Monday, September 25, 2023  |



WBC releases list of mandatory matchups

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

Today, at its convention in Acapulco, Mexico, the WBC announced its mandatories in all 18 divisions.

Here is a full guide to how things panned out:

Heavyweight – Champion Tyson Fury will face Derek Chisora on December 3. While Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz have been mandated to fight to decide the next mandatory. Arslanbek Makhmudov vs. Zhan Kossobutskiy was called for after Makhmudov’s next fight, which is scheduled to be December 16 against Raphael Akpejiori.

Bridgerweight – Champion Oscar Rivas will defend his title against Lukasz Rozanski in Poland on February 25. The winner must then face the winner of Alen Babic-Ryad Merhy, who will meet to decide the second mandatory challenger.

Cruiserweight – Champion IIunga Makabu is in a voluntary stage but then has to face mandatory challenger Noel Mikaelyan. It was also called for Thabiso Mchunu to meet Badou Jack to decide the next mandatory.

Light Heavyweight – Champion Artur Beterbiev will defend his IBF, WBC and WBO titles against WBO mandatory Anthony Yarde. Callum Smith is the mandatory challenger and will fight once more before facing the Beterbiev-Yarde winner.

Super Middleweight – Undisputed Champion Canelo Alvarez is currently recovering from surgery. How long he will be inactive will be determined before he is able to return. David Benavidez and Caleb Plant will fight for the interim title in March. The winner will become Canelo’s mandatory. Christian Mbilli vs. Ali Akhmedov has been called for in an eliminator.

Middleweight – Champion Jermall Charlo is currently sidelined due to injury. Once he is fit, he will face interim titlist Carlos Adames.

Junior Middleweight – Undisputed Champion Jermell Charlo will face Tim Tszyu on January 28. interim titlist Sebastian Fundora will meet Tony Harrison in a final eliminator.

Welterweight – Champion Errol Spence Jr. will defend his title against mandatory challenger Keith Thurman.

Junior Welterweight – Jose Zepeda and Regis Prograis will fight for the vacant WBC title in Los Angeles on November 26. The winner has to face Jose Ramirez. Teofimo Lopez will fight Jose Pedraza on December 10. He will then face Sandor Martin to decide the second mandatory.

Lightweight – Undisputed Champion Devin Haney is in talks to face Vasiliy Lomachenko. It was agreed that Shakur Stevenson and Isaac Cruz will fight to decide the next mandatory.

Junior Lightweight – O’Shaquie Foster and Rey Vargas will meet for the vacant title in January. The winner would have two mandatories. The first would be against Eduardo Hernandez and the second would be determined by the winner of Robson Conceicao and Muhammadkhula Yaqubov.

Featherweight – Champion Rey Vargas is fighting for the vacant junior lightweight title. If he wins, he has to decide in which division is going to fight. Omar Figueroa and Stephen Fulton will fight for a rematch for the interim title. If Vargas doesn’t return to featherweight, the winner will become full champion. Mark Magsayo and Isaac Dogboe will meet in a final eliminator.

Junior Featherweight – Champion Stephen Fulton is fighting at featherweight and will then decide in which weight class he will perform. Luis Nery and Azat Hovhannisyan will fight a final eliminator and Raesse Aleem and David Picasso will fight an eliminator.

Bantamweight – Champion Naoya Inoue will face WBO titlist Paul Butler to decide the undisputed champion. If Inoue wins, he is expected to vacate. That would open up for Jason Moloney and Nonito Donaire to fight for the vacant title. Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai and Reymart Gaballo will fight a final eliminator.

Junior Bantamweight – Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez will fight for the vacant title on December 3. They would have a voluntary defense. Andrew Moloney and Pedro Guevara will fight in a final eliminator.

Flyweight – Champion Julio Cesar Martinez will defend his title on December 3. He had been due to face interim champion McWilliams Arroyo, who is injured. If Angel Ayala Lardizabel accepts the fight is will be as the mandatory challenger, if not he will stay in that position for the next fight.

Junior Flyweight – Champion Kenshiro Teraji has been called to defend his title against Hekkie Budler.

Strawweight – Champion Panya Pradabsri is in a voluntary stage. Ayanda Ndulani and Luis Castillo will meet in a final eliminator.


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].