Per a news release I just got, the WBA has installed John Ruiz (photo: right) as the mandatory challenger to the winner of its heavyweight title fight between Ruslan Chagaev and Nicolay Valuev (photo: left). That means we could end up with Valuev-Ruiz III, if Valuev beats Chagaev. Since the first bout only happened because Valuev was installed as a mandatory, and since the WBA installed Ruiz as Valuev’s mandatory the second time around, in the history of mankind, has there ever been a worse trilogy that came about exclusively through mandatory title challenges? And this is now at least the fourth time the WBA has made Ruiz a mandatory title challenger, by my count.
Everyone. Please. Ignore the WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF. The real, solitary champions of the world are at the above left of your screen. No matter what happens with the WBA, neither Valuev nor Ruiz has any place being considered “the heavyweight champion of the world.” Not until they beat the #1-ranked man on the planet while ranked #2 (or at worst #3) themselves.