By Miguel Rivera
The president of the World Boxing Association, Gilberto Mendoza Jr., acknowledged that it has not been easy to reduce the number of multiple world titles in his sanctioning body.
In several divisions, there is a WBA "regular" champion or the secondary champion, and then there is the WBA "super" champion, who is regarded by most as the true champion - but that's the case in every division.
For example, at cruiserweight, Yunier Dorticos is the WBA "regular" champion and Denis Lebedev is the "super" champion - but many view Dorticos as the true champion, because Lebedev was defeated by Murat Gassiev in a fight where Lebedev refused to stake his WBA title and only offered up the IBF belt, which Gassiev was the mandatory for.
While initially the idea of two champions in each weight class brought the WBA double the sanctioning fees, Mendoza realized that it did more harm than good - because the "regular" champion was usually not respect as a beltholder and the idea created widespread confusion over the recognizable WBA champion.
While some divisions have been straitened out, there are still issues like at middleweight with Gennady Golovkin and Ryota Murata (super and regular champs) and featherweight with Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares (super and regular champs).
Even at heavyweight, there will be a fight for the vacant "regular" title between Fres Oquendo and Alexander Ustinov, while mega-star Anthony Joshua is the "super" champion.
Mendoza hopes to eliminate the problem by 2019.
"I am focused on only having a single champion [in each weight class]. There are members of the past directory that say there are weight categories that deserve a regular champion where there is a super champion, but I am very fussy about that subject," said Mendoza to ESPN Deportes.
"I do not want to move away from the plan (reduction of titles). My intention is to sort out all of the weight categories although there are already many with only one champion. It's going to cost me a little more time. Hopefully by the 2019 convention we have everything straightened out. I hope we get it done by the middle of 2019."
"It is not easy, the main enemy is the commercial side of boxing that affects sports decisions a lot, when a fighter does not sell and one side does not want to give him the opportunity."