In what could be a complete waste of time and breath, the World Boxing Council at their 56th annual convention this week voted to have former four division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner to face Jorge Linares in a WBC final light welterweight title eliminator to select a mandatory to face WBC 140 pound champion Jose Ramirez (23-0, 16 KOs).
Broner isn’t the type to have sanctioning bodies force him to fight certain guys, so the WBC’s attempt to make him fight Linares will probably be a waste of time. Broner will only take the fight with the 33-yer-old Linares if he wants to fight him.
The WBC made this move because WBC interim champion Regis Prograis and #1 WBC Josh Taylor are both busy taking part in the World Boxing Super Series tournament and aren’t available to challenge Ramirez for his title.
Ramirez recently defeated Antonio Orozco (27-1, 17 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision last month on September 14 in a voluntary defense in Fresno, California.
Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) is ranked #2 with the WBC, but wins have been hard to come by for the 29-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio native. Broner hasn’t won a fight since 2017, and that was a controversial 10 round split decision over Adrian Granados in February of 2017. In Broner’s last two fights, he’s fought to a 12 round draw against former two division world champion Jessie Vargas last April. The fight could have gone either way.
Broner came on strong at the end to take many of the later rounds, but he’s fought in such a lazy manner in the first six rounds that it was hard to say that he deserved the win. This was the problem that Broner had in his previous fight in losing to Mikey Garcia by a 12 round unanimous decision last year in July 2017. Broner showed too much respect for Mikey’s power in the first half of the fight. By the time that Broner discovered that he had nothing to fear, he had already given away most of the first six rounds and he was too far behind in the fight to pull it out.
Linares (45-4, 28 KOs) won his last fight in beating Abner Cotto by a 3rd round knockout in his first fight at 140 on September 29. Linares lost his fight before that against Top Rank fighter Vasyl Lomachenko by a 10th round knockout last May.
The WBC will need to have a good backup plan if Broner tells them to get lost and rejects them ordering him to fight Linares. In that case, the WBC will need to go deep down in their top 15 rankings to the #8 spot to select Sergey Lipinets as an opponent for Linares, because the other contenders are all busy.
In other news from the WBC’s 56th convention, former WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol (29-2, 12 KOs) has been ordered to fight Mohamed Mimoune (20-2, 2 KOs) in a semifinal eliminator.
The 34-year-old Postol has lost two out of his last three fights since 2016 with losses to Terence Crawford and Josh Taylor. Postol’s loss to Taylor last June was a close 12 round unanimous decision in reality, although the scoring by the three judges were embarrassingly lopsided in favor of the home fighter Taylor. The fight took place in Taylor’s home city of Glasgow, Scotland, so it’s not surprising that the judges gave it to him by lopsided scores. But in scoring the fight like that, the judges made themselves and Taylor look really bad.