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WBA clears way for Erislandy Lara vs Danny Garcia on August 5th, winner must face Zerafa

Erislandy Lara was elevated to full middleweight champion after Gennadiy Golovkin vacated his title

Gervonta Davis v Rolando Romero Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Back in February, the WBA ordered Gennadiy Golovkin to finally defend his “super” middleweight title against “world” champion Erislandy Lara. “GGG” elected to vacate instead, leaving Lara as the sanctioning body’s sole champion at 160. With top contender Michael Zerafa negotiating a vacant IBF title fight against Esquiva Falcao, it wasn’t clear where Lara would go from there.

Zerafa ultimately withdrew from those negotiations, prompting the WBA to order a fight with Lara. Now that too has gone by the wayside, as the WBA granted Lara a “Special Permit” to instead defend against Danny Garcia on August 5th. The winner must then face Zerafa within 120 days.

According to the WBA rules in section C.16, it states that the body may modify the periods of mandatory defenses for good cause, either in response to a request for a Special Permit, or on its own initiative. On the other hand, rule C.46.a states that the WBA may modify or suspend the strict application of these rules when the WBA deems it justified in its sole discretion to accommodate special circumstances. The rules also state that the agency may require conditions for granting a permit.

What are the “special circumstances” that justify giving a title shot to a guy with zero (0) middleweight wins whose only appearance above 147 was a decision over Jose Benavidez Jr last July? That justify doing so when we haven’t seen a WBA middleweight mandatory get his shot in years? Hell if I know. Hopefully they at least won’t go through with Garcia’s (37-3, 21 KO) idiotic idea to hold it at a 155-lb catchweight.

My belief that the entire division should be abolished grows less ironic by the day. Still, at least it’s a damn sight more appealing than Lara’s (29-3-3, 17 KO) garbage fights with “Cornflake” LaManna and Spike O’Sullivan.

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