Semi-final tournament set to crown one sole WBA heavyweight champion

Phil Jay
WBA Heavyweight tournament Joshua Usyk Dubois Bryan

Four fighters will be involved in a tournament to eventually crown one sole World Boxing Association heavyweight champion by 2022.

Currently, Anthony Joshua holds the “super” title and reigns supreme since beating Wladimir Klitschko in 2017. Trevor Bryan is the “regular” ruler, and Mahmoud Charr is “Champion in Recess”.

UK contender Daniel Dubois was the interim belt-holder until the WBA scrapped all interim statuses last week.

The move solidified WBA President Gilberto Mendoza’s push to have one title-holder in each division following pressure from fans and media.

A WBA resolution got released over the last few days. It means for each weight class that anyone who was an interim ruler will get rewarded with a shot at the “regular” version.

Whoever comes out on top of that then challenges the “super” champion at the earliest convenience. Therefore, a four-person tournament has opened up.

Joshua battles Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th. The WBO already stipulated this. The winner of that will hold the WBA “super” version.

Dubois will soon get ordered to face Bryan, with that victor then outright holding the “regular” version. Where Charr then comes into that is anyone’s guess.

The Lebanese-German got stripped for not traveling during the pandemic to face Bryan in the United States. A legal matter is ongoing, as with Fres Oquendo for many years now.

Those fighters may be compensated outside the ropes, leaving Joshua, Usyk, Bryan, and Dubois as the quartet to eventually compete through a practical semi-final.

In action this weekend, Dubois could be immediately ordered to battle Bryan if he wins. That fight could happen by the end of the year.

Subsequently, the winner of Joshua vs. Usyk and Bryan vs. Dubois could meet in the spring or summer of 2022. That winner will then be pitted against WBO heavyweight stipulation Joe Joyce unless the IBF secures a mandatory challenger before then.

HEAVYWEIGHT RESOLUTION

Anyone who doesn’t participate will get stripped as part of the resolution featured below explained by the WBA.

“Rule C.33, which shall be expressly applicable, states that if a boxer refuses to participate in a mandatory fight, an elimination bout, or a box-off, his title may become vacant, or he may be demoted or eliminated from the rankings.

“Based on the rules detailed above, the now-former interim champions will no longer defend the titles. At the discretion of the President and the Championships Committee, they will get considered as mandatory contenders to the world champion of the division. Either contest the championship as an official challenger directly or participate in a Box-off elimination bout to determine the official challenger.

“Once designated as the official challenger, the boxer may be allowed to participate in other bouts subject to the approval of the Committee per WBA Rule C.13, Limitations of Bouts.”

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.

Loading ...