WBA President Gilberto Mendoza has claimed that the under-fire Panamanian sanctioning body will finally reduce its number of world title belts.
Currently, the WBA has 45 ‘world’ champions (Super, Regular and Interim) across boxing’s 17 weight divisions including two ‘Champions In Recess’ (Gervonta Davis holds WBA belts at 130lbs, 135lbs and 14Olbs). The organisation also lists 12 ‘Gold’ champions across the weights.
Mendoza previously claimed the number of titles would be reduced in January 2016 shortly before placing a bulk order for more belts. But Mendoza says he will now finally bow to public pressure and reduce the number of WBA titles from October.
“A plan is coming, we are not looking to do it for popularity, but we are going to definitely reduce the number of titles,” Mendoza told ESPN Deportes.
“That flexibility that we had with the titles, we are going to eliminate it little by little. It is something that the public has asked for, even if I am not one hundred percent in agreement with that change. I feel that with more titles we give the fighters more opportunities, but I understand that the public is very important [to boxing].
“I know that on other occasions I have said [the same] and I have not been able to fulfil that, but now I am going to do it. I’m saying this with my feet on the ground – after having analysed the numbers, after having analysed the situation that has been generated and the number of controversies there have been, and with respect to the level of legal conflicts it will also simplify things for the WBA.
“I am not telling you that I am going to stay with a single champion [in each weight class], but yes, most of the divisions I am going to stay [with a sole champion]. It is a difficult plan, I hope that in October we will start it, I do not know how long it can take. I do not know in which divisions the Interim belts will be removed and in which divisions the Regular and the Super champions will remain.
“We are going to strengthen the Gold belts that we have,” added Mendoza ominously.
Main image: Alamy/Press Association.