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The WBO Rejects Petition By Dina Thorslund To Become WBO “Super Champion”, Petition Unveils Bizarre Comparison To Shields & Serrano

The WBO Rejects Petition By Dina Thorslund To Become WBO Super Champion featured image
BRONDBY, DENMARK - DECEMBER 12: Dina Thorslund of Denmark fights Jasmina Nadj of Serbia in the Female Super Bantamweight during the Sauerland Promotion Boxing Ondt Blod Match at Brondby Hallen on December 12, 2015 in Brondby, Denmark. (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

Undefeated Danish WBO champion Dina Thorslund will not become a WBO ‘super champion’ in the near future after the WBO promptly rejected an application by Thorsland and her team to be considered as such. While Thorslund currently holds the WBO title at bantamweight, the lack of any mandatory title defenses and relatively-low competition she faced compared to other female boxers recognized as WBO “super champion” were primary causes for the WBO’s rejection.

The WBO “super champion” is a privileged status that can be granted to a WBO champion if they have met certain conditions including a certain amount of mandatory title defenses and wins against quality opponents―amongst other conditions. However, despite Dina Thorslund (21-0, 9 KO’s) having had a number of title fights thus far, an application to become the WBO “super champion” was quickly shut down by the WBO.

In a publicly-shown letter where the WBO confirmed the rejection of Thorslund’s appeal, the sanctioning body explained there were several reasons for their decision, most prominently among them Thorslund not fulfilling the requirement to make ten title defenses, as she had only made eight.

Furthermore, Thorslund’s inability to face any mandatory contender―despite having been the WBO champion in two different weight classes, also played a role in the WBO’s rejection, which became compounded with the fact she did not face quality opposition according to the sanctioning body.

Interestingly enough, an argument was made by Thorslund and her team that saw her compared to Claressa Shields (14-0, 2 KO’s) and Amanda Serrano (46-2-1, 30 KO’s), two of the most prominent female boxers of this era that have a resume that Thorslund simply does not match up to―a comparison that the WBO itself seemed confused by as they would go on to state in their letter:

This Committee respectfully disagrees with the comparison of Thorslund with WBO ‘Super
Champions’ and Undisputed Champions Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano,
” The WBO explained.

Thorslund has only faced 3 world champions, however, none of them of the caliber, skill, and
recognition of those faced by Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano, respectively. Thorslund’s total combined opposition record sums 299 wins with 100 losses and 18 draws.

The comparison of Thorslund to Shields and Serrano does not seem rooted in an actual genuine understanding of the achievements of the aforementioned women. Claressa Shields, who came into the sport as a two-time Olympic gold medalist, has become undisputed in two divisions and faced several top-rated opponents during a career that started since 2016. She is also currently regarded as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter according to The Ring Magazine, and generally considered to be one of the best―if not the best―female boxer on the planet.

Amanda Serrano likewise has a noteworthy resume, having become undisputed at featherweight and competed in numerous title bouts―that included mandatory title defenses―to make her cement her status as a future Hall of Famer. Like Shields, Serrano is also a pound-for-pound fighter and currently ranked #4 by The Ring.

In comparison, Dina Thorslund has only ever held two world titles [WBO at bantamweight and super bantamweight], and had zero mandatory title defenses; an astounding fact when taken into account that she has held the WBO title in two divisions and defended it on eight occasions―two less than the ten defenses required for her to be considered a WBO “super champion”. Furthermore, Thorslund has only ever faced three current or former world champions compared to Serrano and Shields who’ve faced at least double the amount―most, if not all, against champions that were higher in ability and standing than the champions Thorslund has faced throughout her career.

The lack of mandatory title defenses by Thorslund is an interesting development as it fell to the WBO to mandate these matches, suggesting either a form of negligence on the part of the sanctioning body, or a lack of suitable fighters in the divisions Thorslund to be considered as mandatory challengers. Either way, the lack of any mandated title defense is one of the primary reasons for the WBO’s rejection of Thorslund’s petition to become a WBO “super champion”.

Going forward, there does need to be a sense of culpability that the WBO needs to carry as Dina Thorslund should already have been ordered to face a mandatory challenger at some point in her career―as not doing so stifles competition and only serves as a detriment in cases where champions want to launch petitions to become a “super champion”.

Moreover, the WBO’s conclusion of Dina Thorslund facing lesser opposition compared to Claressa Shields or Amanda Serrano does not take into account that not every division in women’s boxing is as competitive as those that Shields and Serrano fought in―who themselves have reigned in divisions that cannot be considered to be suitably competitive.

Then there is also the matter of whether the 30-year old Thorslund was unable to land the credible fights she needed to because of either the unwillingness of top opponents to face her, or the lack of overall competition in the divisions she fought in.

Dina Thorslund currently remains the WBO champion at bantamweight and also holds The Ring Magazine lineal belt in the same weight class; a title that Thorslund’s team argued as one of the reasons to promote Thorslund to a “super champion”―the same title that the WBO revealed they did not acknowledge or recognize during their public letter.

Becoming a “WBO super champion” would allow Dina Thorslund a number of privileges, including the ability to become the mandatory challenger to whichever division she chooses to move to that has a WBO champion. Though her petition was rejected, there are still opportunities for Thorslund to be recognized as a “super champion” provided she fulfills some of the criteria which includes ten title defenses, several mandatory title defenses and wins against top fighters―whether former/current champions or highly-rated contenders.