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WBA tell Frampton to fight Rigondeaux or be stripped of title

The WBA have issued a clear message to new champion Carl Frampton – fight Guillermo Rigondeaux by July 27th or you will be stripped of your belt.

‘The Jackal’ won the WBA portion of the super bantamweight crown on Saturday with a close but clear win over Bury’s Scott Quigg at the Manchester Arena, adding the belt to his IBF strap.

Quigg had been elevated to WBA champion for the bout, with belt-holder Rigondeaux being demoted to ‘champion in recess’ due to inactivity.

The demotion of Rigondeaux also saw the 35 year old be installed as mandatory challenger for his former belt, and today’s ruling comes as little surprise.

The WBA released the following update this afternoon:
“The World Championships Committee of the World Boxing Association (WBA), while congratulating Carl Frampton for his victory over Scott Quigg at the weekend for the WBA Super Bantamweight title, have notified his team that he must fight with champion in recess Guillermo Rigondeaux on or before the July 27, 2016.

The decision was made taking into consideration the rules of the WBA and the careen trajectory of the Carribean fighter who since 2012 has had the belt at 122 pounds, and subsequently became unified championby beating Nonito Donaire [WBO] in 2013. However, he was placed as champion in recess because he did not defend his belt in a period of nine months or as indicated by the regulations.

If the teams of the fighters fail to reach agreement the fight will go to purse bids. Both parties were notified of this decision and is presumed to know the rules of the WBA and the consequences ignoring the document sent.”

The Cuban king has been outspoken in his desire to face Belfast’s Frampton. For his part, Frampton has always stated his willingness to face the two-time Olympic gold medalist, however Cyclone Promotions have repeatedly highlighted the low financial reward for their man.

Surveying the landscape around the weight, it now seems likely that ‘The Jackal’ will vacate both his belts and move up 4lbs to featherweight for his desired clash with Leo Santa Cruz.

The WBA are seemingly set on enforcing a mandatory with the undesirable Rigondeaux, who admittedly is the #1 boxer in the 122lbs division, and the IBF are expected to follow suit with the little-known Japanese boxer Shingo Wake, meaning that Frampton will have to move up in weight to chase the big money fights.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie