This Saturday night is not only a massive date with SIX world titles on the line in one evening, but is notable for the fact that the same featherweight belt is defended by separate fighters at one venue.
It could be a precedent in terms of a championship having two versions up for grabs on the same bill, although sadly it’s not the first time it’s happened on the same night around the globe.
As Leo Santa Cruz prepares to defend his WBA featherweight title, arch-rival Abner Mares will also have a version of the belt present for his own co-feature ring walk.
Things like this have frustratingly become the norm over recent years as the World Boxing Association continue their attempts to clean up the excess straps on the roster.
The good news for boxing fans is that the winners of Santa Cruz versus Chris Avalos and Mares against Andres Gutierrez have been ordered to face each other in early 2018.
WBA President Gilberto Mendoza has worked hard to eliminate several of the ‘regular’ belts thus far and can now boast 10 from 17 divisions with one sole champion.
This will become eleven once these effective semi-finals between Santa Cruz, Mares, Avalos and Gutierrez run their course and the WBA can then switch thier attention to the other areas which need addressing.
Retirements by Andre Ward and Beitbut Shumenov have made things easier at light-heavy and cruiserweight, whilst Lamont Peterson‘s decision to relinquish the welterweight title left Keith Thurman as the sole champion at 147.
There remains work to be done at 200 pounds, middleweight, super-welterweight, super-middleweight, super-bantamweight and bantamweight, although the general consensus is that the WBA could have one sole champion in each division by 2018.
Current WBA champions list:
HEAVYWEIGHT (200 LBS +)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Anthony Joshua (Great Britain)
CRUISERWEIGHT (200 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Denis Lebedev (Russia)
CHAMPION – Yunier Dorticos (Cuba)
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (175 LBS)
CHAMPION – vacant
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT (168 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – George Groves (Great Britain)
CHAMPION – Tyron Zeuge (Germany)
MIDDLEWEIGHT (160 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Gennady Golovkin (Kazakhstan)
CHAMPION – Hassan N’Dam (France / Cameroon)
SUPER WELTERWEIGHT (154 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Erislandy Lara (Cuba/USA)
WBA CHAMPION – Demetrius Andrade (USA)
WELTERWEIGHT (147 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Keith Thurman (USA)
SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT (140 LBS)
WBA ‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Terence Crawford (USA)
LIGHTWEIGHT (135 LBS)
WBA CHAMPION – Jorge Linares (Venezuela)
SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT (130 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Jezreel Corrales (Panama)
FEATHERWEIGHT (126 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Leo Santa Cruz (Mexico/USA)
CHAMPION – Abner Mares (Mexico/USA)
SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT (122 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Guillermo Rigondeaux (Cuba)
CHAMPION – Danny Roman (USA)
BANTAMWEIGHT (118 LBS)
‘SUPER’ CHAMPION – Zhanat Zhakiyanov (Kazakhstan)
CHAMPION – Jamie McDonnell (Great Britain)
SUPER FLYWEIGHT (115 LBS)
CHAMPION – Kal Yafai (Great Britain)
FLYWEIGHT (112 LBS)
WBA CHAMPION – Kazuto Ioka (Japan)
LIGHT FLYWEIGHT (108 LBS)
CHAMPION – Ryoichi Taguchi (Japan)
MINIMUMWEIGHT (105 LBS)
CHAMPION – Knockout CP Freshmart (Thailand)