Stop me if you’ve heard this before; the WBA will begin enforcing a reduction policy for it’s numerous champion titles according to president Gilbert Mendoza. ESPN reports that as one of the four recognized major sanctioning bodies the WBA currently hands out up to three different versions of a world title (interim, regular, and super) but will only continue awarding two of those three going forward. Mendoza mentions ‘financial constraints’ as being one of the motivating factors behind this initiative while also acknowledging that fans don’t really like having multiple champions per division, particularly within the same organization.
But if this announcement sounds at all familiar, it’s because it is. Five years ago Mendoza made the very same pledge about reducing the number of world champions within the organization, but this time Mendoza says he really means it.
“I know that I have said it before in multiple occasions, and I haven’t been able to keep my promise. I’ll do it now, though. I’m saying this with my feet on the ground and after assessing financials, after assessing the situation and all the controversies. Besides, this measure will also make things easier for the association, from a legal conflict standpoint. I’m not saying that I will keep a single champion, though, but that’s the way I’ll operate with most divisions.”
Mendoza claims his enforcement of the WBA’s new reduction policy will begin this fall, looking at October, but says it will be a difficult plan to enact and he can’t readily say which division will have the ‘interim’ champions phased out versus having the ‘regular’ championship title removed. Based upon my own experience, I wouldn’t hold my breath.