WBA pledge to reduce titles results in new version branded ‘Pokemon’ belt

Joe Joyce

Lawrence Lustig

The World Boxing Association have been roundly criticized once again for unveiling yet ANOTHER title belt into the mix.

Four years on from a pledge by President Gilberto Mendoza to reduce the number of championships, the WBA have added a ‘Gold’ version to the growing list.

Joe Joyce picked up the heavyweight strap on Saturday night in London, meaning the 200 pound plus division has FOUR separate champions.

Anthony Joshua is the WBA ‘Super’ champion. Manuel Charr currently holds the ‘Regular’ title. Whilst Trevor Bryan is the ‘Interim’ belt holder and now Joyce.

It’s quite an unbelievable situation. Coupled with the fact representatives seem happy to pay the fees in order to give their respective fighter any old belt around their waist.

The way things are going, the WBA will have serious credibility issues as they just keep adding more and more titles.

Fans are predictably annoyed by the newest addition.

“WBA Gold heavyweight belt. WTF is that?” asked one.

Another had his own name for the title.

“What the f*** is the WBA (Gold) Heavyweight title? Load of f***in pish. They f***in naming belts after Pokemon games now?”

A third branded it ‘the interim, interim belt’.

“I’ve heard of the Super, Regular and Interim titles, but what is the WBA “Gold” belt? Is it in effect an interim Interim title?

“Thought I’d mastered the Byzantine structure of the WBA world titles, but I’m confused again now.”


Back in December, WBN outlined how the WBO had brought in a ‘Global’ version of their title when Sebastian Formella won the dubious crown before Christmas.

It’s all becoming a little confusing, what with Gold and Silver, Global and Interim. Only the IBF seem to keep it simple. But then you could always mention the Inter-Continental and International titles on offer.

But seriously, somebody needs to inform the WBA that less is more.

They now have Super, Regular, Interim, Gold, International and Continental in each division – more and more of which come with a ranking.

With only 15 mandatory spots available, it’s getting to a point where you will effectively have to buy a ranking by forking out a sanctioning fee for the respective strap you need to be rated.


Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay