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Bermane Stiverne must make two voluntary defenses

Day three of the World Boxing Council’s 52nd annual convention at The Mirage was devoted mainly to mandatory title defenses.


Heavyweight: Since world champion Bermane Stiverne of Canada won a vacant title, he is required by WBC rules to make two mandatory title defenses. The first, against No. 1 ranked Deontay Wilder of the United States, has been announced for January 17. The second mandatory challenger is Bryant Jennings of the U.S. If Jennings takes another fight instead, the WBC approved a final eliminator between No. 2 ranked Alexander Povetkin of Russia vs. No. 4 ranked Mike Perez of Cuba/Ireland to determine the second mandatory challenger.

Cruiserweight: A final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for world champion Grigory Drozd of Russia was approved between No. 2 ranked Thabiso Mchunu of South Africa and No. 3 ranked Ilungu Makubu of Congo. No. 1 ranked WBC Silver Champion Rakhim Chakhkiev of Russia has informed the WBC that he intends to defend the Silver title instead of participating in a final eliminator.

Light Heavyweight: World champion Adonis Stevenson of Haiti/Canada has a voluntary title defense scheduled on December 19 vs. No. 5 ranked Dmitry Sukhotskiy of Russia, and the winner will have time for one more voluntary defense after that. The winner of that fight is required to make a mandatory title defense. Promoter Kathy Duva’s unprecedented proposal was approved: the winner of the March fight between WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia and WBC Diamond Champion Jean Pascal of Canada will become the WBC mandatory challenger. If there is no agreement in the free negotiations period for the mandatory fight, the purse offer split will be 50/50.

Super Middleweight: The mandatory challenger for world champion Anthony Dirrell of the U.S. is No. 1 ranked George Groves of the United Kingdom. Dirrell already has a voluntary defense scheduled for February, with the winner required to fight Groves in his next fight.

Middleweight: Middleweight world champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico has a voluntary defense scheduled for May. WBC interim middleweight champion/WBA middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan has a fight vs. Martin Murray of the U.K. scheduled for February 21, and the winner will become the mandatory challenger for the winner of Cotto-TBD.

Super Welterweight-Welterweight: Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the U.S. holds both titles. Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz of the U.S. proposed an eight-man tournament in each weight division to determine the mandatory challengers, which was approved by the WBC Board of Governors.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said, “The WBC has participated to allow and encourage in every way the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight to take place. The WBC has not set any obstacles or conditions for the fight to take place. The WBC has approved to have a dual championship for the welterweight and super welterweight divisions – Floyd Mayweather is confirmed to hold both titles, and there is no mandatory in either division until we can finalize if he is fighting Pacquiao. There are proposed tournaments to take place in both divisions to keep both divisions active, and to eventually determine the mandatory challengers.”

Super Lightweight: World champion Danny Garcia of the U.S. has requested a voluntary title defense, and has a step-aside agreement with No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Viktor Postol of Ukraine. The winner of Garcia’s voluntary defense is required to fight Postol next.

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Lightweight: Champion-in-recess Omar Figueroa is still inactive due to complications from an injury and has informed the WBC that he might move up in weight. No. 1 ranked Jorge Linares of Venezuela will fight No. 2 ranked Javier Prieto of Mexico for the vacant title on December 30 in Tokyo. Final eliminators were approved to determine the two mandatory challengers: No. 4 ranked lightweight Hank Lundy of the U.S., who recently lost a fight in the super lightweight division, vs. No. 3 ranked Dejan Zlaticanin of Montenegro in the first, and No. 6 ranked Daniel Estrada of Mexico vs. No. 7 ranked Kevin Mitchell of the U.K., scheduled for January 31, in the second.

Super Featherweight: World champion Takashi Miura of Japan is in a voluntary stage. The WBC Board approved a fight between No. 2 ranked WBC Silver champion Stephen Smith of the U.K. vs. No. 3 ranked Javier Fortuna of Dominican Republic for the No. 1 ranking.

Featherweight: Since the last mandatory defense in the feathweight division was over two years ago, two mandatory title defenses were approved for world champion Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico. The January 6 fight between No. 4 ranked Rocky Juarez of the U.S. and No. 5 ranked Robinson Castellanos of Mexico will determine one mandatory challenger. A fight between No. 2 ranked Marvin Sonsona of the Phillippines and No. 3 Jayson Velez of Puerto Rico was ordered to determine the other mandatory challenger.

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Super bantamweight: The mandatory challenger for world champion Leo Santa Cruz of Mexico will be determined by the fight on March 14 between No. 1 ranked Andres Gutierrez of Mexico and No. 2 ranked Hugo Ruiz of Mexico. A fight for the Silver super bantamweight title was requested for No. 6 Kid Galahad of the U.K. vs. No. 5 ranked Qiu Xiao Jun of China.

Bantamweight: World champion Shinsuke Yamanaka of Japan is in a voluntary stage.

Super flyweight: A request was approved for a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for world champion Carlos Cuadras of Mexico – No. 1 ranked Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand vs. No. 4 ranked Jose Salgado of Mexico.

Flyweight: No. 1 ranked Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai of Thailand vs. No. 2 ranked Edgar Sosa of Mexico was approved as a final eliminator to determined the mandatory challenger for world champion Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua.

Light Flyweight: No. 1 ranked Pedro Guevara of Mexico will fight No. 3 ranked Akira Yaegashi of Japan for the vacant title on December 30 in Tokyo. A final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger was approved between No. 5 ranked Jonathan Inguito Taconing of the Philippines and either No. 2 ranked Ganigan Lopez of Mexico or No. 4 ranked Adrian Hernandez of Mexico.

Minimumweight: World champion Wanheng Menayothin of Thailand is in a voluntary stage until November. A final eliminator was approved between No. 1 ranked WBC Silver champion Carlos Ortega of Panama and No. 2 ranked Denver Cuello of the Philippines.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to European Boxing Union Secretary General Enza Jacaponi of Italy, who has devoted 50 years of her life to boxing.

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