Newly crowned WBA featherweight champion Lamont Roach Jr has a backlog of challengers to deal with. The WBA has given him 30 days to negotiate with Jono Carroll for his first title defense, the winner of which must then face Otar Eranosyan within 120 days.
Carroll (24-2-1, 7 KO) has won six straight since a 2-2 stretch saw him fall to to Tevin Farmer, smash Scott Quigg, then drop an upset to Maxi Hughes in the span of 17 months. His 2021 decision over Andy Vences put him behind Roger Gutierrez in the queue, but for reasons they don’t fully explain, Roach (24-1-1, 9 KO) got an eliminator of his own and subsequently jumped the queue to challenge and upset then-champion Hector Garcia.
The WBA then approved a “formal request” from Carroll to be named mandatory challenger. The fun doesn’t stop there, though, as the WBA had previously staged another eliminator last August that saw ShoBox vet Eranosyan (14-0, 7 KO) stop Gutierrez in eight.
It should be noted that neither Carroll’s nor Eranosyan’s fights made sense as eliminators; Vences was on a 1-2 skid going in and Gutierrez’s only win since losing to Garcia came over Dominican can-crusher Henry Delgado. Just goes to show that while they phased out the world, interim, and gold champs, there’s still some of that classic WBA magic to be found.