Andre Ward Stripped by WBC

By Matt McGrain on April 11, 2013
Andre Ward Stripped by WBC
The WBC likely won't listen, but if this angers you, feel free to drop them a line. (Schatz)

Floyd Mayweather aside, Andre Ward is likely the most recognizable American champion in boxing. His status is almost universally recognized, The Transnational Boxing Board, Ring, and even the WBA recognizing the unfortunately nicknamed “Son of God” as the #1 fighter in his division.

Step forward the Keystone Cops who run the WBC who have just wrestled the keys for the shit-mobile from the WBA and stripped Andre Ward of their “world title,” naming him instead something called “champion emeritus.” What this apparently means is:

Two lesser fighters will box for the WBC’s bauble. When Andre Ward is “back” he will be “allowed”—permitted, if you like—to box the reigning WBC title holder for the title he never lost in the ring. When considering this barely cohesive bunk, keep in mind that Ward defended his title only seven months ago against Chad Dawson. 

Of course, what this is really about is money. An injured champion, even one who is “a true embassador [sic] of the sport of boxing” according to the WBC’s own rather incoherent press release in which they also seem to suggest that Andre Ward may be considering retirement, doesn’t pay sanctioning fees for title fights. 

The WBC seems to have a couple of other champions listed on their website for this division, a “Silver Champion” (James DeGale) and perhaps an intercontinental champion (“Int. Champ” Giovanni De Carolis) but the likely victims for the latest WBC shakedown will be Sakio Bika and Edwin Rodriguez, who will be allowed to pay to fight for a championship everyone will know is meaningless.

The WBC likely won’t listen, but if this news angers you as much as it does me, feel free to drop them a line:

I sent them one line: “Champions are made in the ring, not the boardroom.” 

I find it disturbing that they disagree:

“The WBC Board of Governors is honored to announce that by a unanimous voting [sic] Andre Ward has been designated champion emeritus.”

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Andre Ward - Chad Dawson - Highlights

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  1. Bob Rich 05:57pm, 06/22/2013

    I think its bull, and shows how corrupt the sanctioning bodies can be. Why hasn’t Mayweather been stripped for not defending his WBC title for two years? Depends on whose pocket you pad.

  2. NYIrish 05:54am, 04/14/2013

    Buffet tables aside, I agree with Ted and rax. Most fans pay little attention to the belts. Most fights broadcast have somebody wearing a belt at the end. It’s a promotional tool that has lost it’s weight. Stripping a fighter of a belt was newsworthy back in the day when titles were unified and a belt meant something. No matter how you cut it, it’s still baloney.

  3. Matt McGrain 03:47am, 04/14/2013

    Here is the problem as I see it:
    Froch-Kessler will attract a LOT of new fans to the sport…for a lot of kids it will be their first big fight.  It is being contested between two charismatic top fighters and is being pushed very hard in the UK (and probably Scandinavia).  At the end, a world champion will be crowned amidst much hype and excitement and these new fans will go away with the impression that they now know who the #1 smw in the world is..they’ll tell themselves, each other.  Then they’ll hear about this guy, Andrew Ward.  Maybe someone will embarrass them a bit, telling them about the REAL champion.  Then, even worse, they’re going to hear about ANOTHER world championship title fight, between two guys they never heard of…and for many of them, that will be the end of the affair.  Too confusing, too complex.  And who can blame them?
    I agree that these fights are not about the alphabet belts.  But i DON’T agree that they are about the “the fighters.”  They are about the FANS.  And every time one of these joke alphabet bodies makes another joke decision that confuses the picture further, it’s a betrayal of those fans - and make no mistake, a rebuke to new fans the sport could’ve should’ve had.

