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WBA orders three title fights

One matchup is an excellent rematch. The others suck.

Lucas Matthysse v Emmanuel Taylor Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The WBA is laying down the law this week, ordering a trio of title fights that includes filling two vacancies and giving a newly-minted champion his first opponent.

Up at welterweight, Lucas Matthysse (38-4, 35 KO) will face Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KO) for the “standard” title despite Keith Thurman owning the “Super” title and the sanctioning body claiming that it wants to reduce the number of belts in play. Kiram has an extremely Thai record and will most likely be mulched with extreme prejudice by “La Maquina.”

Seven pounds south, Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KO) must rematch Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19 KO) for the title formerly held by Terence Crawford. The two first fought in May, trading knockdowns before Bathelemy walked away with a controversial decision. Good, overdue fight.

Finally, Albert Machado (19-0, 16 KO), fresh off his comeback knockout of Jezreel Corrales, will begin negotiations with unbeaten Ghanaian Rafael Mensah (31-0, 23 KO). This one’s closer to Matthysse-Kiram in matchmaking, as Mensah has never fought outside of Ghana and has no standout wins to speak of.

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