By Round By Round Boxing
Posted: November 4, 2015
The World Boxing Council’s 53rd annual convention continued today at the InterContinental Hotel. Most of the day’s general assembly meeting was devoted to mandatory world title defenses.
Heavyweight world champion: Deontay Wilder (US)
No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin of Russia, who also holds the WBC Silver title, is scheduled to fight Mariusz Wach tonight in Kazan, Russia. A representative for Povetkin told the assembly today that Povetkin will not be ready for his mandatory title challenge in January, when it’s due, but if he wins tonight, he will be ready in April or May. If Povetkin loses tonight, the WBC will address the mandatory situation. A voluntary title defense was approved for Wilder on January 16.
Cruiserweight world champion: Grigory Drozd (Russia)
Drozd is scheduled to make his mandatory title defense against No. 1 ranked Ilunga Makabu of Congo in March.
Light Heavyweight world champion: Adonis Stevenson (Canada)
The WBC ordered a mandatory title defense last year against WBC Diamond champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia in what would be one of the biggest fights possible. An agreement was not reached between the fighters’ representatives, but the WBC continues to fully support both parties in their continued negotiations for this super fight. In order to determine a mandatory challenger, No. 1 ranked NABF champion Isaac Chilemba of Malawi will fight No. 2 ranked WBC Silver champion Eleider Alvarez of Colombia in a final eliminator on November 28 in Quebec City.
Super Middleweight world champion: Badou Jack (Gambia/Sweden)
Jack is in a voluntary stage – he successfully defended the title against mandatory challenger George Groves on September 12. Jack stated at this convention that he wants to make a voluntary title defense against former WBC Middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., who is also at this convention, said that his son also wants the fight.
Middleweight world champion: Miguel Cotto (Puerto Rico)
Cotto is scheduled to make a voluntary title defense against No. 1 ranked former Super Welterweight world champion Canelo Alvarez on November 21, with the winner committed to make a mandatory defense against WBC interim champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan.
Super Welterweight and Welterweight world titles: Vacant
In honor of his incredible career that spanned almost 19 years and in which he won WBC world titles in five weight divisions, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was awarded the WBC Lifetime Achievement Award here yesterday and named Champion Emeritus in the Super Welterweight and Welterweight divisions. With Mayweather’s recent retirement, both titles are now vacant. The WBC has ordered tournaments in both divisions to determine the world champions, and will contact the representatives of the top-rated fighters in both divisions to determine their participants. The WBC is currently preparing the guidelines for the tournaments.
Super Lightweight world champion: Viktor Postol (Ukraine)
Since Postol won the vacant title – with a sensational performance against Lucas Matthysse on October 3 – he is required to make two mandatory defenses according to WBC rules. No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Amir Imam of the U.S. is contracted to fight on November 28 in Quebec City, so Postol was approved for a voluntary defense, with the winner of that fight to next make the first mandatory defense. The second mandatory challenger is to be determined.
Lightweight world champion: Jorge Linares (Venezuela)
Linares won the vacant title on December 30, 2014, and made his first mandatory defense against Kevin Mitchell. Dejan Zlaticanin of Montenegro is his second mandatory challenger, and the WBC will start the process for free negotiations for that fight on its return to Mexico City after this convention.
Super Featherweight world champion: Takashi Miura (Japan)
Miura is scheduled to make a defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Francisco Vargas of Mexico on November 21 in Las Vegas.
Featherweight world champion: Gary Russell Jr. (US)
Russell was scheduled to make a voluntary title defense against Oscar Escandon of Colombia on November 14, but it was confirmed at the convention today that Russell was injured in training and the fight has been cancelled. No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Robinson Castellanos of Mexico, who also holds the WBC Silver title, had accepted a step-aside agreement so that Russell could make the voluntary defense against Escandon. The WBC today approved Castellanos vs. Escandon for the interim Featherweight world title.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman commented, “The interim champion concept was created for unique situations, basically for when a champion is injured or when a champion has a legal contractual situation that does not allow him to be active. The WBC, with much regret, has seen the concept of the interim championships be diminished, and it has become a circus in some parts of the world. The WBC has limited, very much, the interim championships. However, in this case, I believe there’s merit. I’m very surprised and I’m very sorry to hear the news about Russell’s injury, because Russell and Escandon were supposed to fight in September, then it was moved to October, and then it was moved to November.”
Super Bantamweight world champion: Julio Ceja (Mexico)
Ceja won the vacant title on August 29, 2015. The WBC today approved final eliminators to determine the two mandatory challengers.
In one, No. 1 ranked Qiu Xiao June of China, who also holds the WBC Silver title, will fight No. 4 ranked No. 4 ranked Alexis Kabore of Burkino Faso, who also holds the WBC International title.
In the other, No. 2 ranked Rey Vargas of Mexico will fight No. 3 ranked Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba.
Bantamweight world champion: Shinsuke Yamanaka (Japan)
The WBC ordered a final eliminator between No. 1 ranked Suriyan Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, who also holds the Asian Boxing Council title, and No. 2 ranked Anselmo Moreno of Panama to determine the mandatory challenger. The WBC has been advised that Yamanaka might vacate the title to move up in weight. If that is the case, the Rungvisai-Moreno fight would be for the vacant WBC world title.
Super Flyweight world champion: Carlos Cuadras (Mexico)
Cuadras is contracted to make a voluntary defense against No. 2 ranked Koki Eto of Japan on November 28 in Miyagi, Japan, with the winner to next make a defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, who also holds the WBC Silver title.
Flyweight world champion: Roman Gonzalez (Nicaragua)
A final eliminator was ordered between No. 1 ranked Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai of Thailand and Edgar Sosa of Mexico to determine the mandatory challenger, but Gonzalez made a voluntary defense against Sosa instead and the mandatory challenger was not determined. In view of this situation, the WBC approved Sor Rungvisai as mandatory challenger.
Light Flyweight world champion: Pedro Guevara (Mexico)
Guevara is currently in a voluntary stage. The WBC approved a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger between No. 1 ranked Jonathan Inguito Taconing of the Philippines, who also holds the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation title, and No. 4 ranked Juan Hernandez of Mexico.
Minimumweight world champion: Wanheng Menayothin (Thailand)
Menayothin is scheduled to make a voluntary defense against No. 9 ranked Young Kil Bae of South Korea on November 24 in Chonburi, Thailand, and is scheduled to fight again next February. The WBC approved a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger between No. 1 ranked Denver Cuello of the Philippines and No. 2 ranked Saul Juarez of Mexico on December 5. If the winner of the eliminator is not ready to fight again in February, the winner of Menayothin-Young will be allowed a voluntary defense.