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WBC strips Bradley, Morales-Barrios to fight for title on 8/17

Erik Morales Timothy BradleyBy Sean McDaniel: The World Boxing Council had reportedly stripped Timothy Bradley of his WBC light welterweight title for not having defended it in the past six months. Bradley will be champion in recess, meaning that he’ll likely get a shot at recapturing the belt at some point in the future if he’s interested.

In the meantime, this enables 34-year-old number #3 ranked Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KO’s) to fight the un-ranked former WBO super featherweight champion Jorge Barrios (50-4-1, 35 KO’s) for the belt with the winner of the fight likely to face IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan in a unification bout.

There’s been a lot of criticism about Morales being given the shot by the WBC at the title, because there are two fighters ranked above him in Devon Alexander and Ajose Alusegun. And Barrios isn’t even ranked in the top 15 by any of the sanctioning bodies in the light welterweight division. It makes it seem as if Morales is being put in a position where he’ll very likely succeed. He lost his last fight against Marcos Maidana, but received a lot of praise for fighting Maidana tough and almost getting a draw. The fact remains that Morales still lost, though, and it’s a little unsettling that the WBC will be allowing a fighter coming off of a loss to fight for a title over two guys – Alexander and Alusegun – that both won their last fights.

The Morales-Barrios fight will take place on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Victor Ortiz fight on September 17th at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be seen by a lot of boxing fans and the winner of the fight will put themselves in a great position to get a money bout against Khan if they look good. However, if Morales-Barrios put on a poor showing, the winner of the fight will have to be satisfied with merely being the champion and having to defend the belt against the top contenders.

As good as Barrios and Morales were at one time during their careers, it’s very difficult to see either of them holding onto the WBC title for any length of time unless they’re both carefully matched to keep them away from quality guys. Even the lower ranked guys near the bottom of the top 15, would give Morales and Barrios lots of problems at this point. This is why it’s perhaps not a good thing these guys are fighting for the title, because ideally you want the creame of the crop fighting for a belt and not fighters coming of losses and guys that aren’t even ranked in the top 15.

With Bradley being stripped of his title by the WBC, this puts Khan in a great position to capture another title to add to his growing collection. The only negative is that Khan won’t get the credit that he craves from boxing fans and writers because Morales and Barrios aren’t considered to be in the same class as some of the top guys. Morales is definitely a notch below and Barrios isn’t even on the radar screen. Khan, in effect, will be capturing a paper title if he beats Barrios and Morales. It might not be worth even wasting time in taking this fight because of the lack of credit Khan will get.

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