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WBC, WBO, IBF refuse to certify title fights with Russian or Belarusian fighters

No currently scheduled world title fights would be affected

wbc belt 6th gen
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

One day after the WBA announced a series of sanctions on Russian and Belarusian fighters, its fellow alphabet organizations released their own restrictions, namely a resolution to “not certify any championship fights involving boxers from Russia and Belarus.” The announcement is desperately short on specifics, such as whether fighters originally from those countries but now based elsewhere (like Artur Beterbiev) are included.

To the best of my knowledge, no currently booked title fights will be affected; Radzhab Butaev faces Eimantas Stanionis on April 16th and Dmitry Bivol takes on Canelo Alvarez on May 7th, but both fights exclusively feature WBA belts. That said, a clash between Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. is reportedly in the works, so these new rules may come into play sooner rather than later.

My personal view, which I’m sure you’re all dying to know, is that this seems excessive. It’s one thing to remove official national programs like soccer teams from competition, but it’s another to penalize completely independent athletes. Sanctions should affect those who instigated the incident and have the means to change its course, but these, like so many others, place the burden on the masses who had no say or role in the actions they’re being punished for.

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