IBF #1 junior flyweight contender and mandatory challenger Felix Alvarado (31-2, 27 KOs) is in a holding pattern due to a logjam atop the 108lb division. Alvarado earned his mandatory title shot in an eliminator last October, but due to a complicated series of circumstances, he is now in for a long wait for a title shot. Felix was the mandatory challenger to then-champion Milan Melindo, but Melindo’s previous defense against Hekkie Budler ended with some controversy and the IBF ordered a rematch. In addition, prior to the decision on a Budler rematch, the IBF approved a unification between Melindo and WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi. Taguchi dethroned Melindo, and thereby inherited the rematch owed to Budler.
The IBF informed Team Alvarado by letter that Taguchi and Budler had to fight by March 31, 2018 with the winner to face Alvarado within 90 days of that. However, it now appears that Taguchi-Budler is being planned for May in Japan. This would mean that Alvarado possibly wouldn’t get his world title fight for nearly a year after winning his mandatory.
“I really do not understand what is going on,” stated Alvarado’s manager William Ramirez. “I mean I went through this IBF eliminator process because of how they do things properly. This current situation is out of control. I was told by the IBF recently that to not be concerned and that ‘Felix will get his shot.’ I told them that this is not an answer or a date.
“We have patiently waited, but not anymore. I have a letter in writing and signed by the IBF that Taguchi and Budler have to fight by March 31st. I am not accepting any extensions or accepting to step aside. We have waited long enough. If they cannot fight by March 31st then the champion should be stripped of his IBF title.
“If not, Felix is ready to go to Japan or wherever and can fight by March 31st and the winner can fight Budler. I’m not asking for any favors. I just want Felix to get his world title fight he earned and within the time frame that is in writing by the IBF in the letter. If not, I will have to pursue the proper legal channels. It is not something I want to do but I will if what they sent me in writing doesn’t happen. Enough is enough!”