By Mark Elezaj
The WBC has made boxing’s issues with all of the different world titles even more confusing. They just made a huge change to the middleweight title picture by introducing a brand new title.
The WBC has appointed Canelo Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) their new WBC Franchise middleweight champion.
“We’re very happy and glad that Canelo is being recognized,” Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN Thursday. “We think it’s an honor for Canelo to be elevated to franchise champion. It goes to show that he is being recognized for all of his accomplishments.”
The WBC explained their reasoning for the move:
“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,” stated the sanctioning body.
“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.”
They also outlined the different 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.
So, what does this new championship mean?
As the new WBC Franchise Champion, Canelo no longer has to make mandatory defenses against different challengers. He is now able to fight the best at 160 and 168 lbs.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told ESPN Thursday that they are “trying to provide an avenue to enhance boxing and to grow the industry. We are making a rule, a status, to bring clarity, not to confuse.”
By the WBC making Canelo their Franchise champion, the current interim champion Jermall Charlo, will now become the new middleweight champion.
Here’s what the WBC said about Charlo being appointed the new WBC 160 pound champion:
“With Canelo’s appointment as Franchise Champion WBC interim champion Jermall Charlo is now confirmed as WBC middleweight champion of the world.”
Charlo, (28-0, 21 KOs), who is regarded as one of boxing’s best fighters at 160 pounds as well as one of the the strongest punchers in the division, will make his first defense of his new title against Brandon Adams this Saturday night, in the main event of a Showtime televised card from the NRG Arena in Houston.
Canelo is scheduled to fight again later this year. He was in negotiations with Golovkin for a third fight this September, but there has been no deal reached yet. Other names being mentioned as possible opponents for Canelo are Sergey Kovalev, Demetrius Andrade or Callum Smith.
~ The Fighting Voice ~