The WBA has once again reportedly created a secondary "world" title, this time at junior welterweight.
According to Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the WBA has elevated 140-pound world champion Regis Prograis as "Super" champion and has now created a "Regular" title. The two fighters the WBA has ordered to fight are its top two contenders, Mario Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov.
The news adds further confusion into the WBA's title mess, which has been heavily criticized for creating too many world titles. The WBA has at least a world champion and an interim or "Regular" champion in every division outside of lightweight, super flyweight, flyweight and minimumweight. The WBA also has a Gold title where titleholders are exempt from the WBA top 15. The junior welterweight is such a division where it has a Gold champion in Yves Ulysee Jr.
Prograis won the WBA title in April when he defeated Kiryl Relikh in the World Boxing Super Series junior welterweight tournament semifinals. Prograis will defend his title in a world title unification with IBF champion Josh Taylor in the tournament finals later this year.
Barrios is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBA at 140 pounds and is unbeaten as a pro. The 5'10" Barrios has won 16 of his 24 fights by knockout and is coming off a knockout win over Juan Jose Velasco back on May 11.
Akhmedov is also undefeated in the paid ranks, but carries far less pro experience than Barrios. Akhmedov, who competed in the 2016 Olympics, has won all seven of his fights since making his debut back in 2017 and last fought on May 25 when he defeated Francisco Gabriel Pina.