the proverbial pram and has stated "The WBC will accept only the WBC. Whoever doesn't want it, the title is vacant." Effectively the winner will be forced to make a decision, they can be either the WBA or the WBC champion.
Whilst this decision won't matter too much if Khan wins (as he is generally expected to) due to the fact the Englishman is expect to move to Welterweight if he wins it will matter if Garcia wins as the belt situation in the division will be a real mess.
Hopefully the WBC will change their mind on this bizarre stance sooner rather than later. Boxing needs to head towards unification bouts, we need more unified champions and we need to have the best fighting the best. If one champion holds all 4 titles (as Bernard Hopkins did) then that's good for the sport as it gives a clear #1 in the division. Sadly however if the WBC want to step in the way of unification then they ultimately need to be ignored and put into the same boat as the likes of the WBF, they are standing in the way of progress.
With the Middleweight division heading towards a bit of a "spiritual unification" with Chavez v Martinez (WBC, RING) and Sturm v Geale (WBA "super" and IBF) hopefully the WBC grow up and and allow the winners to fight to sort out one of the most ridiculous situations in world boxing.
After the recent defeat of "Vicious" Victor Ortiz by Josesito Lopez boxing fans have been wondering who will step up to the plate and face the current WBC Light Middleweight (154lbs) champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. The list of possible names is extensive with the likes of Miguel Cotto, Javier Maciel, Carlos Molina, Ricardo Mayorga, Cornelius "K9" Bundrage, Marcos Maidana, Josesito Lopez, Acelino Freitas, Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara all being mentioned by one source or another.
The strongest rumours seemed to suggest that Canelo Alvarez would be defending his WBC title against the current WBA "regular" champion Austin Trout. The Trout v Alvarez bout seemed on paper to make plenty of sense with it being a unification between two top 10 Light Middleweights. Sadly earlier this evening the WBC nixed the bout in the bud with a statement reading:
“We do not accept unification, because if we agree we would be losing authority. We are not going to take away the exclusivity because we own the WBC brand."
Seems funny that just a week prior to this statement the WBC and WBA had a unification bout down at Minimumweight between Kazuto Ioka and Akira Yeagashi with Ioka unifying those to title belts. In the past unification bouts have been seen by boxing fans as "the holy grail" or bouts even more so when both fighters are generally regarded as top 10 fighters in their division.
The WBC had yet more surprises for us. Not only had they prevented a very promising unification bout between two youngsters but presumably they had also ruled out Cornelius Bundrage (the current IBF champion)-as long as he defeats Cory Spinks this coming weekend. They also pushed 3 possible names, one is James Kirkland-a fighter who has recently suffered and injury and will likely still be recovering by the mooted date of the Canelo bout, one is Carlos Molina-a fighter that would test Canelo in ways he's never been tested, a genuinely good fight and 36 year old Acelino Freitas.
Freitas, a former champion down at Super Featherweight (130lbs) and Lightweight (135) retired in 2007 following a stoppage loss Juan Diaz though recently returned from his retirement to stop countryman Michael Oliveira. The win over the unproven Oliveira has some how earned Freitas a #15 ranking at Light Middleweight by the WBC, a ranking that enables him to challenge Canelo for the world title.
Whilst Freitas was once an excellent fighter he is no Light Middleweight and the folk at the WBC need to take a long hard look at themselves here for trying to feed Canelo a faded and much smaller Brazilian. Sadly however the idea of a Freitas v Canelo fight does rather sum up Canelo's uninspiring reign as a world champion which has seen him generally defending against Welterweights (147lbs) such as Alfonso Gomez, Shane Mosley and Kermit Cintron as well as winning the then vacant title in a bout against Matthew Hatton.
Don't be shocked if the WBC manage to confuse us all over the coming weeks until an opponent for Alvarez is eventually named.