  4. raxman 12:20am, 04/14/2013

    i agree with Ted. titles are now irrelevant. who cares that rios and alvarado fought some interim, part time, hold the tomatoes jnr welter title. those guys could have a belt made of cream cheese on the line for their next fight and their ppv numbers will be the same. does anyone care about what belt floyd has? pacquiao seemed obsessed with getting as many trinkets as he could, catch weights included, but now that he doesn’t have one will it be the difference between people watching and not? hell no.  does anyone care what title froch and kessler are facing off for? of course not.
    the big guys floyd, pac etc are bigger than all the sanctioning bodies combined. what we need are for those guys and others like rios and alvardo to boycott the titles altogether. most of the time title fights are skewed so far one way (golovkin vs macklin) that its no contest.
    if styles make fights, then fighters make events - not alphabet titles

  5. FrankinDallas 01:46pm, 04/13/2013

    Ward did a good job announcing the one time I saw him. Don’t know what they pay, but it sure beats getting hit on the head. If The Rock can make a career out of one facial gesture and some muscles, maybe Ward can as well.

  6. Ted 10:24am, 04/12/2013

    Bika has vastly improved and will aways give anyone a solid fight. He also can Billy Goat with the best of them. He knows all the tricks and is a tough customer.

    As for Ward. the WBC needs him more than he needs them. I’d say more but I might be banned.

  7. Big T 10:13am, 04/12/2013

    Well, first it’s been sometime since I left a comment. But the sad fact is they are going to strip a real fighter like Ward, but they are going to give the Spoild Brat JCC JR another shot at big money. What a joke as always the WBC is.

  8. Matt McGrain 09:58am, 04/12/2013

    The latest: Bika is indeed going to be matched for the title, but it looks like Marco Periban is getting the nod for the other corner.  Periban is a very decent prospect at 20-0 but has never fought in a 12-round fight before.

  9. Ted 08:57am, 04/12/2013

    This is why titles mean nothing. What counts is when the bell rings and two solid fighters go after one another. When the fight is over, your memory should be of the fight and not about the scum-laden underbelly of boxing. Just the fight and screw promoters, sanctioning bodies, sanctioning fees, corrupt managers, and even more corrupt media who are afraid to call it what it is and lose their right to dive into the buffet tables.

    It’s all about two guys in the ring bookended by two bells. For me anyway.

  10. Jim Crue 08:50am, 04/12/2013

    Where are Frankie Carbo, Blinky Palermo and Tommy Luchesse when you need them !!?? They may have been corrupt, Kid Gavilan really did best Saxton and Billy Graham bested the Kid in the Garden for the title but at least they fought each other. The sanctioning bodies are far more corrupt than the days of the mob and the Jim Norris International Boxing Club. Blinky and Frankie went to jail, the WBC hides out in Mexico. Sickening to me

  11. Mas 08:44am, 04/12/2013

    Thanks for the article

    i e-mailed them with your article attached

  12. Ted 08:38am, 04/12/2013

    Kurt. I may steal that post.

    BTW, THE 30 Days in May documentary left me cold. What did it REALLY say. It was like a rock skimming over the water, lots of splash but nothing going down deep.

  13. Jim Crue 06:30am, 04/12/2013

    Great comment Kurt
    it’s a contest these days to see who is more corrupt, the sanctioning bodies or the fighters’ management teams. So far it’s about a draw.

  14. James 06:21am, 04/12/2013

    Nobody attracts Pay Per View viewers like Floyd Mayweather does and I expect this fight to generate all kinds of earnings. I saw the 30 days in May documentary and it seems like Showtime has their promotion properly put together for this fight.

  15. Kurt 03:28am, 04/12/2013

    The WBC is ahead of the curve concerning Andre Ward.  They sense he will never fight another top competitive challenging fighter.  Let the injuries begin with Ward. He has a history of this.  We will see more of him on HBO commentating than fighting from now on. I sense his management view is he has paid his dues, Let the gravy train begin.  Let him read over and over again all the genius writers tell him how great of a fighter he is.  Show him hitting the mitts every month or so.  Nowadays thats what matters more than actual fighting.  Rank him in the top 10 all-time great middleweights even though he never beaten a really skilled fighter.

  16. Mike Casey 01:20am, 04/12/2013

    My god, don’t these bureaucrats love themselves?

  17. Clarence George 05:20pm, 04/11/2013

    Boxing, a game of musical chairs where the boxers never get to sit down.

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