One thing all boxing fans will be fully aware of is the fact the title awarding bodies love to have multiple versions of "world titles" flying around the place. Whilst it's pretty obvious that the WBA are the biggest culprit with many divisions having a "Regular", an "Interim" and even a "Super" champion. Whilst we think that is pretty bad we've actually been made aware of the WBO going 1 step further and having 2 "interim" titles at the same time!

Back in the summer of 2010 Ivan Calderon was seen as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, he had been unbeaten in 35 fights (34-0-1) and was the reigning WBO Light Flyweight champion with a number of defenses behind him. Underneath him the WBO had an interim champion in the form of Filipino youngster John Riel Casimero. In June of 2010 Calderon defended his title against Mexican Jesus Iribe (UD12) then things started to get a bit weird at the WBO HQ.

Just weeks after Calderon v Iribe the WBO had their "Interim" title on the line as John Riel Casimero faced Ramon Garcia Hirales, Hirales managed to narrowly edge past Casimero to claim the "Interim title" and the logical idea would be to try and force Calderon v Hirales. The only problem with this is that the world of boxing is anything but logical.

Just weeks after Hirales had become the interim champion Calderon would lose his world title to Mexican slugger Giovani Segura (KO8) who unified the WBO title with the WBA title. Instead of then forcing Segura to face Hirales the WBO had a better idea and that was to allow Hirales to defend his interim strap against Manuel Vargas. Hirales was successful against Vargas (MD12) and it seemed like he had cemented his place as the "interim" champion. Sadly just 5 weeks later the WBO allowed Jesus Geles to face Omar Soto in a battler for the "interim" Light Flyweight title, the same one that Hirales had defended!

Geles managed defeat Soto (MD12) for the interim title bringing us to the situation of having 2 “interim” champions from the same governing body at the same time. What further complicated matters was the fact that Hirales was allowed to defend his “interim” title against the same Omar Soto who had lost to Geles, just weeks after the Soto Geles bout.

Thankfully the WBO cleared up the situation in February 2011 when Geles faced Hirales in what can only be considered a WBO “Interim” title unification bout. In a hard fought bout Geles controversially scored the split decision victory to unify the title belts.

Whilst this was confusing in terms of being an “interim” unification it was also confusing just on an activity basis. Between June 2010 and May 2011 the WBO Light Flyweight title, and the interims were fought for no less than 9 times (see below):

June 12th 2010-Calderon UD12 Iribe (“Regular” title)
July 24th 2010-Hirales SD12 Casimero (“Interim” title #1)
August 28th 2010-Segura KO8 Calderon (“Regular” title)
September 25th 2010-Hirales MD12 Vargas (“Interim” title #1)
October 30th-Geles MD12 Soto (“Interim” title #2)
December 18th 2010-Hirales UD12 Soto (“Interim” title #1)
February 5th 2011-Geles SD12 Hirales (“Interim” unification)
April 2nd 2011-Segura KO3 Calderon (“Regular” title) (Segura then vacated the title)
April 30th 2011-Hirales KO4 Geles (“Regular” title)

Thankfully the WBO finally got out of their own mess thanks to Segura moving up to fight at Flyweight.

 
 
If your a hardcore boxing fan I'm almost certain that you'll know that the Minimumweight division had one of its biggest fights this week as Kazuto Ioka unified the WBA and the WBC titles as he defeated countryman Akira Yaegashi. Just 10 days later, on June 30th the "interim" WBA Minimumweight title will be up for grabs as Edwin Diaz faces Jesus Silvestre.

For many the main issue for this fight will be the fact the WBA are collecting 2 sanctioning fees inside a month for world titles in a single weight division. We however have more than just that one issue.

Back in November 2011 Jesus Silvestre fought for this very same title (the "interim" WBA Minimumweight title) and actually lost to Paipharob Kokietgym in a very hotly contested bout. Since then Paipharob hasn't defended the title nor has he been moved into a "regular" title fight, and yet Silvestre has managed to be given another chance to fight for the title. Since losing to Paipharob Silvestre has only fought once, beating Marvin Diaz (who entered the bout with Silvestre with a record of 1-1-1, 1). So is issue 2 and 3-Why did Paipharob lose the title? What has Silvestre done to be given another chance at the title?

However the biggest issues aren't with Silvestre who is a very decent fighter who has recorded a record of 24-3 (18) with losses to Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (who went on to win an interim title at 108lbs) Donnie Nietes (the current WBO champion at 108lbs) and Paipharob Kokietgym. They are instead with Edwin Diaz a fighter who has a record of 15-17 (6)-yes he has lost more bouts than he has won! Diaz, a 30 year old Panamanian simply should not be fighting in any type of "world" title bout.

For us at www.weirdboxing.info we feel the need to speak out about things and sadly this fight has everything wrong with it. It has the feel of a cash grab by the WBA who have just had a sanctioning fee paid in this division 10 days earlier. It has an undeserving challenger in Edwin Diaz (who is admittedly on the run of his life, but still this fight is undeserved) and an expected winner (in Jesus Silvestre). It has also seen a loser in an interim title fight (just 7 months previous) getting another chance to fight for the interim title.



NOTE-
After this article was published the fight actually got pushed back and has been rescheduled for July 14th.
 
 
This morning I've been traipsing a few forums and new sites and stumbled across the rumour that Australian fighter Michael "The Great" Katsidis (28-6, 23) is being considered for a bout with Johan Perez (15-0-1, 12) the current WBA interim Light Welterweight champion.

Like every boxing fan out there I love Michael Katsidis, he's a blood and guts warrior who brings it all to the ring every time he fights. Win or lose Katsidis will always give it his all and be happy to take one one to land one why looking to land his seriously heavy shots. Sadly though I, like many others that follow the sport of boxing, know that Katsidis is incredibly shop worn, he has lost 4 of his last 5 (including his last 2) and 6 of last 11. Yet despite his current form he is some how being lined up for a "world" title fight.

Whilst Johan Perez may not be hugely well known to the wider boxing fraternity like Katsidis is he is talented and has recently been signed by Golden Boy Promotions in what is being reported as a "long term deal" (rumoured to be for 5 years). The idea seems to be to match Perez against Katsidis in the hope that boxing fans will see Perez beat the well known Katsidis on US TV and realise just how good Perez is. Problem is that not only is Katsidis a very faded fighter on a poor run but he also lacks any world WBA world ranking (as of WBA's April update), so if this bout manages to get made with the WBA's "interim" title on the lines we can assume some palms have been greased.

Hopefully the WBA will say no to this horrifically cynical match up from Golden Boy Promotions but we can't be sure at the time of writing, in fact we can never be sure with the WBA...