Scotland's Ricky Burns has been promoted from "interim champion" to "champion" by the WBO, which drew a great deal of bizarre applause on Twitter this morning, including Francis (not Frank) Warren saying that it had been a "long time coming," which is pretty funny when you consider that Burns had his first major fight as a lightweight in November, beating Michael Katsidis for the interim belt, but hold on a minute! It really doesn't even mean as much as it appears to mean even noting that Burns "won" the belt in a board room!
That's because Juan Manuel Marquez is apparently the "WBO super champion" at lightweight now, according to Fightnews.com:
Marquez said he has been talking to WBO President Francisco Valcarcel and been assured that the WBO lightweight "super" world championship title remains with him. Mexican and international media published the recognition that made Burns regular WBO lightweight champion and Marquez was informed immediately and began the search for the correct information.
I'm pretty amused by the idea of Marquez hearing the Ricky Burns news and losing his mind, phoning everyone he could to find out the real scoop, but I'm not really surprised by, well, any of this.
The good news for the WBO is soon they'll be able to introduce another interim title! Also, Burns' March 10 fight with Paulus Moses will be for the official, real, regular, normal, in-between "world championship."
The good news for Burns is he gets to walk around acting like he did something. Burns is a good fighter and seems like a really great fellow, but I mean, come on. This is no way to "win a championship," even in boxing.
The good news for Marquez is he holds on to his status with the WBO, for whatever reason he might have, and this will allow him to focus on the mass injustice of the WBA stripping him of his lightweight title. He wants to be THEIR "super champion," too.
The best news of all? Marquez may very well never, ever fight at 135 pounds again. The most recent Marquez news has been his keen interest in a fight with 140-pound titlist Lamont Peterson, which would serve as sort of a "Pacquiao Eliminator" for the guys who appear to have finished third and fourth in the Race for Manny on June 9. There's really not a lot left for the 38-year-old Marquez to do at 135 pounds, where he's still the recognized Ring Magazine champion.
And, well, the thing is, Marquez hasn't defended his lightweight belts since November 2010. What was he expecting? Preferential treatment? Yes, probably.