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WBA Confirms Jermell Charlo Has Been Placed As Champion-In-Recess, Now-Vacant WBA Belt Offically Made Available For Madrimov-Kurbanov Bout

WBA Confirms Jermell Charlo Has Been Placed As Champion-In-Recess featured image
Jermell Charlo has lost his last world title, the WBA belt, following the WBA's decision to strip him for primarily proving unable to defend his title since his last title defense in May of 2022 against Brian Castano. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Jermell Charlo is no longer in possession of any of his WBA titles as the WBA confirms that the American 154-pounder has been stripped and placed as a champion-in-recess. Although boxing reporter Dan Rafael released this exclusive tidbit of news last week, the WBA has only now broken their silence regarding Charlo’s status as a WBA world champion.

Following the WBA relegating Jermell Charlo (35-2-1, 19 KO’s) champion-in-recess status, the former undisputed super welterweight champion has been given six months to return to the ring and fight over the WBA title. Like the WBC, who also vacated Charlo’s WBC title and placed him as a champion-in-recess―all to subsequently make the belt available for the Fundora-Bohachuk undercard bout set for later this month, the WBA defended their decision by referring to Charlo’s lack of inactivity since last defending his WBA title on May 14th against Brian Carlos Castano (17-1-2, 12 KO’s) in 2022.

As was speculated when Charlo’s fight with Canelo Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KO’s)―for all of the Mexican undisputed champion’s 168 lbs world titles―was announced, Jermell Charlo’s decision could backfire due to him having refused to make a title defense against WBO mandatory contender Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KO’s) by choosing to face Alvarez, eventually resulting in Charlo being stripped of the WBO title which would thereafter fall into the hands of Tszyu.

With most of the sanctioning bodies’ rules requiring a champion to make a mandatory title defense within six to nine months, Charlo only hastened the termination of his tenure as a world champion when he deliberately chose Alvarez to face. That decision would also not work out in his favor competitive-wise as the then-unified junior middleweight champion would go on to lose easily to Alvarez in a bout for which he was heavily-criticized for due to his performance.

Notably, the WBA also clarified their decision to there being “no news of a defense in the short term“, which might suggest Jermell Charlo has refused to pay his sanctioning fees, or at the very least not given the WBA any notice of when he would return to the ring, forcing the sanctioning body’s hand. With Charlo not having breathed a word to any media outlet since his defeat to Canelo Alvarez on September 30th last year, it is likely that the sanctioning bodies were also left unaware of his intentions or whereabouts, thus explaining the recent decisions that have been made to strip him.

Israil Madrimov (9-0-1, 6 KO’s) and Magomed Kurbanov (25-0, 13 KO’s) have been confirmed to now be battling over the now-vacant WBA 154 lbs title upcoming Friday on the undercard of the Joshua-Ngannou event, allowing the division to finally move ahead with at least three fights for the WBA, WBC and IBF planned within the next two months, while Tszyu currently remains the only world champion in the division as the holder of the WBO belt.