Crazy as it sounds, the WBA has been surprisingly non-wretched this last year or two. Save for Gervonta Davis and David Morrell Jr, plus special circumstances like Rolando Romero’s injury, they’ve been proactive about cutting down on the number of extraneous belts in play. Their rankings aren’t any more putrid than the other sanctioning bodies, either. I’d go as far as to say that the WBC has supplanted them as the worst of the lot.
That said, old habits die hard. Gilberto Mendoza and co. voted last night to establish their own version of the much-reviled Bridgerweight division; it’s got the same upper limit as the WBC’s (224 pounds), but bottoms out at the cruiserweight limit of 200 instead of 191.
“The WBA ranking committee has already begun working on the creation of the rankings for this weight and the first divisional match-ups will be announced soon.”
It’s still a stupid concept, as seen by the fact that former cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk weighed in at 221 and spanked the WBA’s “world” heavyweight titlist in Daniel Dubois. The talent pool for this division is guys who couldn’t cut it at cruiserweight or heavyweight; it doesn’t facilitate heretofore infeasible matches, it just produces more sanctioning fees.
In a way, though, I’m kinda happy that the WBA didn’t sand off all its rough edges. It’s like when Marcos Maidana turned into a semi-functional boxer near the end of his career but would still throw the occasional looping murder punch from a mile away. There’s charm in maintaining some pieces of their identity.