Jose Sulaiman of the WBC has offered a public statement on the Timothy Bradley situation, which we've discussed plenty recently. Bradley (27-0, 11 KO) won the WBC junior welterweight title in January from Devon Alexander, and this week was effectively stripped of the title, allowing the WBC to ridiculously sanction a fight between Erik Morales and Jorge Barrios for the open belt at 140 pounds.
But Sulaiman says that Bradley has not been removed, only pushed to the back as "champion in recess." He cites Bradley's current legal dispute with promoters Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson, plus his stated desires to move up to welterweight, as reasons to open a belt for Morales. Oh, and for Barrios, too. Yes, for Barrios.
None of Sulaiman's statement makes clear why the WBC chose to sanction Morales vs Barrios. So even if you understand their reasons for opening a belt ($$$$$) that Bradley rightly holds, if we're being fair and real (I know, it's boxing), there is no way to explain Barrios being sanctioned for a title fight. None.
As we've said before, Morales is ranked No. 3 in the division. Barrios is ranked nowhere in the WBC's top 40. Barrios has never fought at 140 pounds. He's also not ranked at 135 pounds by the WBC. So how does he qualify?
Furthermore, there are two fighters facing off on September 30 in a previously-approved WBC eliminator. Those fighters are No. 2-ranked Ajose Olusegun and No. 6-ranked Ali Chebah. Why aren't they fighting for the belt? They're highly ranked. One of them is higher than Morales.
A couple of things you can expect: The WBC will probably find a way to rank Barrios, by which I mean they'll just rank him. Also, the WBC will, when some of the criticism dies down, strongly hype Morales' push to become the first-ever Mexican "world champion" in four weight classes.
Sulaiman and the WBC may be able to explain the decision made about Timothy Bradley. But they cannot explain why Jorge Barrios is fighting for the vacant title, because it makes no sense and doesn't add up. It's a blatantly biased decision favoring Erik Morales over the likes of Olusegun and Chebah.