One of the most widely-panned moves in boxing for the past couple of months was the introduction of the WBC Franchise title, which was first unveiled when the governing body named Canelo Alvarez its first Franchise champion.
The move further added confusion to boxing's constant problem of having too many titles as the designation ended Alvarez's reign as champion and elevated interim titleholder Jermall Charlo to sole middleweight champion. Yet as almost everyone in the sport has seemingly disapproved the move with near-universal disgust, Bob Arum doesn't see much problem with the concept itself.
During the post-fight press conference for Jose Ramirez's junior welterweight title unification win against Maurice Hooker, Arum spoke about Alvarez getting the designation, stating that the Mexican star deserves it because of his body of work and for his extreme popularity.
Bob Arum makes a passionate argument in favor of the WBC franchise belt. He says Loma doesn’t deserve it yet, but Canelo Alvarez does because “he’s the face of boxing. ... I’m not his promoter but I wish I was.” pic.twitter.com/vvgIbA2cMm— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 28, 2019
"[Canelo] chooses who he wants to fight and if you don’t want to see him fight, don’t watch, don’t cover his fights and don’t go to his fights. That’s my position. Now I don’t think they should make franchise willy nilly , but Canelo deserves the franchise tag... [He deserves it because of his body of work and because he’s the only friggin’ fighter in that division who can move the needle,” Arum said.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn stood beside Arum as he said this and quickly interrupted him by asking about one of Arum's fighters Vasiliy Lomachenko. In regards to Lomachenko potentially getting the honor should he beat Luke Campbell to win the vacant WBC lightweight title in August, Arum said the three-division champion still doesn't warrant getting the same honor as Alvarez did, at least not yet.
“Lomachenko doesn’t deserve it yet. He has two belts. Hopefully if the BBBofC doesn’t interfere, he’ll have three belts and then he’ll fight the [Richard] Commey-Teofimo Lopez [winner] and he’ll have four belts. Then, hopefully, Mauricio Sulaiman makes him franchise champion,” Arum said.
Lomachenko currently holds the WBA and WBO titles and a win over Campbell on August 31 in London would put him one title away from being called the undisputed champion. The last remaining belt is the IBF title being held by Commey, who is likely facing Lopez next.