Opinion | Jul 05 2019

The race for Canelo Alvarez

In his Snips & Snipes column Eric Armit considers Canelo Alvarez, the WBC's ludicrous 'Franchise' title and more
Canelo Alvarez
Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

THERE seems to be no end to the greed and stupidity of the major sanctioning bodies. It does not matter how many or how contrived the existing titles are there is always room for more titles and for more sanctioning fees. When at cruiserweight the WBA found they had four champions but only three “world” titles – super, secondary and interim -they invented a Gold title. This from the guys who proudly trumpeted their intention to have only one champion in every division. Hypocrisy rules OK. Of course if the WBA have a new title then the WBO have to have one as well. We have already had Gold, Silver and Diamond titles foisted on us so the WBO to top those have introduced a Global title. According to my dictionary Global means “worldwide”. Which raises the question of what a World title covers? I pity any boxing enthusiast who finds himself trying to explain to someone who does not follow boxing just what the difference is  between being a World champion and a Global champion.The latest effort from the WBC just beggars belief. They have now designated Saul Alvarez as their “Franchise Champion”. According to the WBC missive their Franchise Champion (and of course there will be yet more Franchise Champions to follow) 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’s fights. WBC will approve through the Franchise champion’s promoter every opponent scheduled to fight.”

What that means is that even if Saul Alvarez were to challenge Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light-heavyweight title then as it involves their Franchise champion, that fight will be under the rules and regulations of the WBC – even though Alvarez is the challenger and fighting out of his division – and the WBC will have to approve of Kovalev or any other fighter/champion who intends to fight Alvarez. No mention there of who gets the sanctioning fee! I can’t imagine the IBF, WBA or WBO accepting such a thing and neither can I envisage Alvarez walking away from a big fight for an IBF, WBA or WBO title just because the WBC have invented a title aimed at associating themselves with every title Alvarez fights for. As if that is not bad enough the WBC reserves the right to also recognise a (another) champion in a division or divisions in which Alvarez (or any other Franchise champion they may appoint) competes and that effectively could mean the WBC having a world champion and a Franchise champion in as many divisions as they like and so devaluing the title even further.

Canelo Alvarez
Canelo unfies against Danny Jacobs Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions