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Home » The WBA regular heavyweight title thankfully dies tonight in Poland

The WBA regular heavyweight title thankfully dies tonight in Poland

The WBA regular heavyweight title will finally die tonight in Poland twelve years after a controversial split in 2011.

It’s no secret that WBN has followed the situation regarding the World Boxing Association’s heavyweight division closely over the years. For the most part, confusion has reigned supreme.

What is the WBA regular heavyweight title?

The title was created from David Haye fighting Wladimir Klitschko as the latter was elevated to super champion amid the event’s chaos.

Thanks to the WBA, three versions of the top division crown would be unified at the same time. Wladimir’s brother Vitali held the WBC strap, the only other not on the line and in his younger sibling’s possession.

Pre-fight, the WBA had a surprise for everyone as they declared Klitschko their new ‘super’ champion. It signified the most controversial move in the history of championships in the heavyweight ranks.

The first champion

After Haye vs Klitschko, the title was supposed to be left on the scrap heap. However, the WBA decided they would keep it.

Sanctioning Alexander Povetkin vs. Ruslan Chagaev in late 2011 for what was eventually named the ‘WBA Regular’ title, the WBA had brought about a situation that polarized fans.

Those who wanted to see Olympic star Povetkin get his shot were all for it. However, the rest of the boxing community wondered why we needed another belt in the top division.

On the face of it, the move was seen simply as a ploy to garner more sanctioning fees from fighters.

Povetkin held the ‘Regular’ until 2013, when the WBA eventually ordered a fight with Klitschko. It was immediately thought that Klitschko vs Povetkin would mean the end of the short-term title. That was a wrong assumption.

Klitschko vs Povetkin, which just happened to be the most lucrative heavyweight title bout since Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson.

The WBA sanctioned it under an unbelievable purse bid of $17 million, which would be the only time WBA sanctioning chiefs would insist the ‘Regular’ holder gets a full shot.

It’s not hard to see why.

WBA promised WBN

At this time, WBN was in constant contact with Gilberto J. Mendoza, the VP but acting President of the WBA.

He told WBN that they would unlikely bring back the ‘Regular’ championship once Povetkin dropped the title. It was a promise that wasn’t kept for years.

“Any representative or promoter has not contacted us over the WBA heavyweight title,” Mendoza told World Boxing News in January 2014.

“But also, the WBA super and interim titles might change. We are not sure the regular title will be approved.”

Within two months, the WBA controversially called for Fres Oquendo and Ruslan Chagaev to battle it out for the vacant title.

A mess

Injuries, delays, and a complete farce saw the WBA allow Chagaev to continue making defenses. He defeated Francesco Pianeta before Lucas Browne earned his mandatory shot.

Browne won the title in a shock Grozny beatdown, ending Chagaev’s career. Amazingly, Browne was then flagged for a banned substance.

Claims of Russian food tampering and a set-up followed before the Australian eventually cleared his name. But by this time, the title was vacant.

Vice President Mendoza had outlined a tournament that would be held, including the WBA ‘Regular’ and WBA ‘Super’ to crown one sole champion eventually.

Mendoza had again gone so far as to inform WBN he would phase out the ‘Regular’ belt after the completion of the competition.

Eight fighters were called up as the round-robin looked [pictured below].

WBA heavyweight tournament

wba heavy tourney

For his part, ‘Super’ champ Klitschko was already facing Tyson Fury in November 2015. Luis Ortiz would then take on Alexander Ustinov for the interim title.

But the whole charade fell apart many times before the conclusion.


Only when the WBA faced allegations of racism by a judge, they finally abolished the interim titles before the regular ones.

Waiting for one sole champion is the heavyweight division – it will finally be over on Saturday night.

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