WBA moves to clarify heavyweight title status

WBA 02/11/2016

On November 1, 2016, the WBA Championships Committee issued Resolution No. 201616231712 to clarify the heavyweight division.

Lucas Browne must fight former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs for WBA World Heavyweight vacant title before December 31, 2016.

The winner of that fight must face Fres Oquendo, who by court order from the State of New York is the mandatory to fight for the WBA World heavyweight title within 120 days.

Oquendo was slated to be the mandatory challenger for Browne, but was not ready to fight this year.

In other heavyweight news, former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who was defeated by Tyson Fury on November 28, 2015, in Düsseldorf, Germany, has been granted special permission to fight IBF World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, at a date to be determined, with the WBA Super World heavyweight title at stake.

Fury relinquished the title on October 12, 2016, due to “chronic depression,” after postponing the October 29 rematch with Klitschko because of an ankle injury. The WBA World Championships Committee accepted his resignation.

On September 30, Fury submitted a report from his psychologist confirming the diagnosis, estimating that Fury would not be fit to fight before February 2017. Once he demonstrates that he is able to return to the ring, Fury will again be ranked by the WBA.

It is because Fury is still indisposed that Klitschko was granted special permission to fight Joshua.

Lastly, Luis Ortiz has been stripped of the interim WBA World heavyweight title for failing to fight Alexander Ustinov, as stipulated in the purse bid held on August 15, 2016, with the understanding that failure to comply with WBA Rules would result in a loss of his title.

Ortiz instead decided to fight Malik Scott on November 12 in Monaco, with the WBA Intercontinental title on the line.