Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing has revealed his dislike of the WBC Franchise belts and went as far to say they are bad for the sport.
The WBC introduced the Franchise Champion in 2019. Currently, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Vasiliy Lomachenko are the only two fighters who hold the title which allows them to avoid facing mandatory challengers. British boxing promoter Hearn is now worried WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will be elevated to Franchise Champion in order to skip over long-time WBC number one contender Dillian Whyte.
Speaking on the SI Podcast Hearn explained why the WBC Franchise belt is not good for boxing, he said.
The [WBC] ‘franchise’ is no good for the sport of boxing. How can you become great if you get to the point where you can find out, then it’s just ripped away? Haney becomes, via email really, WBC champion. He doesn’t want that. It’s the same for Dillian Whyte against Tyson Fury.
“I don’t want Fury to become WBC Franchise champion and the WBC to elevate Dillian Whyte from interim champion to World champion because he won’t ever feel like he beat the world heavyweight champion to become the heavyweight champion of the world.”
“Right now we don’t know when boxing is going to resume for some specific fights, such as the rematch between Deontay Wilder versus Tyson Fury. We don’t know if that fight will happen in October, November, December, next year. We cannot control that. But for the WBC there is a legal contract that [Wilder, Fury] signed for a third fight,” president Mauricio Sulaiman told Boxing Insider Radio.
“For the WBC there is a mandatory title defense that the champion has to make. The mandatory challenger is the interim champion, Dillian Whyte. He has the right to enforce his title shot after the Wilder vs Fury third fight. Fury vs Joshua is just speculation. They have both come out and said that they have a deal which is very good. But there are many things that must take place before it actually happens.”
“We do have an issue with Oleksandr Usyk. He has to get his shot at the heavyweight title. Maybe AJ fights him in the spring. Some mandatory challengers aren’t the most deserving challengers in the world. Dillian Whyte is the most deserving challenger I’ve seen for a long time. So give him his opportunity.” (Transcribed by Boxing Scene)
Do you agree with Eddie Hearn? Are WBC Franchise champions bad for boxing?