Erislandy Lara is now the full, "regular" WBA junior middleweight champion OF THE WORLD, according to a report at Fighthype, which means little other than Lara's likely May 2 fight against Ishe Smith will now be for the "regular" WBA title instead of the interim WBA title that Lara won by beating Alfredo Angulo in June of last year, and defended against Austin Trout in December.
Here's how this has all shaken out over the last five years:
- In 2009, Yuri Foreman beat Daniel Santos for the WBA regular junior middleweight title.
- In 2010, Miguel Cotto beat Yuri Foreman.
- Somewhere between his June 2010 win over Foreman and his March 2011 defense against Ricardo Mayorga, Cotto was elevated to "super champion" status. Usually this is reserved for WBA titleholders who have unified that title with one from the WBC, WBO, or IBF, but not in this case, though I do recall Cotto carrying around some piece of tin called the Galactic Championship or something around that time. Maybe they counted that.
- In February 2011, Austin Trout beat Rigoberto Alvarez for the vacant WBA regular junior middleweight title.
- In May 2012, Cotto was defeated by Mayweather, who became the super champion as a result. Trout remained regular champion until losing that belt to Canelo Alvarez in April 2013.
- As a result, Alvarez held the WBC and WBA regular titles, but was not made a "super champion," because Mayweather was already super champion, and making Mayweather super DUPER champion seemed a little silly, unlike the rest of this.
- Because they only had a super champion (Mayweather) and a regular & unified champion (Alvarez), the WBA decided that an interim champion was necessary, so Lara fought Angulo last June, and won the vacant interim title, which was less valuable than the regular title, which was less valuable than the regular + unified title held by the same man, which was less valuable than the super title.
- Mayweather beat Alvarez in September 2013 to unify his WBA super title with the WBC title and the WBA regular title. That means there was technically not a regular champion.
- And so Erislandy Lara has been named regular champion. We do not yet know which two fighters the WBA will choose to fight for the next interim title. Perhaps Anthony Mundine and Joshua Clottey can get get their mitts on that for their April 2 fight.