Earlier this month we reported that Chinese fighter Qiu Xiao Jun (19-2, 9) [裘晓君] would be facing off against Raymond Commey (13-2, 7) for the WBA Super Bantamweight title on February 12th. It now seems that the WBA have had a change of heart, much to the frustration of all those involved, including Chinese promoter Liu Gang.
According to Chinese sources the WBA had sent confirmation of the bout being a WBA "regular" title bout to Gang on on January 7th with the promoter then announcing the bout, with the title, in their press announcement. It was from that press announcement that we took our report and at the time it was correct.
In the days that followed however the WBA had a change of heart, around the same time they announced that they were going to attempt to have their Heavyweight titles, Super, Regular and Interim, unified in a tournament. As a result it appears they have revoked their sanctioning of the bout as a "world" title bout and instead downgraded it to an "International" title fight.
On January 21st the the promoter wrote to the WBA wanting clarification on situation but it appears the WBA were very slow to respond and as a result Gang has issued an apology to the all involved, including the fighters the Chinese fans and CCTV5, the broadcaster.
Sources have reported that Gang is currently in talks with the WBC to have their Silver title on the line, a title that Jun won last year, though at the moment it seems the bout will only be for the WBA "International" Super Bantamweight title.
Whilst the WBA having just a single world champion in every division is great, it would be nice to see consistency and clear communication from the organisation, who perhaps need to be open with promoters and need to do much more to repair their reputation. They are taking the right steps but need to do it with out stamping on promoters and misleading promoters and fans.
(Image courtesy of http://sports.sina.com.cn, Jun is on the left)
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