Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

WBA's Insistence on Having 3 Featherweight Champs is Ridiculous

image

By Keith Idec

The WBA could make a reasonable case for only one of the two televised title fights it has sanctioned on the Lucas Matthysse-Manny Pacquiao card Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Panama-based sanctioning organization afforded Argentina’s Matthysse the opportunity to fight for its “world” welterweight title in January because Keith Thurman is often injured and hasn’t fought since March 2017. Rather than strip Thurman due to his inactivity, the WBA declared Thurman its “super” champion at 147 pounds and eventually ordered a bout between Matthysse, then its third-rated contender at 147 pounds, and top-ranked Tewa Kiram.

Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs, 1 NC) knocked out Thailand’s Kiram (38-1, 28 KOs) in the eighth round of their January 27 fight at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Matthysse will make the first defense of that title against Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) at Axiata Arena (ESPN+; Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m PT).

That sanctioning scenario at least makes some sense.

The same cannot be said for the other “title” fight the WBA has approved for Saturday night. There’s simply no justification for sanctioning Jhack Tepora-Edivaldo Ortega as a featherweight championship match, especially since the WBA made assurances in the recent past to stop its ridiculous practice of recognizing as many as three world champions in a single division.

The Philippines’ Tepora (21-0, 16 KOs) and Mexico’s Ortega (26-1-1, 12 KOs) are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, among the WBA’s 126-pound contenders. But the WBA already has a “super” featherweight champion, Leo Santa Cruz, and a “world” featherweight champ, Jesus Rojas.

Puerto Rico’s Rojas (26-1-2, 19 KOs) knocked out the Dominican Republic’s Claudio Marrero (23-2, 17 KOs) in the seventh round September 15 in Las Vegas to win the WBA’s “interim” featherweight title.

At that point, Abner Mares owned the WBA’s “world” featherweight title, which he won when he beat Argentina’s Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs) by split decision in December 2016 in Los Angeles. Owning the WBA’s “world” featherweight championship made Mares the mandatory challenger for Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs), who out-boxed Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) to win a unanimous decision in their 12-round rematch June 9 in Los Angeles.

wba-belt

Once Mares lost to Santa Cruz again, two WBA featherweight champions should’ve sufficed. If Rojas continued to win, he eventually should’ve received a mandated shot at Santa Cruz.

Instead, Rojas has since been elevated to the WBA’s “world” featherweight champion in its most recent rankings. And rather than ordering Rojas, who’s also the WBA’s No. 1 featherweight contender, to fight the second-ranked Tepora, the WBA sanctioned a Rojas-Joseph Diaz Jr. fight on August 11 for its “world” featherweight crown and ordered Tepora-Ortega for its “interim” championship.

By definition, interim means temporary. Somehow, though, the WBA has made its interim championship a permanent part of its featherweight division.

AT LEAST IT’S NOT $70: Boxing fans’ frustration with emerging streaming services is understandable.

The last thing this sport’s loyal followers want is to pay more money each month to watch boxing. The launch of ESPN+, which costs $4.99 per month, has been met with resistance from some consumers.

Those detractors don’t want to pay to watch fights they believe should be made available live on ESPN, a basic cable channel that has roughly 87 million subscribers in the United States.

When he was promoting the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn card last month, Bob Arum urged those reluctant customers to sign up for the ESPN+ app’s seven-day free trial. If they weren’t satisfied with what was made available through the app beyond boxing, they could cancel after seven days and avoid getting charged $4.99 for a one-month commitment.

Even if you’ve used your free trial for ESPN+, you can watch Pacquiao-Matthysse by paying a one-time $4.99 fee and cancel it once your one-month subscription ends. That isn’t ideal, but before ESPN+ existed, Pacquiao-Matthysse would’ve been a pay-per-view event that would’ve cost 13 to 15 times more, depending on pricing ($65-$75 in HD).

It still probably would’ve been a pay-per-view fight if Arum’s Top Rank Inc. were the primary promoter, not just its American distributor through its exclusive content deal with ESPN. Pacquiao’s insistence on his company serving as the primary promoter complicated matters, so much that there were rumors right up until last week that the fight would be postponed.

Now that it’s definitely on, reluctant streamers argue that Pacquiao-Matthysse should be broadcast live on ESPN. More viewers obviously would see Pacquiao-Matthysse that way.

But five bucks for what in the recent past would’ve been a pay-per-view show is at least a tolerable deal.

THE WBS: It seemed odd when various outlets in Europe reported earlier this week that Lennox Lewis would finally grant Vitali Klitschko his rematch in the form of an exhibition at the WBC’s annual convention this fall.

Lewis will be 53 by then and hasn’t fought in 15 years. Thus the idea of fighting Klitschko again, even in a bout that wouldn’t count on their records and would raise money for charity, didn’t appear to make a whole lot of sense for the retired heavyweight champion.

That didn’t stop the WBC from issuing a press release Tuesday that stated Lewis and Klitschko would indeed meet again either September 30 or October 5 in Kiev, Ukraine, the city Klitschko serves as mayor. Problem is, no one informed Lewis of this exhibition, let alone confirmed his commitment to participate in it.

