World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman has urged fans to be patient when it comes to the new ‘Franchise Champion’ status handed down of late.
Canelo Alvarez and Vasyl Lomachenko both hold the honor having won world titles at different weights. The pair have proved themselves two of the best boxers on the planet.
As WBN previously explained, the concept was conceived to elevate a certain belt holder above their champion accolade.
Effectively, the move means Canelo and Lomachenko are WBC belt holders forever. Like being accepted into the WBC Hall Of Fame, as such.
Every bout will see them representing the WBC. Giving their opponent the chance to become mandatory in the said division they fight.
Once earned, the WBC Franchise status cannot be revoked. It’s bestowed on a fighter for life.
This means the old strap then goes up for grabs to the next contender. In this case, Jermall Charlo and Devin Haney.
Giving titles to Charlo at middleweight and Haney at lightweight initially caused confusion, which may eventually be cleared up by the offering of a mandatory fight in future cases instead.
In time, Sulaiman assured those worried about another crown in boxing that the reason will become clearer.
“The WBC (also) created the mandatory and it is one of the greatest rules,” explained Suliaman. “Franchise is a concept that will prove right as time passes by,” he added.
Sulaiman also gave his blessing to the recent YouTuber event in Los Angeles. In the first meeting, the WBC sanctioned the amateur belt for one of the undercard clashes.
Despite criticism for that move too, Sulaiman again came out swinging.
“Like it or not, these events bring millions of people watching boxing,” he pointed out. “Boxing wins as non-boxing fans will get the chance to follow our sport and create new fans.”
Whatever happens in the foreseeable future, one thing is for certain…and that’s the fact that the sport is morphing into something quite different.
Whether you’re on board or not, money seems to be doing all the talking of late. It’s unlikely to change unless something drastic happens to defuse the situation.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay