Apparently at least one sanctioning body has no desire to follow the latest trend.
The WBA announced Wednesday that it had ratified the creation of a new weight class, the “super cruiserweight” division, which ranges from 200 to 224 pounds. According to a statement, the decision was made to shore up the severe weight disadvantages that smaller heavyweights often face. Some of the top heavyweights, such as Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, can weigh more than 250 pounds on fight night.
The WBA is now the second sanctioning body (out of the major four) to create a new weight class, following on the heels of the WBC, which created its “Bridgerweight” class in 2020 for the same reasons.
But the WBO appears to be in no mood to follow suit.
On his social media account, Paco Valcarcel, the president of the Puerto Rico-based organization, warned against the creation of a new weight class, saying it could do more damage than good. The WBA stated that the super cruiserweight division would “make the sport increasingly fairer.”
“Having 17 divisions in professional boxing is more than enough,” Valcarcel wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “The Jr. Heavyweights or cruisers, from 175 to 200 is a fairly ‘colorless” division,’ imagine another ‘extended cruiser’ … The changes are not always good and many times trying to improve, we damage the image of boxing.”
In a reply to the WBA’s official post about their announcement, Valcarcel wrote, “My friends…Sometimes prescriptions are worse than the disease…”
The WBA’s decision ironically comes at a time when it has tightened up the number of title belts it offers in each division. The WBA has been strongly criticized for watering down the sport because of the dizzying number of “interim” titles it offers.
The IBF has thus far not indicated if it has similar plans to create a new heavyweight class.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.