Canelo made Bridgerweight "Franchise Champion" by WBC
Following the announcement of a new weight division by the World Boxing Council, Canelo Alvarez has already been made "Franchise Champion".
The WBC announced earlier today that they have created a new weight class called the "Bridgerweight" division. This new level, now the 18th division in professional boxing, will fit in between the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions, with a weight limit of 224 lbs.
The name of the division was inspired by the story of 6-year-old Bridger Walker, who made headlines earlier this year after he and his 4-year-old sister were attacked by a dog in Wyoming. The brave young boy suffered multiple bite wounds protecting his sister during the attack.
When WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman heard of the boy's heroics, he responded the only way he knew how, naming Walker an "honorary champion", grabbing one of the hundreds or possibly thousands of belts lying around the WBC's headquarters in Mexico City and slapping it around Walker's waist.
But he didn't stop there, using the young child's name as branding for a division which most definitely wasn't already created for the purpose of garnering extra sanctioning fees from fighters. No, that might be something the sneaky WBA might do, but not the WBC.
And shortly after officially announcing the creation of the division, the WBC's favourite son, Canelo Alvarez was anointed Franchise Champion, just as he was in the middleweight division before he moved up to super-middleweight to capture the prestigious WBA 'Regular' title from the most feared man in the division, Rocky Fielding.
And after the 30-year-old moved up in weight again to defeat Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavyweight title (which can't be taken too seriously as the WBO has no Franchise Champion or even a Regular or Super Champion, like the WBA), Alvarez is now a five-weight world champion.
It's surely only a matter of time before Mexico's superstar boxer captures titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight, inevitably dropping back down to welterweight to equal Manny Pacquiao's world record of holding titles in eight divisions. That is to say, if the WBC don't make him Franchise Champion in the rest of the divisions first...
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