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Golovkin vs Brook unsanctioned: WBA makes poor move

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Gennady Golovkin's WBA middleweight title will not be at-stake when he faces welterweight titlist Kell Brook next week.

Should Golovkin win, he will keep his WBA belt. However, Golovkin vs Brook would not count as an official title defense. And should Gennady be upset, the title will be made vacant.

"The Championships Committee and the Presidency have not agreed to sanction this bout as a title fight because Brook has never fought as a middleweight," said WBA president Gilberto Jesus Mendoza at the time of the announcement in July as reported by BoxingScene.com.

"The intent of the organization is to try to protect the integrity and health of the fighters."

"We do not oppose the fight, per se. But the rules of the organization stipulate that Golovkin and/or his representatives must request special permission in advance to fight Brook. Under the circumstances, if Golovkin were to lose to Kell Brook, the title would become vacant and would not end up in the hands of the British pugilist."

Perhaps the commission doesn't think Brook, a welterweight, is worthy of title shot? However, the Brit is an unbeaten, legitimate top 10 pound-for-pound fighter who may represent Golovkin's biggest threat to date.

Sanctioning bodies should entice bouts between the best in boxing (even in different weight classes), not disway them.

In fact, they should be elated a young, strong undefeated champion like Brook is willing to challenge a menacing champion 13 pounds north.

Moreover, fights between combatants of different weight classes is not uncommon in the annals of the sport. Here are just a few, all of which were sanctioned.

  • Light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks moved up two divisions to fight- and defeat - long reigning unbeaten heavyweight champion Larry Holmes.
  • Former middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins bounced over the super middleweight division to face top level light heavyweight Antonio Tarver.
  • Then-welterweight champion Marlon Starling went 12 hard-fought rounds with then-middleweight champion Michalel Nunn.
  • And what about Roy Jones, then the light heavyweight champion, bolting to heavyweight to defeat John Ruiz?

There's no reason the WBA shouldn't sanction Golovkin vs Brook, and forcing such a big event to be a non-title affair certainly does nothing to add to the luster and drama of the bout.

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