Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Wilder Shoots Down Idea of Being Named WBC Franchise Champ

Let’s be clear—Deontay Wilder would rather lose a title in the ring than have one awarded to him in a board room. (photo by Ryan Hafaey)

The unbeaten heavyweight is coming up on five years as the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) titlist, an anniversary date which will only remain intact should he get past Luis Ortiz in their upcoming rematch later this month. With the sanctioning body’s creation of the “WBC Franchise” title comes the safety net of not having to lose a belt in the ring or even abide by the organization’s rules as it relates to honoring mandatory challenger obligations.

To date, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Vasiliy Lomachenko have accepted such honors as WBC Franchise champions at middleweight and lightweight, respectively. There came heavy speculation that with a repeat win over Ortiz (31-1, 26KOs; 2NCs) would come such distinction at heavyweight, which the sport’s longest-reigning active WBC titlist has immediately resisted.

“Many people ask me about the franchise belt. I don’t know much about it,” Wilder (41-0-1, 40KOs) noted during a media workout session at his training facility in Northport, Alabama while preparing for his rematch with Ortiz, which headlines a Nov. 23 Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. “What I’m hearing, it allows you to stay a champion, you don’t have to fight mandatories and stuff like that. If that’s the case, I’m not interested.

“I want the mandatories. Guys work their way up, work hard to get to number two, and then become a mandatory. Why would you crown someone that doesn’t have to have mandatories?”

deontay-wilder-hafey (21)

Wilder will attempt the 10th defense of the title he claimed in a Jan. 2015 points win over Bermane Stiverne, having scored a 1st round knockout in their Nov. 2017 rematch among nine previous defenses. Their sequel came about as ordered by the WBC—albeit as a replacement opponent when his first fight with Ortiz was rescheduled. Wilder also satisfied his mandatory obligation in his most recent outing, a 1st round knockout of California’s Dominic Breazeale. The buildup was far more contentious than the fight itself, with the two having deep rooted history which bubbled over from the moment the fight was formally announced. 

“I love having mandatories, him having to sit, having to wait,” Wilder says of the process. “He get frustrated and then when the fight comes, you have me waiting all this time already. There’s always that buildup to thee fight. When you take that away, you take certain things away from boxing, you take the charisma away, you take the excitement away from it.

“That’s what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to take the excitement away from anyone. I’m a dangerous fighter, I have a devastating right hand. That’s all I’ve been doing my whole career, giving fans what they want to see, giving them devastating knockouts.”

Of course, Wilder can still bring that level of excitement into the ring no matter what title is at stake. Still, he likes the feeling of hoising an actual title above his head after each win, rather than being symbolized as a champion.

The distinction for Mexico’s Alvarez (53-1-2, 36KOs) allowed him to look elsewhere for his latest fight—moving up two weight divisions to knock out Sergey Kovalev for a light heavyweight title just last weekend—and leaves him obligation-free for his next ring adventure, at least as it relates to his status as World middleweight champion. The decision elevated Jermall Charlo from interim to full titlist in the process.

In the case of Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs), promotional outfit Top Rank Inc. specifically petitioned the WBC to bestow the Franchise title status upon the two-time Olympic Gold medalist and reigning three-belt lightweight titlist. The request came during the WBC annual convention in Cancun, despite erroneous reports from other outlets claiming the 31-year old southpaw was stripped of his title.

The ruling created a path for Lomachenko to accept any fight he wishes while angling for the winner of the Dec. 14 title fight between IBF lightweight title claimant Richard Commey (29-2, 26KOs) and unbeaten mandatory challenger Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11KOs). No longer factored into the equation is having to honor a mandatory defense versus then-WBC interim titlist Devin Haney (23-0, 15KOs), who—similar to Charlo—received email notification of his newfound status as a full beltholder.

That’s a level of nonsense the unbeaten heavyweight title claimant doesn’t wish to entertain.

“Hopefully, nothing comes my way about a franchise belt,” notes Wilder. “I don’t have nothing against guys that have taken it. I’m just listening to the fans and listening to my heart. I don’t think being a Franchise campion would fit me.

“If they want to give someone else that belt over mem, then I’m fine with that.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Gentblue on 11-09-2019

[QUOTE=juggernaut666;20173296]He never fought Povetkin and avoided him ,he was cleared to fight and won that court case . Technically theres a lot of things we can bring up about Wilder but its all the same old same old of a…

Comment by boxingfan4ever on 11-09-2019

[QUOTE=factsarenice;20173162]He refused White and will continue to refuse White, that's a fact.[/QUOTE] Whyte is a bum....Wilder is gonna Knock him easily

Comment by etech1 on 11-09-2019

[QUOTE=kushking;20172313]The franchise belt is some bs. But of course its more bs in certain cases over others. Canelo at least had the excuse that he wants to fight for titles at multiple weights & just like fmj used to be,hes…

Comment by FlyingFJ on 11-07-2019

[QUOTE=factsarenice;20173161]Wilder doesn't need a Franchise belt, the WBC only picks tomato cans for his Mandatory.[/QUOTE] You mentioned earlier that White (but infact Whyte) was Mando and if i believe you for a moment on these statement than Whyte is a…

Comment by j.razor on 11-07-2019

[QUOTE=REDEEMER;20172378]Wilder has only fought two mandatories so it doesn't effect him anyway, he's conning you guys again and are taking the bait. Ha Wilder dictates who his mandos are as well he even got Stiverne as a second one and…

Top Headlines
Lipinets-Abdukakhorov Postponed; Showtime Unlikely To Televise Fights 10/10 Juan Francisco Estrada Putting in Work For Cuadras Clash Michael Dutchover vs. Manuel Mendez Set For November 1 Tyson Fury Vows To Fight in 2020 - Against Wilder or Someone Else Turchi vs. Grisunins Tops Matchroom Italy Card on October 23, DAZN Frank Warren: Jose Ramirez Must Face Catterall or Vacate Title! Ronnie Shields: Jermall Will Fight Canelo At 168, 175, Wherever He Wants Lomachenko: Lopez Talks Too Much - If You Insult Me, Prepare For Pain Chisora: Tyson Fury Has Promised Me A Third Fight; He Owes It To Me Joshua Buatsi Expects Tough Clash With Marko Calic Chantelle Cameron Could See a War in Araujo WBC Title Clash Pacquiao: I'd Only Fight McGregor If I'm Co-Promoter of The Event Gamboa's Manager: Fight With Devin Haney Will Not Disappoint Bryan Polaco, Omar Rosario Grace Undercard Of October 2 Boxeo Telemundo Show Boxing's Competitive Health Merits Celebration Andy Ruiz Says Ring Return Pushed To 2021, Training With Reynoso Davis vs. Santa Cruz Moves To Oct. 31 In San Antonio With Fans In Attendance Usyk's Handlers Believe Joshua Will Vacate WBO Belt To Fight Fury Charles Conwell Hopes To Fight For a World Title By The End of Next Year Ohara Davies Edges Tyrone McKenna in Golden Contract Final Arum: Fury-Wilder III No Longer Scheduled For 12/19; Could Occur Earlier Devin Haney-Yuriorkis Gamboa: Announcement Imminent For 11/7 Fight Hearn: Joshua Will Go To Great Lengths To Make Fury Fight Happen Daniel Jacobs, Gabe Rosado Reach Agreement To Fight November 27 David Navarro, 2020 U.S. Olympic Alternate Signs With Split T's Tim VanNewhouse Jose Zepeda: I Want To Make It Clear That I Am Ready For Anybody Teixeira: If WBO Authorizes, I Will Be Happy To End Charlo's Career And Then Fight Castano Mikey Garcia: Manny Pacquiao Fighting Me Next 100%, Not Conor McGregor Ohara Davies: I'm Ready To Shut Everyone Up; I'm A Lot Better Than Fans Think Kane Baker Feels Mentally Ready For a Good "Tear Up" With Aqib Fiaz Linus Udofia: I Want To Show John Harding is Not On My Level Joshua: Fury Went Pro in 2008, Never Thought I Would Catch Up To Him News: Petros Ananyan, Atid Oberlton, Joe Ham, More Manny Pacquiao Ring Return Will Likely Require Some Fans in Venue Ivan Baranchyk: To Be The Best at 140 - That's My Motivation Cazares: I'll Knock Canelo's Freckles Off, Reynoso Can Pick Them Up! Canelo Alvarez Refiles Breach of Contract Suit Against DAZN, Golden Boy, De La Hoya Casimero Wants Inoue But Now Has Other Options, Says Gibbons Angel and Chavez Barrientes Discuss Upcoming PBC Bouts Edgar Berlanga's Promoter Hopes Bellows Will Last a Few Rounds
Latest Forum Threads