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Radzhab Butaev vs Alexander Besputin coming for WBA ‘world’ title

The Russian prospects have a deal but no date yet.

Radzhab Butaev defeats TyKeem Sadler Archive Bill Tompkins/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Remember when the WBA gave lip service to the idea of cutting down on its ridiculous amount of “champions”? Well, if the fact that they never really did anything about that after saying it, combined with the addition of “gold” champions, didn’t tell you that that was bullshit, this news should fully cement it for you and hopefully convince you to just forget the WBA ever lied about that in the first place.

ESPN reports that — thank God — the WBA won’t be sitting here with just one world champion at 147 pounds for too long, as they’ll put the vacant “world” title up for grabs between Russians Radzhab Butaev and Alexander Besputin this fall, likely in October.

You’ll recall that Manny Pacquiao previously had that belt, but “unified” with the “super world” title by beating Keith Thurman on July 20. The WBA had previously approved Butaev-Besputin to be for an interim belt, I guess in case Thurman and Pacquiao went to a draw, but now that the “world” belt is free, why not?

Don’t let all this comedic negativity turn you off from the fight itself, though, because it’s a good one. Butaev (12-0, 9 KO) and Besputin (13-0, 9 KO) are both legit prospects. The 28-year-old Besputin is a bit older and has received more buzz because he’s a Top Rank fighter, while the 25-year-old Butaev’s pro career has been a bit quieter, but both guys have actual potential, they’re not scrubs.

Hopefully the WBA will soon realize they do not have a “gold” champion at 147 and also move swiftly to rectify that.

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