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Home » WBA resurrects ‘zombie’ heavyweight belt in further title shambles

WBA resurrects ‘zombie’ heavyweight belt in further title shambles

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The World Boxing Association has been forced to resurrect the ‘Regular’ heavyweight title, putting the future of their full title in disarray.

A court ruling was filed by former champion Mahmoud Charr, leaving the WBA with no choice but to set the division back at least a couple of years.

This means Charr returns as WBA champion, effectively canceling the reigns of Trevor Bryan and Daniel Dubois. On the face of what transpired, Dubois should never have been given a shot at Oleksandr Usyk last month in Poland.

The belt, a controversy since its inception in 2011, was supposed to die that night when Dubois put it on the line against Usyk. Instead, the newly labeled ‘zombie’ belt is alive again due to the Charr complaint.

It renders Dubois getting his opportunity as nonsense as it should have been Charr facing Usyk.

WBA Regular Heavyweight title

Outlining their decision, which was taken out of their hands by legalities, the WBA said: “As part of a court settlement, the World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee has reinstated Mahmoud Charr as regular champion of the organization’s heavyweight division.

“The agreement reached ends a long dispute brought by the boxer and his team. It will allow the WBA to close this chapter. To settle a conflict that has been going on for more than a year.

“Charr lost his status as champion in recess in December 2021. He had not fought at the scheduled time and after the impossibility of agreeing to a fight with Trevor Bryan [due to the pandemic].

“After two years and a judicial process in between, the WBA has decided to reinstate the regular champion status to the boxer.

“After a thorough study by the WBA on the best way to execute this move, the WBA set two critical conditions. First, Charr must face Jarrell Miller, the fifth-rated boxer in the division, before October 14.

“Secondly, the matchup winner must face the next available contender. The body will determine this in due course.

“The judicial agreement constitutes a temporary decision of the organization. This has been taken in the best spirit of overcoming a difference that prevented the WBA from moving forward in its plans.”

Removing the belt

The WBA vowed to continue removing the regular titles from existence. However, Charr facing Miller is only the beginning.

Charr will then face another contender before becoming the mandatory challenger. That could be Deontay Wilder or Martin Bakole. Wilder and Bakole are number one and two in the ratings.

“For the time being, such a juncture only delays the institution’s purpose of having only one champion per category.

“However, far from abandoning the path, the pioneer organization will continue to work resolutely. We aim to achieve this goal within the framework of its “One Champion Only” policy.

“To date, this has been 70% achieved, with twelve single champions in seventeen categories. In addition, the WBA continues to work in favor of boxing worldwide and to make decisions that favor the sport.”

Usyk is due to battle Filip Hrgovic in an IBF title defense after defending against Dubois as the unified holder. However, Dubois launched a dispute over a recent defeat over a low-blow controversy.

If the Ukrainian is ordered to face Dubois again, then Hrgovic, and finally the winner of Zhilei Zhang vs Joe Joyce, it could be another two years until the WBA finally removes the polarizing title.

Phil Jay is an experienced boxing news writer.

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