WBC Convention: Division-by-Division Breakdown of Ordered Title Fights and Bonds


The annual WBC convention once again managed to provide plenty of drama with its series of ordered bouts in every weight division.

Whether all, most, or even some of these sanctioned bouts actually see the light of day is another story.

The week-long convention – held in Acapulco, Mexico – confirmed several fights that were already in play, as well as several proposed elimination bouts that may or may not materialize. Below is a full recap of all the fights ordered in Wednesday’s “Mandatory” session:

Heavy weights: As previously reported by BoxingScene,com, a final eliminator has been ordered between former titlists Deontay Wilder (43-2-1, 42KOs) and Andy Ruiz (35-2, 22KOs). The winner will be named mandatory challenger to lineal/WBC champion Tyson Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs), who will next face Derek Chisora ​​(33-12, 23KOs) in a trilogy match on Dec. 3 at Tottenham Hotspur. Stadium in North London. .

Bridgerweight: The exclusive WBC division – which ranges from 191 to 226 pounds – has received confirmation that Oscar Rivas’ title defense against Ryan Rozanski is now rescheduled for February 25 in Poland. A final playoff was also ordered between Croatian Allen Babic and Belgian Ryad Merhy (31-1, 26KOs), with the winners meeting next.

Cruiser Weight: Ilunga ‘Junior’ Makabu (29-2, 25KOs) is back in the mandatory phase after seeing a previously scheduled fight with Merhy fall through the cracks earlier this year. The 35-year-old Congolese southpaw has been ordered to face newly appointed mandatory Noel Gevor Mikaelyan next (26-2, 11KOs). A final eliminator was also ordered between former two-time title challenger Thabiso Mchunu (23-6, 13KOs) – who lost a highly questionable decision to Makabu in their Jan. 29 rematch – and the former titlist in two divisions Badou Jack (27-3-3, 16KO).

Mid-heavyweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Callum Smith (29-1, 21KOs) has been confirmed as the mandatory challenger. He will be entitled to a shot at the title but will first have to put up an intense fight that he must win to keep his number one rank. Meanwhile, lineal/WBC/IBF/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18KOs) next faces WBO proxy Anthony Yarde on Jan. 28 at The O2 in London. With a win, Beterbiev will be cleared to explore an undisputed matchup with WBA title roster Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11KOs) before having to face Smith.

Super middle: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, the WBC has approved an upcoming matchup between interim title roster David Benavidez – a two-time former WBC champion – and former IBF title roster Caleb Plant as the final eliminator. The winner will be named the WBC mandatory challenger to undisputed champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, whose current medical condition is under review by the sanctioning body.

Average weight : The division will remain in a holding pattern as the WBC meets with undefeated champion Jermall Charlo to determine when he is fit to return to the ring. Acting titlist Carlos Adames was granted permission to participate in a voluntary title defense next, in hopes of being named the mandatory challenger for the full title.

Junior Middleweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, the WBC has ordered a final eliminator between interim WBC titlist Sebastian Fundora (19-0-1, 13KOs) and former full titlist Tony Harrison (29-3-1, 21KOs). . The winner will be named the mandatory challenger to undisputed champion Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19KOs), who will next defend against WBO number one contender Tim Tszyu (21-0, 15KOs) on Jan. 28 in Las Vegas.

Welterweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, WBA/WBC/IBF unified title roster Errol Spence (28-0, 22KOs) was tasked with next facing mandatory challenger and former unified title roster Keith Thurman (30- 1, 22KOs).

Junior welterweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, a title eliminator will be ordered between former lineal/unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (17-1, 13KOs) and Spaniard Sandor Martin (40-2, 13KOs). The winner will have a long wait to challenge for the full title, not to mention the order is on hold pending the outcome of Lopez’s Dec. 10 meeting with former two-division titlist Jose Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KB). Jose Zepeda (35-2, 27KOs; 2ND) and Regis Prograis (27-1, 23KOs) will meet on November 26 for the vacant title, with the winner already having to defend against former WBC/WBO titlist Jose Ramirez (27- 1, 17KB).

Lightweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, a final eliminator has been ordered between former two-division champion Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9KOs) and current top contender Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (24-2-1, 17KOs). ). The winner – if the fight goes ahead, which is highly unlikely – will be named the mandatory challenger to current undisputed champion Devin Haney (29-0, 15KOs), who is currently in talks for a spring 2023 showdown with the former three-division titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko (16-2, 11KOs).