England’s Lewis (41-2-1, 32 KOs) hasn’t fought since his back-and-forth slugfest against Klitschko in June 2003 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lewis beat Klitschko by technical knockout after the sixth round of their heavyweight title bout because of a disgusting gash over Klitschko’s left eye.

Ukraine’s Klitschko was ahead by the same score, 58-56, on each of the three judges’ cards when their scheduled 12-round fight for the WBC and IBO titles was stopped.

Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs), who’ll turn 47 next week, pushed for an immediate rematch, but he never received a second shot at Lewis. A reluctant Lewis announced his retirement in February 2004 and never boxed again.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing. 

Tags: boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by WBC WBA IBF on 07-17-2018

[QUOTE=aboutfkntime;18947036]the only thing worse than the ABC bodies raping boxing, is some clown applauding them for itc[/quote] Applauding them? By constantly saying I want them to all go bankrupt and leave the sport forever? You sure you know how to…

Comment by aboutfkntime on 07-17-2018

[QUOTE=WBC WBA IBF;18945669]First of all, I never said beat, so don't move the goal posts. Canelo got the rub from facing Mayweather, raising his profile even in defeat. Then overpaid Cotto so he could beat Cotto and cement himself as…

Comment by WBC WBA IBF on 07-17-2018

[QUOTE=aboutfkntime;18944692]which PPV star did Canelo beat to become a PPV star ? [/QUOTE] First of all, I never said beat, so don't move the goal posts. Canelo got the rub from facing Mayweather, raising his profile even in defeat. Then…

Comment by aboutfkntime on 07-17-2018

[QUOTE=WBC WBA IBF;18944339]Canelo is the only PPV A-side left in US boxing. PPV is dying. There may never be a future PPV star, Ryan Garcia or otherwise. You typically become a PPV star off the backs of previous PPV stars.…

Comment by WBC WBA IBF on 07-16-2018

[QUOTE=aboutfkntime;18943937]Ryan Garcia is a future PPV fighter EVERYONE can see that, which is why they are all fawning over him lol[/QUOTE] Canelo is the only PPV A-side left in US boxing. PPV is dying. There may never be a future…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (71)
Top Headlines Lipinets: Loss To Mikey Garcia Prepared Me For Lamont Peterson Broner: Pacquiao is a Black Fighter - F***ed Up Money & Taxes! Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Face To Face in LA Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Have No Deal Yet Rob Brant Inks Co-Promotional Deal With Top Rank Espinoza: If You Think Broner Is Easy For Pacquiao, Think Again Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding To Hit Movie Theaters LIVE STREAM: Pacquiao-Broner - Los Angeles Press Conference Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury: More Tickets Released at Staples Photos: Pacquiao Hits The Basketball Court, Becomes 'Air Manny' Bryant Jennings vs. Oscar Rivas Finalized For January 18, ESPN+ Giovanni Mioletti Keeps Record Intact With Another Stoppage Win Peter Kadiru Goes Pro, To Be Advised By Klitschko's Manager Wilder, Fury, Hurd, Ortiz Share What They Are Thankful For Martin Murray vs. Hassan N'Dam is Set For Warrington-Frampton Wilder vs. Fury PPV Will Be Available Via The Showtime App Breazeale: The Ultimate Goal is Anthony Joshua Rematch Pacquiao: Right Now, I Have No Intention Of Running For President Sanchez: They Are All Using Golovkin's Name To Stay Relevant! Joseph Parker on Dealing With Adversity Versus Dillian Whyte Frank Warren: I've Never Seen Tyson Fury This Determined Tommy Coyle: I Fight Because I Love it, But It's a Dangerous Game Sergio Martinez Still Aims To Return, Continues To Train Hard UK News: Brian Rose, Troy Williamson, Tyrone McKenna, More Pacquiao is Focused: We Can't Underestimate Adrien Broner Jarrell Miller Wants Anthony Joshua in April at Wembley Giving Thanks For a Boxing Dream Come True Pacquiao: I Think Fans Are Excited For Rematch With Mayweather Adonis Stevenson Hopes Pascal Wins, Not Impressed By Bivol David Lemieux: I Want Canelo Because I Know I Can Beat Him! Ellerbe: Broner Will Look To Defy The Odds, Shut Everyone Up Vijender Singh Inks Promotional Pact With Top Rank News: Christopher Diaz, Bryant Perrella, Tori Nelson, Luis Lebron Hearn: Hooker is The Standout at 140, I Want Defense in Dallas Broner: F*** The Money, I'm Not Just Coming To Get a Check Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Face To Face in NYC Broner: Pacquiao Ain't Fighting Floyd, I'm Gonna Beat His Ass! Photos: Canelo Grinding Hard For Rocky Fielding Title Clash Pacquiao Confirms He'll Work With Roach Again For Broner Bout Pacquiao Warns Broner: I've Learned To 'Problem Solve' in Politics
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement