Adding to the crazy confusion of title belts, the World Boxing Council has now created a new world title position - with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez being tabbed as the WBC "franchise champion."
By doing this, the WBC removes Canelo from his position as middleweight champion - and in doing so they have made the interim-champion Jermall Charlo the full middleweight champion.
Charlo is back on Saturday night in Texas, when he defends his belt against Brandon Adams.
The WBC explained their reasoning for the move, which further confuses everyone who follows the sport.
Canelo also holds the IBF and WBA versions of the middleweight title.
"During its recent mid-year meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, the WBC Board of Governors approved rule 3.26 of the WBC Rules and Regulations, which creates the designation of WBC Franchise Champion. The Franchise Champion is a special designation and status which the WBC may bestow to a current WBC world champion, who is also an elite boxer, and who has achieved and maintains the highest of statures in the sport," the sanctioning body stated.
"Under Rule 3.26, in its discretion, the WBC may, upon a 2/3rd vote of the Board of Governors, designate in each weight category one WBC Franchise Champion. A Franchise Champion shall enjoy special status with respect to his or her mandatory obligations, holding multiple titles and competing for titles of other organizations, as the WBC Board of Governors rules on a case-by-case basis.
"The WBC is bestowing that honor upon champion Alvarez due to his many accomplishments which have positioned him as major worldwide attraction in boxing, and in light of his unquestionable boxing career linked to our organization. Canelo Alvarez has represented the WBC for 11 years with outstanding results in his professional career."
And apparently the WBC outlined certain conditions for their franchise champion.
1. The Franchise Champion will be designated as WBC Emeritus Champion once he retires from boxing.
2. The Franchise Champion will proudly represent the WBC in every single fight as a reigning WBC champion, regardless of any specific conditions or titles being associated with all future fights. WBC rules and regulations will govern under the traditional conditions of boxing in the Franchise champion fights. WBC will approve through the franchise champion promoter every opponent scheduled to fight.
3. Franchise Champion agrees to participate in a minimum of two social responsibility events every year, organized and in conjunction with the WBC.
4. The WBC may recognize a WBC champion in the division or divisions where the Franchise champion currently competes.
5. The WBC may award a Diamond Championship belt in those fights in which the Franchise Champion engages. If the Franchise Champion loses, the winner will receive the Diamond belt and may be considered as mandatory contender of the division.