By: Hans Themistode
Boxing fans around the world have grown sick and tired of the proliferation of belts. After seemingly every bout, a new world title is wrapped around the waist of the winner.
The breaking point for fans appeared to come when WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman introduced the ever confusing “Franchise” title to the mix. The baffling title allows champions to skip over mandatory challengers and cannot be won inside the ring. Instead, a fighter must either petition for the right to win the title, or, Sulaiman will bestow the newly founded belt at his discretion.
With fans screaming for all sanctioning bodies to remove the seemingly endless amount of titles, Sulaiman has decided to go the other way. In just a few more weeks, unified super middleweight champion and WBC “Franchise” champion Canelo Alvarez, will return to the ring as he takes on WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders.
Despite four world titles on the line, Sulaiman believes there’s room for one more.
“Our great champion Saul Canelo Alvarez continues his plan to unify the super middleweight division by facing the WBO champion, British boxer Billy Joe Saunders, on May 8 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium,” said Sulaiman. “During this fight, it’s going to be where the World Boxing Council will give the world another piece of art, the beautiful Mestizo belt, made by the State of Mexico.”
While another meaningless trinket will seemingly infuriate boxing fans, Sulaiman has a long track record of creating new belts to celebrate mega-events. In 2015, former unified welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather took on WBO belt holder Manny Pacquiao. To commemorate the event, Sulaiman introduced the WBC Emerald belt. Two years later, Sulaiman helped create a world title with 3,360 diamonds for Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor.
In the mind of Sulaiman, fans shouldn’t be upset as he is simply continuing his long-standing tradition.
“As you may know, the WBC commemorates the two great Mexican dates (Cinco De Mayo in May and Mexican Independence Day in September), as the most important fights of the year are held on these dates and magnificent (title) pieces from various cultures have been created (for these fights).
“First it was the Huichol, then Chiapas, then the Mayan culture, and last year it was dedicated to the State of Mexico with the Mazahua and Otomi belts. As there were no fights in 2020 due to the pandemic, we agreed to dignify this entity in 2021, and very soon we will present the Mestizo (title).”
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