WBA convention report

Update on WBA title fights


WBA convention report

By Scott Shaffer

In an election result that was considerably more  predictable than the upcoming United States presidential election, Gilberto Mendoza was reelected WBA president during that sanctioning body’s convention in the Ukraine.  Of more direct interest to boxing fans, WBA championship chairman Renzo Bagnariol presented a division-by-division report of the WBA title picture and the upcoming bouts that will be sanctioned.  The report raised the possibility that Felix Trinidad might seek to take the middleweight belt from the relatively anonymous regular titlist, Maselino Masoe.  Here is the WBA title picture in all 17 weight classes.

Heavyweight:  John Ruiz (rated #4 by Boxingtalk) will defend his title against Andrew Golota (Boxingtalk #9) on November 13, 2004 with the winner required to face Hasim Rahman (Boxingtalk #10) within six months after that.  Rahman has a bout scheduled with Kali Meehan (Boxingtalk #23).
Cruiserweight:  Jean Marc Mormeck’s unification bout with WBC champ Wayne Braithwaite (Boxingtalk #2) is still on despite a foot injury to Mormeck (Boxingtalk #1) that postponed the original date.  Promoter Don King will provide a new date shortly.
Light heavyweight: Dariusz Michalczewski’s (Boxingtalk #6)
mandatory challenge is due by February 26, 2004.  Fabrice Tiozzo (Boxingtalk #8) is the WBA’s current titlist.
Super middleweight:  Manuel Siaca (Boxingtalk #5) is scheduled to defend his belt against Mads Larsen (Boxingtalk #2) on October 29, 2004.
Middleweight: Bernard Hopkins (Boxingtalk #1), of course, is the super champion.  The WBA writes that Don King is trying to make a bout between the regular champion, Maselino Masoe (Boxingtalk #11), and Puerto Rican superstar Felix Trinidad (Boxingtalk #2).  While Masoe is not an unreasonable opponent for Trinidad in the second bout of his comeback, beating Masoe would not make Trinidad a legitimate champion by any stretch of the imagination so long as Bernard Hopkins continues to rule the 160-pound class with an iron fist.
Junior middleweight: Winky Wright (Boxingtalk #1) is the super champion and is set to face Shane Mosley in a rematch in November.  The regular champion, Travis Simms (Boxingtalk #6), must also provide a rematch to the man he beat for the title, Alex Garcia (Boxingtalk #15) within next the ninety days. 
Welterweight: Cory Spinks (Boxingtalk #1) is the super champion.  Regular champion Jose Rivera (Boxingtalk #8) had to postpone his mandatory against Thomas Damgaard (Boxingtalk #15) when Rivera suffered an injury that will prevent him from fighting until at least December.  Promoter Don King, who won the purse bid, will provide a new date shortly.
Junior Welterweight: This weight class was apparently left out of the report, but Vivian Harris (Boxingtalk #5 entering Saturday’s bout) defends his belt in Germany against Oktay Urkal (Boxingtalk #9) on Saturday. The winner must face mandatory challenger Souleymane M’Baye (Boxingtalk #18 entering this week’s action),
who won an eliminator on Thursday.
Lightweight: Juan Diaz (Boxingtalk #5) defends his title against Julien Lorcy (Boxingtalk #16) on November 4, 2004.
Junior Lightweight: Yodsanan Nanthachai (Boxingtalk #2) must defend his title against mandatory Jorge Barrios (Boxingtalk #8), but no agreement has been reached yet.  Yodsanan’s promoter, Artie Pelullo has until the end of the month to let the WBA know if an agreement has been reached.  The report mentioned the possibility that if no agreement could be reached, Yodsanan could find another contender from the ratings rather then go to purse bids. 
Featherweight:  With beltless but true world champion Manny Pacquiao (Boxingtalk #1) and Takashi Koshimoto (Boxingtalk #15) declining the chance to face titlist Chris John (Boxingtalk #7), Derrick Gainer (Boxingtalk #11) stepped up to the challenge and will travel to Indonesia to face John on November 26, 2004.
Junior Featherweight: This weight class was apparently left out of the report, but WBA titlist Mayhar Monshiphour (Boxingtalk #2) is slated to face a very difficult challenge from Yoddamrong Sithyodthong (Boxingtalk #5) on November 8, 2004 in Paris.

Bantamweight: Johnny Bredahl surprisingly announced his retirement last week.  The WBA unjustly handpicked its old favorite, Leo Gamez (unrated by Boxingtalk) over more deserving boxers to fight an eliminator against Wladimir Sidorenko(Boxingtalk #20) on October 26, 2004.  The winner will then fight Julio Zárate (Boxingtalk #9) for the WBA bantam belt.
Super flyweight:  Oft-injured Alexander Muñoz (Boxingtalk #2) must face interim champion Martín Castillo (Boxingtalk #7).  This fight went to a purse bid that was won by Top Rank.  Boxingtalk reported that Top Rank will stage the fight in New Mexico in the first week of December.
Flyweight:  Lorenzo Parra (Boxingtalk #2) must defend his crown against official challenger Brahim Asloum (Boxingtalk #7) at the beginning of the next year.
Junior flyweight:  Rosendo Alvarez (Boxingtalk #1) lost his title on the scales but nonetheless defeated Beibis Mendoza (Boxingtalk #4) in what was supposed to be a title defense.  The title is now vacant and it is still to be decided who will have the opportunity to fill the vacancy.
Strawweight:  Japan’s Yutaka Niida (Boxingtalk #2) holds the title but must face interim belt holder Juan Landaeta (Boxingtalk #16).  The bout is set for October 30, 2004.


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