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WBC puts 168-pound title up for grabs between Ward and Dirrell

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Carl Froch won't be getting an immediate chance to regain the title he lost to Mikkel Kessler. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
Carl Froch won't be getting an immediate chance to regain the title he lost to Mikkel Kessler. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
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Despite early reports that the now-vacant WBC super middleweight title would be contested on October 2 between former beltholder Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham, the sanctioning body surprised many yesterday when they decided to put their belt in the mix when Andre Ward fights Andre Dirrell.

Ward and Dirrell are currently slated to fight on September 25, but that seems less likely every day. Showtime threatened legal action if the fight doesn't happen by early October.

Overall, the whole way the WBC did this deal is so transparent that it's hilarious. They're putting their belt up between Ward and Dirrell. Dirrell is already ranked as No. 1 contender by the WBC, so in a way it makes sense that he gets the crack at the belt, even though Ward holds the WBA "super world" title, and the WBC and all the other sanctioning bodies generally hate unification of belts. So instead of sanctioning Froch (ranked #2 by the WBC) and Abraham (#3) for the vacant belt, they're making their fight an eliminator, with the winner being owed -- as if they have a choice given their current contracts with Showtime for the Super Six -- a title shot at the Ward-Dirrell winner.

So what does that mean? Easy, and I'm sure you've figured it out by now.

Instead of the WBC dipping into the purses of Froch and Abraham to secure sanctioning fees, they get money from Froch, Abraham, Dirrell and Ward. And that, folks, is how boxing "works."

Kessler has also been named "Champion Emeritus" as expected, meaning he can get a shot at the belt as soon as he returns from injury. He was also named "Ambassador of Good Will," which is nice, I guess.