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WBC Franchise Champion: Are you pleased with the creation of this title?

Canelo Alvarez

By Gerardo Granados: Days ago the boxing world was shocked by the announcement of the creation of one more meaningless paper belt. But hey it was not just any other paper belt like the Mayan, Huichol, Pearl, Silver, Interim, Regular, and Emeritus, Diamond or the Super strap. No, it is much worse, now the WBC has surpassed the other boxing organizations, with the creation of the brand new “Franchise Champion Belt”.

Franchise champion status: Will this only benefit the big name cash cows?

I wonder if the reader already knows what exactly it is. Can you tell if this new Franchise Champion status will only benefit the big names cash cows? Perhaps could it hurt the aspirations of the rest of the hungry lions on the rise? Is it fair for the rest of the anonymous fighters around the world? Are they not deserving of special treatment too? Is this what now pro boxing only has to offer?

At other professional sports we can see a previous similar creation, for instance in the NBA and the NFL, both have franchise players which means according to WIKIPEDIA “In professional sports a franchise player is an athlete who is both the best player on their team and one that the team can build their franchise around for the foreseeable future“.

But it doesn’t mean that an NBA or NFL team will be granted Champion status by the respective league. There must be played, under fair equal rules, a tournament thru a full season to crown a new champion every year.

As far as I remember, football (soccer) doesn’t have a franchise player, but the biggest star players do have convenient contracts that fully protect them, which may include contractual clauses that put them in a privileged position. But that doesn’t make the player or the club they play for champions by any means. Can you imagine a top Champions League Team to be able to handpick his opponents or to be declared franchise champion by the league?

What is the Franchise champion?

What is a franchise champion according to the WBC? Well according to the WBC official site it is: a WBC Franchise champion designation has been established to provide a unique status to those fighters who prove to be of an elite level and stature, those who compete and have activity in multiple divisions, those who have accomplished success in the ring and hold a proven and unquestionable stature in the boxing industry.

I find no one who can fit into this description with no exception. Maybe one small group fills part of it, but the last paragraph seems no to be related to pro boxing as a competition but only as a mere business.

The WBC Franchise Champion is a designation that is awarded exclusively by the WBC (exclusively by appointment of the Board of Governors) and considers the following mutual agreements between the WBC, the champion and his promoter. If it is up to the WBC board of governors the voting and creation of the franchise champion, does that mean that the boxer is crowned at a desk and not inside the ring? How glorious is that?

The Franchise Champion will be added to the other champions in each weight class

The Franchise Champion will be added to the rest of the so-called champions in each weight divisions. So now Jermall Charlo is the middleweight WBC Champion, not because he had the chance to defeat Saul Canelo Alvarez, instead he was promoted to full Champion status at the desk, I think it is unfair for Charlo to be avoided in that way. Maybe I am wrong but what I understand is that the Franchise Champion is free to fight whoever he wants as long the WBC approves his opponent.

The Franchise Championship belt can’t be won

For last if the Franchise belt holder is defeated by his opponent, the last one will not be crowned as Franchise Champion but instead will receive a “Diamond belt” and “may be considered as a mandatory contender in the division”. What does this mean? Is this some type of final eliminator for a title bout? If the Franchise Champion Canelo isn’t the real division champion then the division regular Champion Charlo is the real one?

Pro boxing at many of the big main events no longer is about proving who the best is, it is no longer about acts of courage and bravery, no now it is just about the damn money. Most of the time is hard to see the pride of a ring warrior amongst many of the so-called big names and it is disgusting. But still most of the anonymous local boxers fight their heart out in all corners of the world and most of the times keep being overlooked as they cannot land a million notes purse.

Franchise title = privileged belt destined to benefit/protect  a few boxers?

Can a reader say how now will an upcoming young lion will be able to achieve greatness or at least secure a shot against the so call big names with the latest WBC heinous creation of a privileged belt destined to benefit and protect only a very few boxers. Does the reader believe this could affect the competition side of pro boxing and set it up into a fully pro wrestling business model?

So Charlo has been promoted at the desk, from paper interim belt holder to full WBC champion, I guess this works similar to the “super WBA and WBO” version of their belt organization. This means that the “regular“ has the mandatory duties, can be stripped in case he doesn’t defend the title, etc.

Will Divas no longer need to pay step aside payments to mandatory challengers?

Do you agree that this is a tricky way for a boxer and promoter tandem to avoid dangerous contenders coming up the ranks? Does this mean that a Diva will no longer need to pay a step aside agreement to a dangerous mandatory challenger and the boxing organization won’t have the need to order to the cash cow any fight?

If the reader is well-informed fight fan then you already know the reality of Canelo Alvarez fighting record, which isn’t what casuals and his fans think it really is. Maybe you also know how the WBC has helped Alvarez career through the years. Perhaps you also know how most of the fighters struggle and sacrifice to secure a shot at a title. And for sure you aren’t pleased with the creation of this new belt.

I must ask, are you pleased with the creation of the WBC Franchise Champion?

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