December 31, 2017
December 31, 2017
WBA rankings

Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

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THE WBA’s heavyweight rankings are a credit to the sport of boxing,” said some complete and utter idiot.

“Like many other weight classes,” he continued, “the WBA recognise two world champions at heavyweight. And, as we all know, the boxing world needs a s**tload of world champions in the same division.”

Indeed, thank goodness for the WBA.

Because seven months after sanctioning Anthony Joshua’s victory over Wladimir Klitschko for the vacant ‘super’ title and two months after sanctioning Joshua’s first defence against Carlos Takam and charging sanctioning fees in both contests, the WBA sanctioned Manuel Charr’s victory over Alexander Ustinov for their ‘world’ title and charged sanctioning fees for that one too.

“I know,” said the complete and utter idiot. “Brilliant!”

Of course, it all explains why the WBA need multiple world champions in the same division. Because since 2011 when the WBA decided to recognise two world champions instead of one, the WBA have made loads more cash in sanctioning fees, even if it has endorsed spurious claims from the likes of Manuel Charr to the world heavyweight championship in the process.

“But Manuel Charr deserved the chance to be world heavyweight champion,” objected the complete and utter idiot. “The guy won a 10-round decision over unbeaten Sefer Seferi 14 months ago for f**k’s sake! About time he got a shot!”

But Seferi was 38 and had barely beaten anyone with a winning record. And didn’t Charr get stopped by Maris Breidis in five rounds recently?

“Yes!” exclaimed the complete and utter idiot. “But Breidis is a just a cruiserweight. No way Charr should have been penalised for losing to a smaller opponent! It was relief when the WBA saw sense and quickly restored Charr’s lofty placing.”

Indeed, thank goodness for the WBA.

Below the two champions we have the mandatory contender, Fres Oquendo, who hasn’t fought for three-and-a-half years. Yes, the WBA’s leading challenger has been inactive since the summer of 2014. Back then England football team limped out of the World Cup Finals at the first stage. Since, they’ve have had three different managers, and qualified for the next World Cup.

“I know!” shouted the complete and utter idiot. “If Oquendo doesn’t receive his crack at the title before England win the World Cup at Russia 2018, it will be an absolute travesty!”

The next contender in line is Alexander Povetkin. The Russian experienced an incredible career turnaround after being dominated over 12 rounds by Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. He turned his stocky body into a ripped wrecking machine, flattening all-comers with never-before-seen power as he became quicker and stronger than ever before at the age of 36. Problem was, of course, he also kept failing drug tests. A proven cheat, with multiple offences, was welcomed back by the WBA with open arms.

“What was strange, though, was how Povetkin looked in his most recent contest,” pondered the complete and utter idiot. “I’m not sure what caused it, but the Russian displayed none of the breakneck clout of his drug-taking days while struggling to a lacklustre points win over Christian Hammer a few weeks ago.”

These really are the rankings that keep on giving. Further down at No. 9 we have BJ Flores, who, after being stopped in three rounds by then-WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew in 2016, began a comeback at heavyweight. He’s won two since, a six-round points win over 14-9-2 Nick Guivas (age 39) coming hot on the heels of a one-round battering of 43-year-old Jeremy Bates. Not the former tennis player Jeremy Bates, who the whole of Great Britain urged to be a bit better than he was in the 1980s and 90s as he peaked at No. 54 in the world rankings, but one considerably worse at his chosen discipline.

“But Flores smashed Bates and talks a good game,” enthused the complete and utter idiot. “And when a heavyweight flattens him, they will be able to claim they beat one of the best heavyweights on the planet.”

It doesn’t end there. At No. 10 is Guillermo Jones, 45 and somehow in contention. Since being suspended from the sport in 2013 for testing positive for a banned substance, the WBA now believe he is among the best heavyweights on the planet. Surely things aren’t that bad. Surely.

“But he’s in red hot form!” exclaimed the complete and utter idiot. “He outpointed Daniel Cota over 10 rounds, edged the formidable Garrett Wilson via six-round majority decision, and managed to get the split nod against Ytalo Perea after 11 rounds.”

This can’t go on. Somewhere in these rankings, there must be some light at end of the tunnel. Some reason for Anthony Joshua to defend the title. Who is at No. 13?

“Ah yes!” said the complete and utter idiot while rubbing his hands together.

“Charles Martin.”