Interim championship

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An interim championship is an alternate title that is awarded by the four major sanctioning bodies of professional boxing (WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO), and in other combat sports such as kickboxing, professional wrestling, and mixed martial arts.

Occasionally, the champion of a particular weight division is temporarily unable to defend his championship because of medical, legal, or other reasons that are beyond the competitor's control. When this case occurs, two highly ranked contenders may fight for an interim championship of the same weight division – leading to two champions existing in the same weight division simultaneously. Once the original champion is able to return, at the discretion of the sanctioning body concerned, they must defend their title against the interim champion - who will relinquish their interim title in order to fight for the full world title. If the original champion cannot return, refuses to defend their title or transfers to a different weight division, the interim champion is then promoted to full championship status.[citation needed] The WBC, however, have begun awarding interim titles to the winners of final eliminator fights, effectively signifying a mandatory challenger position for the full world title. Recent examples include the winners of Dillian Whyte vs Oscar Rivas and Devin Haney vs Zaur Abdullaev.

Current interim champions[edit]

As of 10 October 2020
Sanctioning body Weight Class Champion
WBA Heavyweight United States Trevor Bryan
WBC Heavyweight Russia Alexander Povetkin
WBA Cruiserweight Belgium Ryad Merhy
WBA Light heavyweight Germany Robin Krasniqi
WBA Super middleweight Cuba David Morrell
WBA Middleweight United Kingdom Chris Eubank Jr.
WBA Welterweight United States Jamal James
WBA Light welterweight Dominican Republic Alberto Puello
WBA Lightweight United States Rolando Romero
WBC Lightweight United States Ryan Garcia
WBA Super featherweight United States Chris Colbert
IBF Super bantamweight Japan Ryosuke Iwasa
WBA Flyweight Panama Luis Concepción
WBA Light flyweight Cuba Daniel Matellon

See also[edit]