Junior Lightweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, Rey Vargas (36-0, 22KOs) and O’Shaquie Foster (19-2, 11KOs) have agreed to terms for an upcoming bout for the vacant title. Two mandatory title defenses will await the winner: Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez has been confirmed as the number one contender, while the WBC has ordered a second final round between Brazilian Robson Conceicao and Tajikistan’s Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov.

Lightweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, a request has been approved for Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8KOs) and Brandon Figueroa (23-1-1, 18KOs) to meet in an interim featherweight title bout. Fulton will briefly pause his 122-pound WBC/WBO title reign for the rematch with Figueroa which is targeted for the first quarter of 2023. The winner will then face Vargas, who still holds the full featherweight title, or receive a Full upgrade to title status if Vargas stays at junior lightweight. Additionally, the WBC has ordered a title eliminator between former champion Mark Magsayo and former WBO junior featherweight titlist Isaac Dogboe, who defeated Joet Gonzalez in a WBC semifinal earlier this year.

Junior Featherweight: Fulton will temporarily campaign at featherweight, leaving the WBC to command a four-way box-off. A previous day’s request from Golden Boy’s Roberto Diaz has been approved for Azat Hovhannisyan and former two-division titlist Luis Nery to meet in a title eliminator. Additionally, promoter Marshall Kauffman successfully lobbied on behalf of the undefeated Ra’eese Aleem to next face Alan David Picasso. The winners of Nery-Hovhannisyan and Aleem-Picasso will then meet either in a final knockout or – if Fulton stays at featherweight – in a bout for the vacant title. The refusal of any of the mentioned fighters to proceed will lead to a tough reshuffle, especially with lineal bantamweight/WBA/WBC/IBF king Naoya Inoue set to move up in weight after his December 13 undisputed clash with the title roster. WBO Paul Butler.

Bantam-weight: Inoue-Butler is already set for the undisputed championship on December 13 in Tokyo. With a win, Inoue plans to vacate all the belts to compete at junior featherweight. The WBC has already pre-approved a fight between former four-division champion Nonito Donaire (42-7, 28KOs) and former two-time title challenger Jason Moloney (25-2, 19KOs), the current mandatory contender for the WBC. Such a fight will be contested for the vacant title if Inoue defeats Butler and then moves to 122. A Butler victory would create an entirely different conversation. The WBC also called for a semi-final eliminator between Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai and former interim titlist Reymart Gaballo.

Junior Bantamweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, the December 3 rubber match between Juan Francisco Estrada (43-3, 28KOs) and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (51-3, 41KOs) will come with the vacant title on the line. Estrada remains the acknowledged “franchise” champion, albeit in line to regain the physical belt recently vacated by Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez who will now compete at flyweight. The winner of Estrada-Gonzalez III is granted a voluntary title defense. Meanwhile, the WBC ordered a title eliminator between former junior flyweight champion Pedro Guevara and former secondary titlist Andrew Moloney, accepted on his behalf by his twin brother Jason.

Flyweight: As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, defending champion Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14KOs; 2NC) is looking for a new opponent for Dec. 3 after interim title slate McWilliams Arroyo (21-4, 16KOs; 1NC) retired due to a back injury. The WBC has confirmed that Martinez could face Angel Ayala in a recognized mandatory title fight, which would free him up for voluntary defense afterwards. Any other opponent would result in the return of a Martinez-Arroyo title consolidation rematch once Arroyo was healthy.

Junior Flyweight: Japan’s Kenshiro Teraji (20-1, 12KOs) was hailed for his tremendous win over fellow countryman Hiroto Kyoguchi (16-1, 11KOs) to defend his WBC title and win the WBA belt. However, he was also tasked with facing mandatory challenger and former two-division titlist Hekkie Budler (34-4, 10 KOs) next. BoxingScene.com will have a story explaining how the decision affects tentative plans for Teraji’s next targeted fight.

Straw weight: Panya Pradabsri (39-1, 23KOs) – better known at parties as Petchmanee CP Freshmart – is clear to enter a voluntary title defense while her next mandatory challenger is established. The WBC has approved a request from BXTSRS Promotions for undefeated Luis Castillo (20-0-1, 13 KOs) to compete in a title eliminator against the highest ranked contender available. South Africa’s Ayanda Ndulani (13-2-1, 4KOs) will be given the opportunity, followed by Melvin Jerusalem of the Philippines (19-2, 11KOs) if Ndulani declines.

Jake Donovan is Senior Writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox


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