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Home » WBA welterweight semi-final ends Spence vs Crawford for a year

WBA welterweight semi-final ends Spence vs Crawford for a year

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World Boxing Association chiefs green-lit a welterweight semi-final to crown one sole champion in the 147-pound division.

After Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford fell apart due to the latter accepting an upfront deal with Black Prime, the WBA’s hand was forced.

President Gilberto Mendoza wants to reduce the number of WBA champions in each weight class. Therefore, welterweight is a target as one of the few divisions remaining with more than one.

Making their announcement, the WBA explained that two bouts are now approved, with the winners facing each other.

WBA welterweight tournament

The World Boxing Association (WBA), as it continues to develop its world title reduction plan, took the next steps in the welterweight division.

After thoroughly reviewing the situation, it was determined that Errol Spence Jr., WBA Super Champion, will be granted special permission to fight Keith Thurman.

While the [regular] champion of the category, Eimantas Stanionis, will face Vergil Ortiz.

The winners of these bouts will square off shortly to determine the pioneer body’s sole 147-pound champion.

Former Super Champion Yordenis Ugas was initially allowed to face Spence in a unification bout. At the same time, Butaev and Stanionis fought for the championship title.

In these cases, the winners were Spence and Stanionis, respectively.

On November 14, 2022, TGB Promotions applied for special permission on behalf of Spence to fight Thurman in February 2023. The request came with specific mandatory conditions.

Under WBA rule C.16, mandatory defense periods can be modified for a cause. This can either happen by special permission request or on its initiative.

So the WBA decided that Spence could face Thurman.

Spence vs Crawford delay

The WBA’s confirmation means any chances of Spence vs Crawford are off the table until at least the back end of next year.

“Stanionis will remain the mandatory challenger to the welterweight super championship. He will now face Vergil Ortiz, who defeated Michael McKinson in a WBA eliminator on August 8,” said the WBA.

“The winner of the bout, or Stanionis if it ends in a draw, will face the winner of Spence-Thurman within 180 days of their bouts.

“The winner of the Spence-Thurman bout is obligated to meet the winner of Stanionis-Ortiz.

“This ruling supersedes all previous rulings. Any issues that arise along the way will be resolved under WBA rules.”

With Spence vs Thurman lined up for February, the final contest against Stanionis or Ortiz has to happen by the summer.

That scenario leaves Spence vs Crawford no window of opportunity until at least October or November 2023.

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