The World Boxing Association has applied a lot of pressure on their WBA 'super' champion at featherweight, Leo Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz has not made a mandatory defense of the featherweight belt since June of 2018. The Mexican boxer had to make a mandatory defense by June of 2020. The last time Santa Cruz defended that title was back in February of 2019.
Santa Cruz made an application to secure a special permit to have a unification fight with newly crowned WBC world champion Rey Vargas. Both Santa Cruz and Vargas are under the promotional banner of Premier Boxing Champions.
Vargas captured the WBC title earlier this month with a twelve round decision over Mark Magsayo.
However, the sanctioning body denied Santa Cruz's request for a fight with Vargas.
They are giving him 24 hours to agree to a fight with WBA 'regular' champion Leigh Wood, who made a big statement earlier this year with a brutal knockout of undefeated Olympian Michael Conlan.
Should Santa Cruz drop the belt in order to move forward with a bout against Vargas, Wood would automatically be elevated to the status of 'super' champion at 126-pounds.
Additionally, the WBA is attempting to clean up the cruiserweight division.
The sanctioning body has ordered an immediate fight between WBA 'super' champion Arsen Goulamirian and WBA 'regular' champion Ryad Merhy.
Both sides have 24 hours to advise the WBA if they are ready to fight in 30 days (by August 15).
The winner would have to make a mandatory defense against Aleksei Egorov in 90 days - but only if the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has concluded. If the war is still ongoing, the WBA will select a new mandatory challenger.
BoxingScene.com recently reported that Merhy reached an agreement to face WBC world champion Ilunga Makabu on September 30th - and now one has to wonder if that contest will still move forward as planned.