What will the forthcoming WBA heavyweight title reduction plan look like?
The World Boxing Association has plenty of plans on the go to reduce titles, but nothing is yet forthcoming in the heavyweight division.
WBA chiefs have been studying each category to make decisions that will contribute to the world title reduction plan that has been underway for the past couple of months.
Releasing information about their continued fight against the negative press received over too many belts, the WBA failed to give clues about the top weight class.
Several weights are well on their way to being resolved. Five already only have one sole champion. This movement prompted WBN to reinstate the WBA as a recognized sanctioning body.
Those champions who reign alone are Artem Dalakian [flyweight], Naoya Inoue [bantamweight], Roger Gutiérrez [super featherweight], Jermell Charlo [super welterweight], and Dmitry Bivol [light heavyweight].
Initial actions such as the elimination of interim titles were the first steps in this plan. Different decisions since joining that. While also devising other ways to reduce the number of champions.
This process is always gets based on the rules of the WBA.
The panorama of each weight is different, but the same objective is in all of them. That is to have a single world champion.
WBA then put out further outlining of how they plan to drive down others. They are:
The minimumweight champion Victor Saludar will fight the former interim champion, Erick Rosa, on December 21, in the Dominican Republic.
The winner could face Thammanoon Niyomtrong next.
In the light flyweight division, super champion Hiroto Kyoguchi vs. champion Esteban Bermudez got ordered.
In the flyweight division, a division with only one champion, Artem Dalakian will fight his mandatory bout against Luis Concepcion on Saturday, November 20, in Ukraine.
For his part, Joshua Franco, as super flyweight champion, has already been designated mandatory challenger of the winner of the fight between Juan Francisco Estrada (super champion) and Roman Gonzalez.
Naoya Inoue, the only champion, will make an optional defense on December 14 against Aran Dipen.
Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan will clash in a mandatory fight for the featherweight title ( in Wood’s hands), and the winner will face super champion, Leo Santa Cruz.
Super featherweight champion Roger Gutierrez will fight his mandatory Chris Colbert in the next few months.
The welterweight box-off in which Yordenis Ugas, Eimantas Stanionis, Radzhab Butaev, and Jamal James participate.
Ugas must fight Stanionis for the Super Championship, and the winner will fight Butaev, who previously defeated James.
The WBA continues to study the different cases and all categories to make decisions and further reduce the number of world champions.
HEAVYWEIGHT AND MORE
But what about those other weight classes not mentioned – primarily heavyweight?
Boxing’s glamor division stands alongside super-bantamweight, lightweight, super-lightweight, middleweight, super-middleweight, and cruiserweight, as those will have some way to go.
At super-bantamweight, Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Brandon Figueroa has to happen.
In the standout lightweight class, Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis have to come to some arrangement over who takes the strap forward.
The same goes for Davis and super-lightweight king Josh Taylor.
In the middleweight division, we know Gennadiy Golokvin and Ryota Murata will fight to unify – as initially revealed by WBN.
The winner will have to battle Erislandy Lara at the earliest opportunity in 2022. Lara has already protested the fight after giving up his belt at 154 to become a full WBA champion at 160.
At 168, Canelo has a decision to make. Does he remain at super-middleweight and get ordered to begin mandatory duties, or does he move up again?
WBA ‘Regular’ Champion David Morrell will surely want an answer on that one. At cruiserweight, Arsen Goulamirian and Ryad Merhy must also fight soon.
That leaves the always messy heavyweight division, which may take some time to complete.
Oleksandr Usyk is the ‘Super’ ruler. He will likely battle Anthony Joshua in a rematch next year. This leaves ‘Champion in Recess’ Mahmoud Charr and Trevor Bryan.
One of their arranged bouts has already fallen apart. They need to agree soon before the winner can be in the mix for a heavyweight title mandatory.
We should see Bryan vs. Charr re-ordered in the first half of 2022. That’s unless Charr loses his status as “Champion in Recess” in a review.
This path could cause tension, with legal proceedings already dogging the division for years. Right now, heavyweight could be the last division to get completed.
Lots still to do!