Confusion surrounded the announcement on Wednesday that Roy Jones Jr would fight Enzo Maccarinelli on December 12 as the news was accompanied by a highly questionable WBA ‘super’ cruiserweight title belt.
As the WBA usually crown their own champions as ‘super’ once they unify or make a certain number of defences, it was strange to see the 200lb accolade being offered in a match-up with two fighters not even ranked by the body.
WBA President Gilberto Mendoza was quick to release the official news that he hadn’t even received a request to sanction the contest, let alone even given his blessing, which begs the question; ‘How did two experienced promoters allow the incorrect news to be made public?’
A quote was even attributed to Maccarinelli’s handler Frank Warren stating that he was ‘looking forward to the Welshman fighting for another world title’ and even UK broadcasters BoxNation had the championship in their headline confirmation of the contest. Add to it that nothing has since been corrected by anybody other than the WBA.
A request could conceivably be made before December to make Denis Lebedev the super champion and allow Jones and Maccarinelli to box for the ‘regular’ version, but even then, you go back to both participants not being in the WBA Top 15 at 200lbs.
The long-rumoured fight looks destined to take place at the newly adopted home of boxing legend Jones in Russia without a world title on the line in what should have originally been billed as a battle of two former reigning champions.
Jones, who was pound for pound best in the world during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, recently switched allegiance after being granted a passport by President Vladimir Putin and still hopes to one day become a five-weight belt holder by adding a cruiserweight belt.
Maccarinelli, 35, held the WBO 200lb championship from 2006 to 2007 until dethroned by David Haye and has recently returned to the division following a two and a half-year stint at the light-heavyweight limit. The Welshman has won his last two fights since a failed shot at Juergen Braehmer’s 175lb title and now attempts to halt a run of eight straight victories obtained by 46 year-old Jones since a 2011 loss to new compatriot Lebedev.
Being the current WBA ‘regular’ champion, Lebedev would certainly have had something to say about Jones and Maccarinelli fighting for the ‘super’ version of his belt as either would then leapfrog him in the pecking order.
The situation should become clearer once more correspondence on the contest is released.