The boxing bodies are something that for some reason I’ve repeatedly defended, but no more, oh no. The WBA (We’re Bloody Annoying for those than didn’t know) have become the straw that has broken the proverbial back of this writer. Sadly I don’t know where it started going tits up for the WBA but I already know that the breasts are that far in the air that Gilberto Mendoza is staring, drooling at those mammaries and loving the sight that he has no intention of calming things down.
The case of the John “The Quiet Man” Ruiz has been made over and over, the fact an unpopular fighter seemed to be the perennial mandatory challenger was bad, especially as for something like 9 years every title fight for the WBA’s heavyweight belt featured either Ruiz, Ruslan Chagaev or Nikolai Valuev. The fact the Klitschko’s were the dominant heavyweights meant that the WBA’s cluelessness was as obvious as when the WBO had Francisco Damiani as their champion in the late 1980’s whilst Tyson was running roughshod. Though lets spread that argument out a bit further a field, after all we should feel relieved, the WBA only has one Heavyweight champion.
At Cruiserweight the WBA has 2 champions. After winning the title in September of 2008 (feel free to re-read that) Guillermo Jones took over 2 years to make the first defence of that title. Instead of stripping Jones they ordered him to make a defence of his title in October 2010, what was odd though is that Steve Herelius had won an interim title in July 2010 by beating Firat Arslan. Arslan had been out of the ring since September 2008 when he lost the WBA title to Jones…If something looks fishy here, it may be fair to assume there is, though what’s more likely is ineptitude rather than genuine corruptness. Though how can you have a champion who sits out for 2 years? Or a title fight competitor who was 39 and hadn’t won a fight in 26 months (with 22 of those inactive)?
At Light Heavyweight the WBA have Beibut Shumenov as their champion. That by it’s self I have no problem with, Shumenov is active and exciting as well as talented. Where I do have a problem is in the fact they failed to force a rubber match between Shumenov and Gabriel Campillo. Campillo had beaten Shumenov in last 2009 to defend his title, though a rematch in 2010 went Shumenov’s way. Had Shumenov actually won then fair enough, sadly however Campillo dominated the fight with ease and made Shumenov look like a novice throughout and landed at will against an exhausted Kazakh fighter. Shumenov is apparently in negotiations to face Jurgen Braehmer in a unification fight to unify the WBO title with his own WBA belt, which should be a good step in the right direction, though why didn’t they every order a rematch where it was so desperately needed?
Then we get to Super Middleweight, this is where things get very very silly. The WBA “champion” is Dimitri Sartison. Who, you may ask. Sartison is a German based Kazakh who is best known for losing to Mikkel Kessler in a WBA title fight back in the summer of 2008, since then he has run up 5 straight wins, including a November 2009 win over Stejpan Bozic (yeah now even I’m asking who) for the “Vacant WBA Super Middleweight title”. How did the title become vacant? Well that’s easy, the WBA vacated it and gave Mikkel Kessler the title of “Super World Champion” despite the fact he wasn’t by any type of logic a “Super Champion”. Since then Kessler has lost the title to Andre Ward meaning Ward and Sartison are both paying sanctioning fees, though why did the WBA vacate the title in the first place? Was it greed?
The situation at Middleweight though makes the 168 situation seem like it sense. Try and follow this. In September Felix Sturm’s title was changed from “Word” to “Super”, this opened up the “World title”. Hassan N’Dam N’Jikan was supposed to fight Gennady Golovkin for the “Interim” title the previous month, with the winner to face Sturm. That made logical sense, have the top 2 fight off to challenge the champion…though it fell apart when Golovkin fought the Colombian non entity Milton Nunez instead of N’Dam N’Jikam and stopped Nunez in just 58 seconds. N’Dam N’Jikam fought Avtandil Khurtsidze 2 months later for the interim title (with Sturm’s promotion to “Super” moving Golovkin from “interim” to “World”). What makes this situation a little more dull is that Golovkin defends this week against Nilson Julio Tapia who is 14-2-1 and shouldn’t pose any problems for Golovkin. Is it just me or are Kazakhstan boxers being given an easy ride by the WBA with Shumenov, Sartison and Golovkin all being born there.
