With the WBC recently holding their annual convention, the sanctioning body has announced a series of rulings which outlines their plans for each respective division. Check out what Matchroom promoter had to say on a few hot topics...
On the WBC ruling that Dillian Whyte won’t get his mandatory title shot until Feb. 2021:
“Yeah, I woke up to that this morning. I thought someone had reported it wrong. So our guys are in Cancun at the convention and I talked to them after this press conference and I don’t understand it. I mean we’ve had a ruling where he fights the winner of Wilder-Fury, which takes place in February. And not apparently it’s 2021.
“But it’s all irrelevant because they’re probably just gonna make Deontay Wilder ‘Franchise Champion’ anyway. So, like, the whole thing is just bizarre. Similar situation with Devin Haney, where he’s been working hard to get himself up the world rankings because he wants a shot at Lomachenko. And he’s got to that mandatory position, and now that’s evaporated. You know, how can you chase greatness if once you get there you can’t actually touch the greatness and give yourself a chance against this?
“So I don’t understand it. Devin Haney is world champion, we’re all delighted, and I don’t worry about him so much because he’s so young and he’s gonna create his own legacy of beating all the top guys, but he would rather fight Vasiliy Lomachenko then be given this world champion status.”
On if the WBC’s ‘Franchise Champion’ situation might make it impossible to crown an an undisputed heavyweight champion:
“[Yes] If [Wilder] was moved to ‘Franchise Champion’, which I believe the winner of Wilder-Fury, if it happens, will be elevated to Franchise Champion. But, again, the whole point, the creme de la creme is to have unified fights and undisputed fights and I think that’s being taken away from the sport because the WBC champion — you know, [Jermall] Charlo is the WBC world middleweight champion, he’s in the same position as Devin Haney. He would rather fight Canelo, you know, so order the fight.
“If you’re ‘Franchise Champion’ and you lose, you’re still ‘Franchise Champion.’ I mean that’s just because they want you to carry their belt...this is all wrong in my opinion. The only one that can justify this is the one representing the champion. So Bob Arum says ‘This is great, why should Lomachenko fight a mandatory?’ Well how is that motivating young fighters who are trying to climb their way up the rankings to fight great fighters. Now you’ve got no chance of fighting a great fighter unless the public want it or you’re in the same camp as that fighter. Too many politics.”
On Callum Smith looking like he might get the chance to unify super middleweight titles with David Benavidez:
“...going in 2046. I mean, that was another ruling at the convention where I sat in that convention a year ago today and asked that Callum Smith be ordered to face David Benavidez. Callum Smith has had 13 WBC championship fights, and when he went into the [World Boxing Super Series] we were told that as a ‘Diamond’ champion they’d make him against the [world] champion...Now, this year, went back to them and said ‘Please, we’ve had another two WBC fights, can Benavidez now fight Callum Smith?’ And they say ‘Yeah, after he’s fought Yildirim’, which is his mandatory — fair dues — ‘he’s allowed another one, and then after that we’ll order it.’
“I mean, you’re talking about a year-and-a-half so I don’t know what Callum Smith’s got to do to try and get that Benavidez fight. He wants to win the WBC world title...and probably when that comes around Benavidez will probably be made ‘Franchise Champion.’
“The truth is, who it infuriates is the people that follow boxing and understand the system and know the champions. Casual fans just wanna see a great fight...You think a casual fan cares if there’s a WBC ‘silver’ belt on the line between Chisora-Price on Saturday night? No!”
On the Eubank Jr-Korobov fight and if that could ruin plans for potential unification fights with his fighters like Saunders or Smith:
“I don’t call it a unification. He’s IBO world champion, which, again, I respect the IBO but you cannot unify with the IBO against another title. But Chris Eubank Jr. was supposed to fight three times this year, he hasn’t fought since February. He hasn’t been injured, he hasn’t been out, and now he fights a guy in Matt Korobov who is a good fighter, who no one has ever heard of. He’s fighting on December 7th, the same night as AJ — no one’s gonna be watching, no one’s gonna be in the arena, and he might lose.
“We’re trying to offer him proper world championship fights against Billy Joe Saunders, Callum Smith, Demetrius Andrade, and he’s now in a fight where if he loses, they’re all gone...I’m not criticizing him for having a tough fight, ‘cause for me he’s gonna lose the fight, but why would you fight Korobov on that setup when you could be fighting Billy Joe Saunders at the O2 or Arsenal, or Callum Smith at Anfield? But if we start trying to understand the Eubanks, we’ve got more chance understanding the governing bodies to be honest with you.”