Boxing - WBA 'could ditch interim belts'

The WBA is seriously considering abandoning their practice of recognising ‘interim’ world champions, according to a report.

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Boxing - WBA 'could ditch interim belts'
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The WBA world heavyweight boxing belt (Reuters)

Fightnews reports that WBA executive vice president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza wants to phase out the stand-in titles completely by 2014.

The ‘interim’ belts were initially used to establish an active champion when the reigning title holder was inactive due to injuries, and to line up an automatic contender upon his return.

But the boxing board, who currently have 36 reigning world champions across the sport’s 17 weight classes, have ‘super’ and ‘interim’ title holders as well as ‘regular’ champs.

Some divisions, such as the 126lb featherweight class, have as many as three different boxers recognised as titlists of the WBA – Indonesia’s Chris John as ‘super’ champion, Jamaican Nicholas Walters as the ‘regular’ champion, and Dominican Javier Fortuna as the ‘interim’ champion.

England also have two WBA ‘interim’ champions in the form of middleweight Martin Murray, who will challenge the WBC’s lineal kingpin Sergio Martinez in Argentina on April 27, and super-bantam Scott Quigg, who hopes to receive a cast-iron world title opportunity soon.

In recent years, the WBA has also crowned interim champions in countries including Panama, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru among others.

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