Move over, Elric of Melniboné; there’s a new Eternal Champion in town.
Whatever cursed trinket caused the WBA to yearn for ever more belts to fill the gaping voids in their hearts and heads, someone in the WBC got hold of it. The sanctioning body today unveiled its new “Franchise Champion” designation, with Canelo Alvarez serving as the flagship titlist.
After the sort of hagiography that should torpedo any claim the WBC ever makes to being neutral, they laid out the deets.
1. The Franchise Champion designation is exclusively by appointment of the WBC Board of Governors by a majority vote of the board.
2. This designation is not transferable and is exclusively to the fighter who receives such designation.
3. The Franchise Champion will be designated as WBC Emeritus Champion once he retires from boxing.
4. The Franchise Champion will proudly represent the WBC in every single fight as a reigning WBC champion, regardless of any specific conditions or titles being associated with all future fights. WBC rules and regulations will govern under the traditional conditions of boxing in the Franchise champion fights. WBC will approve through the franchise champion promoter every opponent scheduled to fight.
5. Franchise Champion agrees to participate in a minimum of two social responsibility events every year, organized and in conjunction with the WBC.
6. The WBC may recognize a WBC champion in the division or divisions where the Franchise champion currently competes.
7. The WBC may award a Diamond Championship belt in those fights in which the Franchise Champion engages. If the Franchise Champion loses, the winner will receive the Diamond belt and may be considered as mandatory contender of the division.
I may be reading this wrong, but the whole “represent the WBC in every single fight as a reigning WBC champion, regardless of any specific conditions or titles” thing suggests that Canelo is now champion forever, whether he loses or not. Plus, the WBC now having the final say on who Canelo fights sounds like a terrible idea on more levels than I can properly enunciate without setting something on fire.
As far as his old “regular” title, that now belongs to former interim champ Jermall Charlo, who defends his new belt this Saturday against Brandon Adams. Considering Canelo’s “special status”, I don’t foresee the WBC ordering them to “unify” anytime soon.
Can’t wait for the IBF “Emperor Champion” and WBO “Ultra Mega Champion 9000.”