The WBC announces mandatory challengers at convention
Today, the WBC announced its mandatories with a few surprises, none bigger than pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynosa asking for special dispensation for his fighter to step up to cruiserweight to face IIunga Makabu next year.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said, following a meeting with the presidents of IBF, WBA and WBO, that the mandatory challengers in divisions with unified beltholders may have to fight final eliminators to keep busy while the unified titlist seeks to become undisputed champion.
Here is a full guide to how things panned out:
Heavyweight – Champion Tyson Fury versus interim titlist Dillian Whyte, following an October ruling from the court of arbitration, whom are dealing with this situation. Until that is resolved, the WBC are unable to proceed.
Bridgerweight – Titlist Oscar Rivas will face mandatory challenger Evgeny Romanov.
Cruiserweight – Titleholder IIunga Makabu will face mandatory challenger Thabiso Mchunu. It was proposed to take place on January 8 in Florida. However Mchunu’s promoter RCC Boxing Promotions asked for longer to prepare. Alexsei Papin is the second mandatory.
Light heavyweight – Beltholder Artur Beterbiev will face mandatory challenger Marcus Browne in Montreal on December 17.
Super middleweight – Sampson Lewkowicz asked that his fighter, former two-time WBC titlist David Benavidez become the mandatory challenger for champion Canelo Alvarez. Eddy Reynosa arrived and asked for Canelo to be allowed to contest the WBC cruiserweight title against the winner of Makabu-Mchunu. It was accepted universally by the WBC board. Lewkowicz then asked that Benavidez be allowed to fight for the interim title.
Middleweight – Beltholder Jermall Charlo in a voluntary stage. It was ordered that WBC No. 1 contender Jaime Munguia face the winner of Sergiy Derevyanchenko vs. Carlos Adames on December 5. Eric Gomez, who was representing Munguia, said he has spoken to Derevyanchenko’s side and is committed to making that fight next.
Junior middleweight – There are ongoing conversations with unified (and The Ring) champion Jermell Charlo and WBO titlist Brian Castano about a rematch. In the meantime, Sebastian Fundora and Sergio Garcia will meet on December 5 in an eliminator with the winner to face Erickson Lubin.
Welterweight – Titleholder Errol Spence Jr. is medically cleared to fight but the WBC is waiting on his plans. He has an IBF mandatory commitment to face its mandatory Kudratillo Abdukakhorov. Neil Marsh, who manages No. 2-ranked David Avanesyan asked that his fighter face either WBC No. 1 Vergil Ortiz or No. 3 Jaron “Boots” Ennis. Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions said Ortiz will fight January 22 and then look to face Avanesyan next for the mandatory position.
Junior welterweight – Champion Josh Taylor will meet Jack Catterall on February 26. He is then mandated to face Jose Zepeda.
Lightweight – There are many components in this division. The Ring champion (and holder of the division’s “franchise” title) Teofimo Lopez will face George Kambosos Jr. on November 27. Titlist Devin Haney will face Joseph Diaz Jr. on December 4. An eliminator was proposed by RCC Boxing Promotions that Zaur Abdullaev face Jorge Linares.
Junior lightweight – Beltholder Oscar Valdez was mandatory challenger when he won the title so no mandatory is due. Mauricio Sulaiman proposed a tournament with No. 2 O’Shaquie Foster to face No. 3 Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in an eliminator. The tournament could also include Miguel Berchelt, if he can still make the division limit and Robson Conceicao.
Featherweight – Titleholder Gary Russell Jr. will face mandatory challenger Mark Magsayo in January and then a second mandatory versus Rey Vargas.
Junior featherweight – Titlist Brandon Figueroa is fighting WBO counterpart Stephen Fulton on November 27 in a unification.
Bantamweight – Beltholder Nonito Donaire will face interim titlist Reymart Gaballo on December 11. Jason Moloney and Nawaphon Kaikanha will fight an eliminator.
Junior bantamweight – The Ring champion Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez will meet for the “franchise” title and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras will contest the vacant title with the winners to face on another. Pedro Guevara will fight Fernando Guevara in an eliminator.
Flyweight – Titlist Julio Cesar Martinez faces McWilliams Arroyo on Friday. The winner is in a voluntary stage.
Junior flyweight – Titleholder Masamichi Yabuki will face former beltholder Kenshiro Teraji in a rematch.
Strawweight – Titlist Panya Pradabsri will face former champion Wanheng Menayothin in a rematch.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright.
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