At Light Middleweight we saw Marco Antonio Avendano losing in an interim title fight to Nobuhiro Ishida in October 2009. By that point Daniel Santos has been out of the ring for 13 months, though made his comeback 3 months later losing a decision to Yuri Foreman. Ishida fought a month after Foreman had been crowned “World Champion” and yet instead of the two being forced to meet Foreman fought, and lost, to Miguel Cotto in June 2010. Ishida would again fight in a defence of his “interim” title, though lose out to Rigoberto Alvarez (brother of young sensation Saul Alvarez). Whether Alvarez or Cotto will ever meet is up in the air, though why don’t the WBA push for their title to be unified or stripped from who ever is making the problem?
If we can date some back to 2009 or even 2008 what about going back over 3 years to a weird mess up by the WBA in the Welterweigh division? The champion of the world was Miguel Cotto, he had beaten countryman Carlos Quintana for the title and had defended against Oktay Urkal, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley. Then the WBA does what the WBA does naturally and made another title, an interim title (a month after Cotto beat Mosley) and saw Yuriy Nuzhnenko beat Frederic Klose for the interim title. A few months later Cotto had an easy night with the popular Alfonso Gomezm but literally a week later Nuzhnenko fought with Irving Garcia. Why wasn’t a unification pushed for there if they were going to be fighting so close together?
Go on a little bit, Miguel Cotto lost to Antonio Margarito, the title was quickly taken from Margarito (who fought 5 months later for just the WBC belt that was held by Shane Mosley). Nuzhnenko lost to Viacheslav Senchenko and Senchenko became the “World” champion as a result. 11 months later the WBA bring their interim title out of retirement and with Souleymane M’baye beating Antonin Decarie has 2 champions once again. Will the force the two to fight? In this writers opinion…probably not.
Thankfully at Light Welterweight things have been forced by public pressure with Amir Khans fantastic and exciting win over Marcos Maidana recently. Though the division isn’t free of talking points, most notably is “how on earth was Dmitry Salita ever a mandatory contender?” Much like John Ruiz, this is a question no one can possibly answer other than to say “the mystery of the WBA”.
Lightweight is another division where the “We’re Bloody Annoying” have multiple champions. . Juan Manuel Marquez is the “Super” champion and Miguel Acosta is now the “World” champion (having been crowned “interim” champion until beating Paulus Moses in April). Acosta is a decent fight who has been showing signs of being able to grind out really good wins, though lacks the sort of marketability that Marquez would like to see in a challenger. With Marquez screaming for big money paydays with Manny Pacquiao the belt is never likely to be unified, though will the WBA attempt to force it? Doubtful.
Thankfully no “Super” champion at Super Featherweight (and there hasn’t been one for 7 years) but there is a “World” and “interim” for now. After Jorge Linares was upset by Juan Carlos Salgado for the “World” title, Likar Ramos beat Angel Granados for the interim title, Takashi Uchiyama beat Salgado whilst Solis beat Ramos and they’ve each defended their titles since then. Success however, the two are scheduled to face off in a “unification” on the 10th of January. Nice start to the year there WBA, well done on this one.
Though every time they do something good they shoot themselves in the foot. The Super Featherweight title situation is sorted just as the Featherweight situation becomes a mess. I apologise if I mess this one up, but I’m just trying to understand it. Chris John was awarded “Super” status in 2009 after beating Rocky Juarez, whilst Yuriorkis Gamboa was parading around as “interim” then “world” champion. Having beaten Jonathan Victor Barros in March that should have seen Barros totally taken out of the picture, right? Well not exactly, Barros has recently beaten Irving Berry for the vacant “World” title. Now it appears that Gamboa is the “Super” champion and John is the “Champion in Recess”. So not only do they have 3 world champions, but they have left the door open for an “interim” as well? With Bob Arum openly admitting that he doesn’t want Gamboa v John until late 2011, the WBA are almost certainly going to have 4 champions in a weight category. What the bleeding eff?
