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WBA upgrades Regis Prograis to ‘super’ champ, orders Barrios-Akhmedov for ‘world’ belt

Barrios and Akhmedov are undefeated and the top two WBA contenders

Barrios vs. Lopez Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The WBA are cretins, news at 11:00.

According to The Athletic, the sanctioning body has upgraded super lightweight champion Regis Prograis to “super” champion and ordered #1 Mario Barrios to fight #2 Batyr Akhmedov for the regular title. This is despite them having a “gold” champion in Yves Ulysse Jr.

Barrios (24-0, 16 KO), a 24-year-old PBC regular who’s gone from freakishly lanky 130-pounder to reasonably sized 140-pounder, is in the midst of a seven-fight knockout streak, including a two-round stoppage of Juan Jose Velasco last month on the Jarrett Hurd-Julian Williams undercard. He’s been inching towards welterweight in recent years, fighting between 141 and 143, but I’d imagine even a pretend title is sufficient incentive to stay put.

Akhmedov (7-0, 6 KO) reached the Rio quarterfinals at super lightweight, representing Turkey under the name Batuhan Gözgeç. Though he’s only been a professional for just over two years, his 2018 knockout of Ismael Barroso is arguably more significant than any of Barrios’ victories.

Like Coppinger says in that tweet: more nonsense from the WBA, but at least we’re getting a genuinely interesting fight out of it.

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