The World Boxing Council's 57th annual convention was held on October 23 at the Grand Oasis Cancun and was focused mainly on ratings.
The most striking of these decisions was WBC's bizarre ruling on No.1 ranked heavyweight Dillian Whyte’s mandatory status to long-reigning champion Deontay Wilder, stating that the 'Brixton Bodysnatcher' will have to wait until February 2021 for his shot at the green and gold belt, after already being made to wait over 600 days.
Jamaican-born Whyte's UK Anti-Doping investigation following his Oscar Rivas victory is the cause of the further hold up, after it was revealed in the aftermath that he tested positive for a banned substance. The British Boxing Board of Control subsequently held a private hearing on the day of the fight and subsequently cleared Whyte free to continue with his clash against Rivas. Although, all of this was done behind closed doors and even his opponent Rivas and his team, as well as the WBC, were unaware of the events.
The investigation is ongoing, although promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping for a decision to allow Whyte to fight on the Ruiz vs Joshua undercard on December 7.
Once resolved, Whyte will only then be given his opportunity to face WBC king Wilder, but due to 'The Bronze Bomber's' scheduled rematch with Tyson Fury in February 2020 and potential mega-money trilogy, the Londoner trained by Mark Tibbs now has to wait for another 16 months!
The news follows Hearn's failed campaign earlier this year to get Whyte his shot, citing over 600 days sitting at the top of the WBC ranks. By the time February 2020 rolls around, Dillian Whyte would have been made to wait over 1000 days for his crack at the WBC crown.
The afternoon assembly meeting was devoted to mandatory defences, as described below:
Champion Deontay Wilder (U.S.A)
Wilder is scheduled to make a voluntary title defense on November 23 against No. 3 ranked Luis Ortiz of Cuba. The WBC has also approved the rematch against No. 2 ranked Tyson Fury of Great Britain to be held in 2020. No. 1 ranked Dillian Whyte’s situation is in process with UKAD and Whyte’s representatives, and with the WBC. If his situation is resolved, he will become the mandatory challenger for February, 2021.
The WBC approved No. 1 ranked WBC Silver champion Ilungu Makabu of Congo vs. No. 2 ranked Krszysztof Glowacki of Poland for the vacant world championship. WBC Diamond champion Mairis Briedis of Latvia is scheduled to fight IBF champion Yuniel Dorticos of Cuba, with the date to be announced.
Champion Artur Beterbiev (Russia)
WBC and IBF champion Beterbiev will first make his IBF mandatory defense against IBF No. 1 ranked Meng Fanlong of China. Fanlong is also ranked No. 15 by the WBC, and there was a request from the promoters that the fight also be for the WBC title. The fight between No. 2 ranked WBC Silver champion Jean Pascal of Haiti/Canada and No. 6 ranked Badou Jack of Gambia/Sweden will determine the next mandatory challenger, with the date to be announced.
Champion David Benavidez (U.S.A.)
Benavidez will make his mandatory defense next against No. 1 ranked Avni Yildirim of Turkey, with the date to be announced. WBC Diamond champion Callum Smith of Great Britain is also the WBA champion, and is scheduled to defend the WBA title against John Ryder of Great Britain on November 23. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman made a provisional request that the winner of Benavidez vs. Yildirim be allowed one voluntary defense and then confirm Smith as mandatory challenger, and will wait for confirmation from Smith.
Franchise Champion Canelo Alvarez (Mexico) – World Champion Jermall Charlo (U.S.A)
Alvarez is scheduled to fight light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev on November 2.
Charlo is scheduled to make a voluntary title defense against No. 5 ranked Dennis Hogan of Ireland/Australia on December 7. The WBC will wait for two weeks after the December fight to address the mandatory situation with Matchroom Boxing.
Champion Tony Harrison (U.S.A.)
Harrison is scheduled to fight No. 1 ranked Jermell Charlo of the U.S.A. in December, with the date to be announced. A final eliminator to determine the mandatory was approved between No. 2 ranked Erickson Lubin of the U.S.A. vs. No. 3 ranked EBU champion Sergio Garcia of Spain.
Errol Spence Jr. (U.S.A.)
WBC-IBF champion Spence will first make his WBC mandatory defense against WBC No. 1 ranked Silver champion Danny Garcia of the U.S.A., and make his mandatory IBF defense next.
Champion Jose Ramirez (U.S.A.)
Ramirez will make his mandatory WBC defense against No. 2 ranked Viktor Postol of Ukraine, with the purse offer scheduled for Monday, October 28, at the WBC office in Los Angeles. WBC Diamond champion Regis Prograis of the U.S.A. is scheduled to defend the title against No. 1 ranked Silver champion Josh Taylor of Great Britain on October 26.
Franchise Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (Ukraine) – World Champion Devin Haney (U.S.A.)
Lomachenko was named WBC Franchise champion today, and No. 1 ranked WBC interim champion Devin Haney of the U.S.A. was elevated to world champion. The fight on November 2 between No. 5 ranked Javier Fortuna of Dominican Republic and Jesus Cuellar of Argentina was approved as a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger.
Champion Miguel Berchelt (Mexico)
Berchelt is scheduled to make a voluntary defense against No. 4 ranked Jason Sosa of the U.S.A. on November 2. The fight on November 30 between No. 1 ranked Oscar Valdez of Mexico and No. 7 ranked Andres Gutierrez of Mexico was approved as a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger. The mandatory is due, and the winner of Berchelt vs. Sosa must fight the winner of Valdez vs. Gutierrez next.
Champion Gary Russell Jr. (United States)
Russell was ordered to make his mandatory defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia/U.S.A.
Champion Rey Vargas
Vargas made a mandatory defense on July 13, 2019, and is currently in a voluntary stage.
Champion Nordine Oubaali (France)
Oubaali won the vacant title and is required to make two mandatory defenses. The first is scheduled for November 7 against WBC interim champion Takuma Inoue of Japan. No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Luis Nery of Mexico has accepted a fight against No. 5 ranked Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico on November 23.
Champion Juan Francisco Estrada (Mexico)
Estrada is scheduled to fight WBA champion Kal Yafai of Great Britain in a unification bout in January, with the date to be announced. No. 1 ranked Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand was approved as the mandatory challenger.
No. 1 ranked Julio Cesar Martinez of Mexico is scheduled to fight No. 2 ranked Cristofer Rosales of Nicaragua for the vacant title on December 20. A final eliminator was ordered between No. 3 ranked Junto Nakatani of Japan and No. 4 ranked McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico to determine the first mandatory challenger.
Ken Shiro (Japan)
Shiro is scheduled to fight IBF champion Felix Alvarado of Nicaragua in a unification bout on December 23. Shiro made a mandatory defense on July 12, 2019, and is currently in a voluntary stage.
Champion Wanheng Menayothin (Thailand)
Menayothin is scheduled to make a mandatory defense against No. 1 ranked Simpiwe Koncko of South Africa on October 25.