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What the WBA eliminator order means for the heavyweight division

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The World Boxing Association commented on the heavyweight division mandatory that will prolong the completion of their original promise.

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Last year, under pressure from fans and media, the WBA promised to unify every division and drop meaningless belts. However, the top division, the division where it all started, seems to be an ongoing problem for WBA chiefs.

They don’t seem to be able to let it go. Trevor Bryan vs. Daniel Dubois was the fight to make, and that’s at a push. This fight got ordered as Bryan is the regular champion and Dubois was the interim ruler until the WBA scrapped those belts.

Now, never ones to make things easier, the WBA has announced an eliminator when the weight class could be just two fights from having one titleholder.

FURY vs. HUNTER

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They said: “Hughie Fury and Michael Hunter will face each other in a World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight eliminator fight on July 2 at the Manchester Arena, in Manchester, England.

“Fury is ranked second in the WBA rankings, and Hunter is ranked fourth. Both have been waiting for this opportunity. Now they have the chance to earn the right to fight for the world title.

“Fury, 27, is coming in with three consecutive victories and a record that includes opponents such as Kubrat Pulev, Joshep Parker, and Alexander Povetkin.

“Hunter, meanwhile, is 33 years old and has not lost a fight since 2017. The American has been WBA regional champion at heavyweight and also had a big step in cruiserweight, where he faced Oleksandr Usyk five years ago.

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“Fury has 26 wins, three losses, and 15 knockouts. Hunter has 20 wins, one loss, two draws, and 14 knockouts.”

How Fury is even ranked number two begs a huge question in the first place. But now we have another fight on the road to finally having one champion.

Instead of the winner of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua facing the winner of Bryan vs. Dubois, we have another fight in the meantime.

The only explanation for this is that the WBO is next in line for their mandatory. The scenario serves that purpose, at least.

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Hughie Fury Michael Hunter WBA Heavyweight

HEAVYWEIGHT PROBLEM

So here’s what has to happen for the heavyweight division to become WBA unified for the first time since the mid-2000s.

Usyk vs. Joshua winner probably faces Joe Joyce [WBO stipulation] unless Tyson Fury comes into the fray.

Another potential problem is giving the Bryan vs. Dubois winner a voluntary after this mandatory fight. Any voluntary option could mean that the winner of Fury vs. Hunter has to wait until 2023.

Therefore, Usyk or Joshua can face Joyce and another challenge before the Bryan, Dubois, Fury, Hunter farce gets completed.

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The WBA will continue to bank their sanctioning fees until at least the end of 2023.

The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.

WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.