Home Columns Floyd Mayweather following Sugar Ray Leonard: Dubiously fighting for two WBC titles...

Floyd Mayweather following Sugar Ray Leonard: Dubiously fighting for two WBC titles at once a la Leonard vs. Lalonde

Credit: Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos / GBP

Floyd Mayweather’s upcoming rematch against Marcos Maidana will now be for both of his WBC title straps, from the Welterweight and Junior Middleweight divisions. WBC head-honcho Mauricio Sulaiman has apparently given his go ahead after Mayweather requested to do so.

For Mayweather, it’s a move which allows him to continue following in the historical footsteps of Sugar Ray Leonard. Leonard’s fight against Donny Lalonde in 1988 was infamously for the WBC title at both Light Heavyweight, where Lalonde was the reigning titleholder, and the freshly minted Super Middleweight division.

The circumstances aren’t exactly the same here. For one, Mayweather is the reigning titleholder in both divisions. He’s not holding meaningless straps, either — he’s the true division Champion at both Welterweight and Middleweight, and the only two-division champion ProBoxing-Fans.com currently recognizes.

Another difference between this bout and Leonard-Lalonde is that the upcoming clash between Mayweather and Maidana is of course a rematch. In their first fight, only Mayweather’s 147 lbs. belt was up for grabs. Why the WBC would choose to make this a two-division championship fight at all, let alone after the first fight wasn’t, is a very interesting question.

A very interesting question with a very obvious answer, that is. If the WBC is sanctioning the fight for two championships, that presumably means they get double the sanctioning fees. An extra 3% of a Mayweather event is no chump change.

It’s also fitting with the WBC’s long history of playing nice with their favorite fighters, from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to Erik Morales. They also have a clear all-American approach for their current share of the sport’s Heavyweight title. When you run your own sanctioning body, you get to play by your rules! Not coincidentally, that’s now why we’re playing by our own rules when it comes to championships. It’s also why when the two meet in September, only our Welterweight Championship will be at stake.

Editor’s Update:

Shortly after this article was published, the WBC and Mauricio Sulaiman responded directly via Twitter. We’re trying to set up an interview with Sulaiman for more clarification on this issue.

Mayweather has always publicly-coveted the WBC’s green strap (pictured above, the only “green” Mayweather loves more is his money), and he and the organization have played nice over the years. The WBC even named him as a “Supreme Champion” in 2013, whatever in the world that means.

So the WBC generously does Mayweather a favor by letting him “accomplish” a feat only Leonard has “accomplished” before him, and Mayweather generously allows the WBC to line their pockets with a couple of his extra percentage points.