Super Bantamweight sees Ryol Li Lee, who scored a huge upset over Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym as the “World” champion and Guillermo Rigondeaux as the “interim”, funnily both champions won their title within weeks of each other. Lee is set to defend his title against Akifumi Shimoda in a fight that will likely only be seen by the Asians who enjoy the sport, though again the question needs to be asked, will the WBA try to push the two fighters together? Like Gamboa, Rigondeaux is promoted by Bob Arum, will “uncle” Bob try to keep the fight from happening?
I’ll admit I’m a little bit lost at Bantamweight as I though Anselmo Moreno was the world champion but it seems like he’s handed in his WBA membership card as in just a few weeks (infact oddly on Boxing day) Koki Kameda faces Alexander Munoz for the “vacant” title. Fair enough maybe Moreno doesn’t want to be a part of this farce but less than a month later Hugo Ruiz is lined up to fight Alvaro Perez for an interim belt. Erm…an interim title fight lined up when the title is vacant? Come on, some one show me the small print or explain how this works, would make sense it both were just for the #1 and #2 rankings but for the “vacant” and “interim” title, it’s ludicrous. What next an interim interim?
It’s hard to say I’m surprised at the actions of the WBA but they’ve had 6 fights this year and it’ll be 7 by December in 8 months! For their “titles” at Super Flyweight. Nobuo Nashiro was the “World” champion at the start of the year, Vic Darchinyan was the “Super” champion. Nashiro lost to Hugo Fidel Cazares in May, Cazares defended the title on the 3rd of July, Nonito Donaire won the “interim” title a week later. Cazares defended the title again in October then Drian Francisco beat Duangpetch Kokietgym in November for the vacant “interim” title. Cazares is set to defend for the 3rd time in 6 months when he faces Hiroyuki Hisataka on December 23rd, why is there an interim here? Vic Darchinyan, if your interested, defended his “super” title in March then moved on to the Bantamweight division.
The Flyweight division has 2 champions, in another example of the WBA confusing matters. The “interim” champion is Luis Concepcion who beat Omar Salado in September 2009, the following month Denkaosan Kaovichit defended successfully the “World” title against Daiki Kameda. A month later Concepcion successfully defended the interim belt. Kameda would defeat Kaovichit in a rematch between those two for the “world title”. For 15 months now Concepcion has been the interim champion and had defended that title 3 times.
Amazingly the WBA have hit the jackpot and have a late Christmas present, not only do they have Koki Kameda v Alexander Munoz on Boxing day but they also have Daiki Kameda v Silvio Olteanu for the WBA Flyweight title. Has this ever happened before? Brothers fighting on the same card for titles held in different weights but by the same awarding body…on boxing day no less?
Depending on Giovanni Seguras next move the WBA could have either 2 or 3 champions at Light Flyweight. Segura’s victory in August 2010 over Ivan Calderon saw Segura become the “Super” champion. Juan Carlos Reveco was the “interim” champion between August 2009 and August 2010, with Segura becoming “super” champion, Reveco became world champion, months later Roman Gonzalez took the interim belt. At the very least we have “world” and “interim” at worst we also have a “super” champion.
At Miniweight, a weight that most would expect to be safe of this multi-belt garbage, we still manage to have 2 titles on the go. Roman Gonzalez’s step up into the Light Flyweight division left the “world” title in limbo, that vacancy was filled when Luis Carrillo was stopped in an “interim” title fight against Sammy Gutierrez. The following month the vacant “world” title was won by Kwanthai Sithmorseng who scored a split decision against Pigmy Kokietgym. How an interim title doesn’t become the vacant title when it gets vacated is a mystery. Do we expect the WBA to explain it? Of course not, but it is another matter that’s stupidly laughable. The arrogance of the WBA in having so many multiple champions is a joke. Only Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight and and Light Welterweight have a single champion whilst some super divisions have a super champion, Andre Ward is the stupidly names “WBA Super World Super Middleweight Champion”, ludicrous isn’t it?