Everyone in boxing knows that the WBA have a bizarre policy of handing out title like candy. They, as we all know, love to have a regular champion at every weight as well as an interim champion at many weights, along side a Super Champion in a number of divisions and even the odd champion in Recess. I also seem to remember a few years ago they also had a "Unified Champion" in Yuriorkis Gamboa (who had unified his WBA title with the IBF's title)). In theory that means that the WBA could have 5 titles in any weight.
A little bit of research shows that the WBA currently has 2 or more champions in 10 divisions:
Heavyweight-Super Champion Wladimir Klitschko, Regular Champion Alexander Povetkin
Super Middleweight-Super Champion Andre Ward, Regular Champion Brian Magee and interim champion Stanyslav Kashtanov
Middleweight-Regular Champion Gennady Golovkin, Interim Champion Martin Murray
Light Middleweight-Super Champion Floyd Mayweather, Regular Champion Austin Trout
Welterweight-Regular Champion Paul Malignaggi, Interim Champion Diego Gabriel Chaves
Light Welterweight-Super Champion Danny Garcia, Regular Champion Khabib Allakhverdiev
Super Bantamweight-Regular Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, Interim Chmapion Scott Quigg
Bantamweight-Super Champion Anselmo Moreno, Regular Champion Koki Kameda
Flyweight-Super Champion Brian Viloria, Interim Champion Juan Carlos Reveco
Light Flyweight-Regular Champion Roman Gonzalez, Interim Champion Alberto Rossel
Of course as you can see Featherweight is one of the few divisions with just 1 WBA champion (Super Champion Chris John). This coming weekend all that changes as the WBA have both their vacant Regular and their "vacant" interim titles up for grabs as the sanctioning fees start to roll in once again!
In Jamaica the exciting Nicholas Walters (21-0, 17) faces Daulis Prescott (26-1, 19) for the full version of the title. This bout, see's the WBA's #1 ranked fighter facing the #5 ranked fighter in what promises to be a thoroughly engaging bout. The very same night around 4000 miles away we see talented Dominican Javier Fortuna (20-0-0-1, 15) facing unbeaten Irishman Patrick Hyland (27-0, 12) for the vacant interim WBA Featherweight title. This bout sees the WBA's #2 and #6 ranked fighters facing off for the interim title.
Whilst both of these are interesting bouts (as would be fights involving the WBA's #3 and #4 contenders Gary Russell Jr and Claudio Marrero) I just can't understand why we are having them on the same night. Why not have them as an eliminator and try to force 3 great fights out of this instead of just 2? Oh sorry I forgot the key words here, "sanctioning fees".
We all hear the media and boxing fans alike complaining about their being too many world titles available for fighters now a days, back in the good old days there was only 1 and we all knew who the best was. Problem is that not only is there a host of world titles but we also have countless "other" titles, you know the International, the Inter-continental, the International Silver and those sorts of belts.
I understand the idea of having different levels of titles. I understand that a boxer starts at the bottom and works their way up. For example a British fighter will look to win an "Area" title, then a "National" title, then the "British title" then an international type of title (usually the "Commonwealth" title) then move on to more prestigious international belts ("European" title for example) before finally moving into world title bouts.
So, just for an example we can appreciate John Smith from Birmingham, England winning the "Central Area" title, the "English" title, the "British" title, the "Commonwealth title", the "European" title and then a "World" title. Taking steps up towards a defined goal.
However with their being so many "International" titles we're easily confused. We are just a few hours from David Haye v Dereck Chisora a bout that is being fought for 2 titles, but we've no idea which two. The Boxnation (the promoter) website claims the bout is for the WBO INTERNATIONAL & the WBA INTER-CONTINENTAL, Frank Warren's (Chisora's regular promoter) website claim the bout is for the "WBA/WBO INTERNATIONAL" title.
So the first question we have is "Which titles is the bout for?" Is the WBA INTERNATIONAL title on the line or is it the WBA INTER-CONTINENTAL? Secondly has anyone told the owners of some of these titles that they no longer holder the belt? For example does Tyson Fury, who holds the WBO INTER-CONTINENTAL title (apparently), know his belt is on the line tonight? Coincidentally Fury holds a won over Chisora and actually only won his INTERNATIONAL title last weekend. What about Andrzej Wawrzyk who, as recently as June defended his WBA INTERNATIONAL title?
The only "logical" (trust me I use that world loosely) titles that could be on the line would be the WBO INTERNATIONAL and WBA INTER-CONTINENTAL titles, the latter of which was last defended by Robert Helenius in December 2011 (again oddly against Chisora).
As far as we are aware, the only information regarding the WBO's stance with this fight comes from a really bizarre post on their website dated May 18th, 2012:
Clarification Regarding the Haye vs. Chisora Fight
"Nothing is really going on with the WBO with this. We are not asked to Sanction the contest.
After a match in Germany with"
(Yes it actually ends mid sentence)
Also interestingly Tyson Fury isn't mentioned on the WBO's website as holding any title at all.
The WBA's situation is equally as blurry with their website still listing Andrzej Wawrzyk as the "WBA INT" champion. INT being short for INTERNATIONAL or INTER-CONTINENTAL? Our only clue there is that David Kostecki is currently listed as "WBA I/C" presumably "INTER-CONTINENTAL".
As of May 12th the WBA hadn't actually made their decision on putting their title on the bout either despite Frank Warren Promotions declaring that they had. The result of this vote doesn't appear to have been made public on their own website.
All in all, all I can safely say is that I'm confused. I guess I'll be like everyone else and find out for sure tonight...
Thank you to Eric Armit for bringing this situation to our attention with his look at whether or not the bout should be a 10 or 12 rounder.
Sources: WBO's stance on the fight-
WBA's titles and rankings-
WBA decision not made yet-
Eric Armit's excellent piece on boxrec-
This morning I've been traipsing a few forums and new sites and stumbled across the rumour that Australian fighter Michael "The Great" Katsidis (28-6, 23) is being considered for a bout with Johan Perez (15-0-1, 12) the current WBA interim Light Welterweight champion.
Like every boxing fan out there I love Michael Katsidis, he's a blood and guts warrior who brings it all to the ring every time he fights. Win or lose Katsidis will always give it his all and be happy to take one one to land one why looking to land his seriously heavy shots. Sadly though I, like many others that follow the sport of boxing, know that Katsidis is incredibly shop worn, he has lost 4 of his last 5 (including his last 2) and 6 of last 11. Yet despite his current form he is some how being lined up for a "world" title fight.
Whilst Johan Perez may not be hugely well known to the wider boxing fraternity like Katsidis is he is talented and has recently been signed by Golden Boy Promotions in what is being reported as a "long term deal" (rumoured to be for 5 years). The idea seems to be to match Perez against Katsidis in the hope that boxing fans will see Perez beat the well known Katsidis on US TV and realise just how good Perez is. Problem is that not only is Katsidis a very faded fighter on a poor run but he also lacks any world WBA world ranking (as of WBA's April update), so if this bout manages to get made with the WBA's "interim" title on the lines we can assume some palms have been greased.
Hopefully the WBA will say no to this horrifically cynical match up from Golden Boy Promotions but we can't be sure at the time of writing, in fact we can never be sure with the WBA...