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 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. 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.
|Sanctioning body||Weight Class||Champion|
|WBC||Heavyweight||Dillian Whyte *|
|WBA||Light Heavyweight||Jean Pascal|
|WBA||Super Middleweight||John Ryder|
|WBA||Super Lightweight||Alberto Puello|
|WBA||Super Bantamweight||Brandon Figueroa|