WBC Chief: Khan-Garcia Winner Must Vacate One Title

by David P. Greisman

The winner of this Saturday’s junior-welterweight unification bout between Amir Khan and Danny Garcia will have to vacate one of his two world titles, according to World Boxing Council President José Sulaimán.

Khan-Garcia will be for the WBC and WBA belts, though the unification won’t last for long.

That’s because the World Boxing Council hasn’t recently allowed for its world title to remain unified with other sanctioning body belts, though.

Just last month, 105-pound titleholder Kazuto Ioka defeated Akira Yaegashi, adding Yaegashi’s WBA title to his own WBC belt. Ioka and Yaegashi had been told beforehand that the winner would need to relinquish one of the titles. Ioka opted to keep the WBA belt and ditch the WBC.

And in another noteworthy instance three years ago, Timothy Bradley was told he’d have to pick between his WBC title and the WBO belt he’d just won from Kendall Holt. Bradley held onto the WBO belt and vacated the WBC.

The aforementioned bouts came with the WBC’s blessing in advance. The news of another belt other than their own being at stake for this weekend’s HBO headliner in Las Vegas was, well, news to the WBC’s leadership.
“It is a real surprise to know … that the WBA title is involved,” Sulaimán told via email Thursday night. “The WBC will accept only the WBC. Whoever doesn’t want it, the title is vacant.”

Garcia is the WBC’s titleholder, having won that vacant belt in March by defeating Erik Morales. The fight between Khan and Garcia has been marketed as being solely for the WBC belt.

Earlier this week, however, the World Boxing Association made official what had previously been rumored — the WBA returned its junior welterweight title to Khan, who had lost that belt against Lamont Peterson in December. Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone ahead of a since-canceled May rematch with Khan.

Peterson’s team admitted to using the substance for what it said was medical purposes ahead of the first Khan clash, which apparently was enough reason for the WBA to take the title from Peterson and give it back to Khan. The WBA also lists Marcos Maidana as its “regular” 140-pound titleholder.

David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mick Higgs on 07-14-2012

More boxing political bull****. Unification is the only way forward.

Comment by 1q3er5 on 07-14-2012

[QUOTE=Pirao;12330203]This could be a blessing in disguise, maybe this will prompt media like The RING, HBO, Showtime, etc, to stop regarding the WBC as a major title. Less trinkets = good for boxing.[/QUOTE] Interesting take on it. :tapedshut

Comment by sensi_many on 07-14-2012

I'm with Lil Floyd. Who cares about a belt? As long as you leave the ring knowing you just smashed the guy in the other corner, who cares about the trinket. There's too many belts in boxing anyway. There should…

Comment by alembic on 07-13-2012

[QUOTE=anonymous2.0;12331130]Usually when you go up to a sports fan and ask him whose the #1 in his particular sport, he can give you a straight answer. Why can't we do that in boxing?[/QUOTE]There's no transparency enforced by a governing body…

Comment by Rhyme 4 Rhyme on 07-13-2012

Year by year sanctioning bodies become less and less meaningful...

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