I don't agree with the WBC very often, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
So I agreed with the organization's decision this week to strip lightweight titleholder Adrien Broner of his 135-pound belt and elevate interim titleholder Omar Figueroa to full titlist.
Broner won the title impressively in November 2012, knocking out Antonio DeMarco in the eighth round of a dominant performance, and defended it once, a one-sided fifth-round destruction of Gavin Rees last February.
But after the win over Rees, Broner, also a former junior lightweight titleholder, jumped up two weight classes and outpointed Paulie Malignaggi in June to win a welterweight belt recognized by another alphabet organization. In December, Broner fought again at welterweight, losing the title to Marco Maidana in a terrific fight.
Both times, the WBC allowed Broner to keep his lightweight belt even while fighting in a different weight class for another title, something highly unusual. Broner was given notice that the deadline loomed for him to make a decision. But the deadline came and went and the WBC did nothing -- although, in its defense, longtime president Jose Sulaiman was in his final days before dying a couple of weeks ago and the organization's business largely was put on hold.
But once Broner exercised his contractual rematch option on Jan. 10 for another fight with Maidana -- meaning he would fight a third consecutive bout at welterweight without defending his lightweight title -- the WBC really had no choice but to make the move.
"The WBC supported Adrien Broner's request to fight as WBC lightweight champion in two welterweight contests," acting WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said in a statement. "Broner was to inform the WBC of his decision regarding which division he would continue [in] after his December fight and he has opted to enforce the rematch against Maidana in the welterweight division. The WBC has, consequently, officially recognized the WBC interim champion, Omar Figueroa, as WBC lightweight champion. Broner has the WBC doors open at any time he wishes to contest in the future."
Broner didn't seem upset by the move at all.
"If I fight at 135 again, they will say I'm picking on people. Plus I only want to fight Maidana," Broner told ESPN.com. "The next move will be my best move."