WBA heavyweight tournament announcement before Usyk vs Joshua 2?
The World Boxing Association plans to announce a heavyweight division development ahead of an expected agreement between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua.
President Gilberto Mendoza will ratify the next move in the top division. It’s one of the most bulked-up in the WBA ratings.
As the WBA continues to reduce the number of titles, many divisions have already begun working towards this.
Five divisions already have one sole champion. They are Artem Dalakian in the flyweight division and Naoya Inoue in the bantamweight class. Plus, Roger Gutiérrez at super featherweight, Jermell Charlo at super welterweight, and Dmitry Bivol at the light heavyweight category.
Now, Mendoza confirmed movement is afoot with the remaining twelve divisions, including the heaviest of all.
“Chocolatito and Estrada will have a rematch, but the winner must fight Joshua Franco. At 108 and 105, there will be a tournament.
“At Heavyweight and Super Middleweight, we will soon make announcements. However, we are reviewing category by category,” said Mendoza.
At present, Usyk is the top heavyweight dog. However, Trevor Bryan is the “regular” champion, Mahmoud Charr in the “Champion in Recess,” and Robert Helenius holds the “Gold” strap.
Recently, the WBA demoted the gold version from holding any significance other than a rankings boost.
Daniel Dubois also held the interim belt until the WBA abolished that title too. But all four of those fighters could expect to get a call. Potentially regarding a tournament of some sort, like the one arranged at welterweight.
This scenario could mean Bryan vs. Dubois and Helenius vs. Charr or permutations of the quartet.
The winner would then get pitted against the winner of the second helping of Usyk vs. Joshua, possibly by the end of 2022 or early 2023.
It’s not a certainty, though. The WBA tried this previously with a long-winded series back in the mid-2010s, but it failed miserably to get off the ground.
We’ll have to wait and see how the WBA will eventually whittle those fighters down to one ruler in the glamor division.
Continuing his review of the weight classes, Mendoza added: At Featherweight, Leigh Wood (Regular Champion) will have a mandatory fight against Michael Conlan.
“The winner must fight Leo Santa Cruz.
“At Cruiserweight, Arsen Goulamirian (Super Champion) has a mandatory fight against Alexey Egorov (Gold Champion). They will fight at the end of November.
!At Super Bantamweight, Murodjon Ahkamadaliev (Super Champion) will have a mandatory fight against Ronny Ríos.”
Chocolatito and Estrada will have a rematch, but the winner must fight Joshua Franco. At 108 and 105, there will be a tournament. At Heavyweight and Super Middleweight, we will soon make announcements. We are reviewing category by category.
— Gilberto J Mendoza (@GilberticoWBA) October 20, 2021
The statements come after Mendoza committed to one sole champion in each division wholeheartedly. Evidence of this came when the WBA denied Yordenis Ugas facing Errol Spence Jr. in a unification.
Despite initially agreeing when speaking to Ugas on the phone post-Manny Pacquiao win, Mendoza decided to stick to the new game plan.
“After listening to the parties involved, We ratify that Yordenis Ugás and Eimantas Stanionis have 30 days to negotiate.
“We watch over the public perception of our sport,” he said about lousy press received by the WBA all year.
WBN was the first boxing media outfit anywhere in the world to declassify the WBA from recognition due to questionable practices.
Furthermore, recent moves by the WBA – including this latest development, could see the World Boxing Association reinstated by the end of this month.