As part of the WBA’s ‘World Title Reduction Plan’, they have ordered Regular champion, Daniel Dubois, to face Super champion, Oleksandr Usyk.
The news comes as Usyk – who holds the rest of the heavyweight belts bar one – is deep in negotiations for an undisputed fight against WBC champion, Tyson Fury.
Whilst it’s expected that the WBA will allow a fight against Fury for all the titles to take precedence, the sanctioning body are yet to confirm this.
Dubois won his ‘regular’ title in June of this year by knocking out Trevor Bryan in four rounds, and successfully defended it in a nail-biter with former cruiserweight, Kevin Lerena.
The 25-year-old from London is expected to be first in the queue when mandatory title shots are called – with the last WBA fight of the sort being Anthony Joshua defending the belt against Alexander Povetkin in 2018.
The IBF, however, have already ordered Usyk to face their mandatory in Filip Hrgovic and that looks to be heading to purse bids if an agreement can’t be reached.
Joe Joyce is WBO Interim Champion, but is last in the queue in theory because Usyk was the WBO mandatory when he won the belts from Joshua.
The WBC have publicly given their blessing to the undisputed bout, and are setting up a final eliminator between their number one and number two contenders to determine who will get the title shot in due course.
The admin perhaps shows the mess and struggle that comes with unifying all of the belts in a division. Whilst the WBA’s pursuit to reduce the number of unnecessary titles is a noble one, it’s coming at a crucial time and looks unlikely to happen.
Meanwhile, the Fury and Usyk talks continue. It’s believed that – should things continue to go well and issues like this one are solved with the sanctioning bodies – an official announcement may be made before the turn of the year.