Austin Trout | "No Doubt" Austin's Title is BogusWritten by Lee Cleveland
Not to rain on Mr. Trout's parade, but the true WBA Super Welterweight Champion is Floyd Mayweather whom the sanctioning organization refers to as its 'Super' Super Welterweight Champion. And no, that wasn't a typo.
Now that we have 'Super' Champions and 'Regular' Champions what's next? The 'Super Duper Pooper' Champion? Or maybe the WBA 'Irregular' Champion? Or perhaps they'll create a 'Decaffeinated'' Champion to offset the 'Regular' Champion.'
With all due respect to Austin Trout and Miguel Cotto, two worthy combatants who were simply caught in the mix, the title they contested Saturday was as legit as an American $3 dollar bill.
Those entrenched in the sport know Floyd Mayweather reigns supreme in this division and the acknowledged champions are Mayweather, Saul Alvarez and, yes, even Cornelius Bundrage.
The sport of boxing is already acknowledging four (and in some cases five) sanctioning bodies. Are we now giving credence to multiple champions within each sanctioning body?
And why does the media continue to acknowledge these bogus belts?
No wonder UFC execs point to boxing and laugh.
There's absolutely, positively no way to justify title status for Austin Trout vs Miguel Cotto.
Why Austin Trout's WBA Title is Illegitimate
The World Boxing Association now sanctions world title bouts for two champions - a 'Super' Champion (its real and legitimate champ) and something dubbed by outsiders as the 'Regular' Champion. The latter is supposed to be their inferior champion or their 'poor man's' champion.
In addition to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout, here are a few more cases of the WBA's use of multiple champions:
Super Champion - Wladimir Klitschko
Regular Champion - Alexander Povetkin
Super Champion - Andre Ward
Regular Champion - Karoly Balzay (Who?)
Super Lightweight - Lamont Peterson
Regular Champion - Marcos Maidana
How the WBA could can acknowledge fighters like Alexander Povetkin and Karoly Balzay as "world" champions when they have fellas like Wladimir Klitschko and Andre Ward concurrently holding WBA world titles is beyond mind-boggling.
The late Emanuel Steward, former trainer of the unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, told The Independent last year:
"This is a crazy, crazy situation... My fighter won the title but he's been made a 'super' champion or something since then; Boxing will suffer if this type of thing keeps on happening."
Now back to Austin Trout...
The highly-skilled fighter dubbed 'No Doubt' earned is WBA 'Regular' World Champion distinction by defeating a fella named Rigoberto Alvarez (then 27-2) who happens to be the brother of WBC Light Middleweight Champion Saul Alvarez. So who did Alavrez beat to put him in title contention? And for that matter, what 'champion level' fighter did Austin Trout beat before Saturday night?
Prior to fighting Austin Trout for the World Championship belt last year, Alavrez's three most recent bouts were against:
- (Won SD) Nobuhiro Ishida 22-5-2
- (Won TKO 1) Alfredo Trevino 4-0-0
- (Won TKO 2) Mauro Romero 2-1-0
No, you're not looking at typos. Prior to fighting for the "world" title, two of Alavrez's three most recent opponents had records of 4-0 and 2-1. And the fourth opponent, Marco Antonio Rubio, knocked out Alvarez.
This is exactly what's wrong with boxing and someone should take a principled stand against it. If nothing is done, the sport will be so watered down with so-called "world champions" the honorable distinction will be meaningless.
And by the way, this is the same sanctioning body that made Hasim Rahman its No.1 heavyweight contender earlier this year? But that's another article.
Why So Many World Champions?
The WBA claims the extra title was created to give unified (or 'Super') champions more time to make mandatory defenses - from 12 months to 18 months. So maybe its just a coincidence it gives the organization another opportunity to collect additional revenue through added sanctioning fees?
Unfortunately, those in the fight game are quick to acknowledge meaningless belts because a world title delineation, no matter how frivolous the title itself is, adds prestige to a bout. Also, media outlets are more likely to provide coverage for world title fights, no matter how frivolous the title that's being contested.
Its apparent some in boxing don't realize the long-term repercussions of such actions. Years ago, being "champion" meant something but the sport of boxing and the media continues to dimish the credibility of today's legitimate world champions by saturating the sport with, and giving championship acknowledgment to, "manufactured," unproven, untested so-called world champions.
Fans shouldn't always succumb to the lure of a fight simply because a greedy organization says the bout has world title implications. But more importantly, the media shouldn't give false legitimacy to championship bouts and titles that are so obviously fake.
And third, promoters, managers and match-makers should stop relying on fictitious titles to generate added interest in their events. Perhaps if they did a better job, collectively, "non-title" fights would generate widespread appeal as a result of intelligent marketing, savvy promotion and.... by showcasing quality match-ups the fans want to see.
1.a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place: the heavyweight boxing champion.
2. one who shows marked superiority
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.