WBC president: Adonis Stevenson not facing mandatory is “unacceptable”
By Jim Dower: World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman appears to be on the verge of putting his foot down to address WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) not facing his mandatory challenger for the last 4 years of his career. Sulaiman says he’ll be making a ruling soon.
”We are addressing this matter. It’s not 4 years & Kovalev hurt the process as well but it’s unacceptable to continue. WBC is ruling soon,” said Sulaiman.
Does this mean Sulaiman will strip Stevenson of his WBC 175 lb. title? I’d be really surprised if that’s the case.
Sulaiman says it wasn’t 4 years. It would be nice to know when Stevenson last defended against his mandatory, because Tony Bellew appears to be the last time Stevenson defended against a mandatory challenger and that was on November 30, 2013. That was 4 years ago. It’s unknown what Sergey Kovalev has to do with Stevenson not facing a mandatory challenge since 2013. Sulaiman says Kovalev hurt the process.
What’s unclear is why the WBC has allowed Adonis Stevenson to get away with not defending his WBC 175lb. title for the last 4 years. It’s certainly a good thing that Sulaiman is finally on the verge of addressing the issue, but it’s kind of late in the game for him to finally taking action. Stevenson is 40-years-old now, and he’s 4 years where he’s not made an annual defense against his mandatory challengers. The guys that could have fought Stevenson for the last 4 years never got a chance.
Recently, there are rumors that Stevenson is going to bypass his mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez to fight Badou Jack in early 2018. There’s talk of Alvarez taking a step aside fee to let the Stevenson-Jack fight take place. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but that’s what the rumors are. If Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) is accepting step aside money so that Stevenson can make voluntary defenses of his title, then he’s partly to blame for allowing it to happen. But that doesn’t account for Stevenson going years without defending against his mandatory challenger.
The champions are supposed to be fighting a mandatory once a year. WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder just made his first defense against his mandatory challenger in over 2 years since he won the WBC title in January 2015.
Stevenson is 40 now, and even if the WBC strip him, he’s been taking voluntary defenses since 2014. Here are the fights Stevenson has had since his last mandatory defense:
• Andrze Fonfara – May 24, 2014
• Dmitry Sukhotskiy – December 19, 2014
• Sakio Bika – April 4, 2015
• Tommy Karpency – September 11, 2015
• Thomas Williams Jr. – July 29, 2016
• Andrze Fonfara – June 3, 2017