World Boxing Council chiefs had good intentions when introducing their WBC Franchise Championship for Canelo Alvarez in 2019. Fast forward a year, and the situation has grown legs and walked firmly out the door.
Canelo has been joined by firstly Vasyl Lomachenko and now Teofimo Lopez. Fans are completely unsure who the real ruler is.
At middleweight, Canelo was the WBC champion. Now, it’s supposed to be Jermall Charlo as Canelo fluctuates in weight.
The lightweight division should be more cut and dried, as Lopez holds three other belts at 135. Not so, especially with the boxing supporters.
Some are even asking whether Lopez is undisputed. A ludicrous statement in the current climate. Devin Haney does not help the situation.
To keep Haney happy, the WBC firstly offered him the lightweight strap on an interim basis. When Lomachenko was made Franchise due to the Lopez fight being on the cards, Haney then wrongly became a full WBC champion.
In reality, though, he was still considered the interim champion. The same can be said of Charlo.
Mauricio Sulaiman should really have clarified this, rather than offering both the ‘full’ version. This is where the WBA went wrong with their ‘super’ title and where the WBC should have learned a lesson.
WORLD BOXING COUNCIL FRANCHISE
The sport is still in an uproar over a decade on from the ‘super’ belt being introduced. The WBC’s best efforts won’t change that fact with the Franchise offering.
For my money, Haney is not the champion – he never has been. On the other hand, Charlo has more of a claim due to Canelo moving up in weight.
It looks like the Mexican superstar is leaving the 160 division behind. That’s the contrast between the current debate.
But the WBC has to begin to discuss what is going on around them. I urge them to consider scrapping the whole idea of a Franchise champion. It’s basically the same premise as the WBA,
Unless they want to be pushed closer to the same regard the WBA a currently held in, then the Franchise version has to go. There’s no way of sugar-coating it.
The WBC Franchise was a mistake. We all know it. It’s now up to Sulaiman and his team to realize this and rectify it.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.