Everyone in recent memory has been trying to decode what the “Franchise” label the World Boxing Council gave to Canelo Alvarez last month meant.
In a recent interview with Keith Idec from Boxingscene.com, we still honestly don’t know.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman somewhat explained the decision to BoxingScene.com as he was apart of the seventh annual Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame event Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“Well, it is something that has to be understood,” Sulaiman said to Boxingscene. “It’s gonna take a little time for everybody to get it. It is not a new belt. It is not a new championship. It is not a new title. It is a designation of a fighter, of a very specific criteria – legendary champion of multi divisions. He has been affiliated with the WBC for 12 years, champion in three different divisions. He’s competing in three different divisions.
Figured it out yet? Yeah, me neither.
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) August 11, 2019
Sulaiman also explained why they made the unprecedented move by giving Alvarez the label last month. The designation, in turn, stripped Alvarez of his WBC middleweight belt gave it to Jermall Charlo in the process.
“He has a very strict contract [with DAZN] that he has to comply with, in which he has to give the fans the best fights possible. You don’t know if he’s gonna fight in light heavyweight, super middleweight, middleweight, even super welterweight. That’s why the WBC has been thinking about a designation, and we name it franchise. It was an agreement with him, with his promoter, that he would be representing the WBC in every fight. And every fight would be dealt [with] individually with regards to who the opponent is and what weight category.”
Alvarez has yet to select his next opponent however after being recently stripped of the IBF belt last week and is currently going thru some issues with current promoter Golden Boy Promotions.
— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) August 11, 2019
While we don’t have a solid reason from the president about the designation, he wouldn’t rule out being a possibility for anyone else. The more recent name comes to mind is current WBC heavyweight titleholder, Deontay Wilder.
“It’s a case by case basis,” Sulaiman said to Boxingscene. “It’s to analyze the specifics. And if you ask about Deontay Wilder, I would leave it up to everyone to analyze. He’s been five years champion, undefeated, title defenses. He’d be willing to fight anyone. But now he’s got a fight against [Luis] Ortiz, a rematch against [Tyson] Fury, so people like to speculate and like to make different stories. But I am here to respond to any questions. I accept the critics. I accept that people could think it’s a way of confusing, but it’s to the contrary. We want the sport to grow. And by the way, any money that is made on the franchise champion is going 100 percent for the ‘Clean Boxing Program,’ for the weight management program and for the medical research for the task force that has been created.”
Anytime there’s a chance to make money in labels or belts; sanctioning bodies will pounce on it. Don’t be shocked if we get more of these “Franchise” tags, in the future.