Alvarez makes deal to allow Stevenson optional defense
As expected, Eleider Alvarez has reached a step-aside agreement to allow WBC light heavyweight titleholder Adonis Stevenson to bypass his mandatory and make a voluntary defense, according to correspondence between the WBC and promoter Yvon Michel, obtained by RingTV.com.
Stevenson is in extensive talks to face undefeated Sean Monaghan of Long Island for a bout on April 29 at the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The step-aside deal for an undisclosed sum clears the way for that fight to take place.
Michel, who handles both Alvarez and Stevenson, made clear in the letter to the WBC that the winner of Stevenson’s optional defense would then have to defend the title against Alvarez, who is Stevenson’s mandatory. Meanwhile, the WBC plans to order an eliminator between Joe Smith Jr. and Oleksandr Gvozdyk with the winner becoming a second mandatory at light heavyweight, according to the correspondence.
“The WBC light heavyweight division has not had a mandatory defense in a prolonged period of time,” wrote WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman. “Consequently, the WBC has decided to order a final elimination bout between WBC International champion Joe Smith vs the NABF champion Aleksandr Gvozdyk with the winner becoming a second mandatory contender of the division.”
Alvarez has been Stevenson’s mandatory since he captured a majority decision against Isaac Chilemba in a title eliminator in November of 2015, winning three fights since, most recently a fifth-round knockout of former 168-pound titleholder Lucian Bute last month. Stevenson last fought on July 29, leveling Thomas Williams Jr. in the fourth round. The 35-year-old Monaghan (28-0, 17 KOs) won a decision against Fernando Castaneda on Dec. 10 in Omaha in his last fight.