World Boxing Association had 55 titles in their seventeen divisions, as WBN previously reported. In a matter of weeks, that total could be down to 28.
As WBN revealed yesterday, many bouts would be ordered pitting the former interim champions against the “regular” champions. This scenario came about when the WBA dismantled every interim status in the days before.
The WBA ruled that every fighter who held an interim strap would get their opportunity at the secondary belt in the coming months.
This brought up the possibility of several tasty match-ups like Daniel Dubois vs. Trevor Bryan [heavyweight], Chris Eubank Jr. Erislandy Lara [super-middleweight], Alberto Puello vs. Gervonta Davis [super-lightweight], Rolando Romero vs. Gervonta Davis [lightweight], Chris Colbert vs. Roger Gutierrez [super-featherweight], Michael Conlan vs. Leigh Wood [featherweight], Raeese Aleem vs. Brandon Figueroa [super-bantamweight], Daniel Matellon vs. Esteban Bermudez [light-flyweight] and Erick Rosa vs. Victorio Saludar [minimumweight].
Rosa vs. Saludar was ordered early yesterday, quickly followed by Conlan vs. Wood.
The WBA said: “The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee ordered the mandatory fight between British featherweight champion Leigh Wood and former interim champion Michael Conlan of Ireland. The winner of the bout will become the mandatory challenger to WBA super champion Leo Santa Cruz.
WBA ordered the bout under the WBA rules. Specifically, rules C.12 and C.13. The former explains that the champion must defend against the next leading contender within 120 days from the date he won the crown.
Wood became champion last July 31, so his mandatory should take place by November 30, and in this case, he will have to face Conlan.
Rule C.13 states that the champion cannot fight a fighter other than the official challenger within 60 days after the expiration of his mandatory defense period.
The entity sent the communication to both teams, who will have 30 days to negotiate. The period will begin this August 28 and will end on September 27. If the parties do not agree, the WBA will open the fight to a purse bid with a purse split of 55% for Wood and 45% for Conlan.
All those happenings mean the current 31 designations of title-holders will become 28 when Gervonta Davis and Erislandy Lara commit to one division in the ruling.
Davis holds “super” or “regular” status in three divisions. At the same time, Lara holds “regular” in two. Both men will have to make a decision soon.
Once they do, the WBA will have reduced the number of champions from 55 to 28 within weeks of their mission to follow fan and media pressure.
By 2022, the final act of unifying the “super” and “regular” World Boxing Association belts should be well underway.