Former basketball player turned entrepreneur Joe Fournier remains in with a chance of fighting for a world title in one of the most bizarre cases of a ranking in the sport today.
Fournier, 35, recently moved up from 11th to 10th in the rankings despite not fighting since December 2017 AND being suspended by the NADO, a body linked to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Banned until 2020 for failing a drug test in Belgium in June 2016, Fournier was calling out the likes of fellow-Brit Callum Smith and fighting under the Hayemaker banner before his exile, having only taken up the sport in 2015.
The term has since been reduced to 18 months on appeal, with Fournier, who has a 100% KO ratio, allowed to fight from June 5th of this year.
How Fournier was allowed to win the WBA International title and keep it in the meantime remains a mystery only the WBA can explain.
What makes things a little more strange is why multi-millionaire Fournier was rated in the first place, having only fought two opponents with a winning record. But the Londoner staying there to this day is even more baffling.
A ranking is something which should be fully earned in the ring, and taking a look at Fournier’s C.V could tell anyone with an iota of common sense that sanctioning his fight with 22-9 Wilmer Meija was a curious decision.
The Meija win has since been wiped from Fournier’s record on BoxRec, although the WBA should be urged to take to re-think keeping the businessman-turned boxer on their list.
Here’s a look at the eight victories (and one no decision) which led Fournier to a WBA International title challenge.
Joe Founier (record according to BoxRec)
December 2016 – Antonio Sanchez (Record 1 win 11 losses) TKO5
August 2016 – Francisco Suero (0 wins 13 losses) TKO1
August 2016 – Johnny Ascencio (1 win 11 losses) TKO1
July 2016 – Jose Santos (0 wins 5 losses) TKO4
June 2016 – Mustapha Stini (11 wins 41 losses 1 draw) NC (drug test failed)
May 2016 – Bela Juhasz (14 wins 8 losses) TKO2
February 2016 – Pedro Sencion (0 wins 3 losses) TKO2
November 2015 – Manuel Regalado (debut) TKO1
October 2015 – Jorge Burgos (2 wins 24 losses) TKO1
Nothing beats getting on the scales Ready for WAR I cannot wait to get back in the Ring ?? Still Undefeated and Still The WBA International Champion ?? pic.twitter.com/CBe3MoFqBK
— Joe Fournier (@JoeFournierClub) April 21, 2018
Judging by his social media activity, Fournier will make an announcement to return in the near future, but whether his recent suspension will lead to a WBA reaction in their forthcoming June rankings remains to be seen.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay