WBC light heavyweight division status clarification

Eleider Alvarez has officially notified the WBC that he is withdrawing from the WBC-ordered Interim World Championship fight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk. The WBC Board of Governors will now look into the effect of Mr. Alvarez’ decision on the overall status of the division, and will produce an official ruling in the following days.

The WBC finds it necessary to provide, at this point, the chronological background facts that have led to the present status of the division. It is important to set the record straight by putting the facts in black and white. That way, the affected boxers and the public will have a clear idea of every occurrence that has affected the division in recent years.

We have created a simple timeline as follows:

2013

May 25 – Tony Bellew becomes mandatory challenger UD vs Isaac Chilemba
June 8 – Adonis Stevenson wins the WBC title KO1 over Chad Dawson
September 28 – Stevenson beats Tavoris Cloud in a voluntary defense
November 30 – Stevenson wins KO6 vs Bellew in a mandatory defense

2013 WBC Convention ruling: Jean Pascal to fight Lucien Bute, with the winner becoming the next mandatory of the division of the division for November 2014.

2014

January 18 – Pascal defeats Bute UD12 and becomes mandatory contender.
May 24 – Stevenson defeats Fonfara UD12 in a voluntary defense.
*Stevenson requests a voluntary defense, with a commitment that the winner would fight mandatory challenger Jean Pascal next.
October 25 – Eleider Alvarez defeats Ryno Leibenberg TKO7 and wins WBC Silver title.
*Mandatory challenger Jean Pascal withdraws from his WBC mandatory challenger position and signs to fight Sergey Kovalev.
December 19 – Stevenson defeats Dmitry Sukhotskiy KO5 in a voluntary defense.

2014 WBC Convention ruling: The WBC mediated to have an unprecedented ruling, mandating WBC champion Stevenson to fight the winner of Kovalev vs. Pascal, which would comply with his mandatory title defense obligations.

2015

March 14 – Kovalev KO7 Pascal winning WBC diamond belt and becoming mandatory for Stevenson.
April 14 – Stevenson UD Sakio Bika in a voluntary defense
*After several months of negotiations Kovalev withdraws from fighting Stevenson, so the division is left without a mandatory challenger.
August 10 – WBC orders Chilemba vs. Andrzej Fonfara as final elimination for the mandatory position.
August 15 – Alvarez UD Isidro Ranoni defending Silver title.
*Fonfara withdraws from final elimination vs. Chilemba
August 25 – WBC orders Chilemba vs. Alvarez final elimination.
September 11 – Stevenson KO3 Tommy Karpency in a voluntary defense.
November 28 – Alvarez UD Chilemba earning mandatory challenger position.

2015 WBC Convention ruling: Chilemba vs. Alvarez final elimination to determine mandatory contender. During the Convention, promoters Kathy Duva and Yvon Michel confirmed they were still having discussions for the Stevenson vs. Kovalev Superfight, and the WBC confirmed its support if that fight materialized.

2016

July 11 – Stevenson defeats Thomas Williams Jr. in a voluntary defense KO4.
August 11 – WBC orders free negotiations for mandatory defense Stevenson vs. Alvarez.
September 13 – Groupe Yvon Michel confirms to the WBC that an agreement has been reached so purse offer is cancelled.
*Alvarez requests WBC to accept his fight vs. Bute as a defense of the WBC Silver title, and also to be a final elimination with the winner being the mandatory of the division.

2016 WBC Convention ruling: WBC accepts Alvarez’ request to fight Bute, with the winner becoming the division’s mandatory challenger. Stevenson is free to do a voluntary defense because the mandatory contender is not available.

2017

February 24 – Alvarez defeats Bute KO5 and confirms his mandatory status.
February 26 – WBC orders a free negotiation period for Stevenson vs Alvarez.
March 24 – Alvarez informs the WBC that he has agreed to step aside to allow Stevenson a voluntary defense.
*The WBC Board is in favor of ordering another final eliminator to have a second mandatory contender.
June 3 – Stevenson KO2 Fonfara in voluntary defense.
June 3 – Alvarez MD12 Pascal confirming Alvarez’ mandatory position.
June 19 – WBC orders free negotiation period for Stevenson vs. Alvarez.
*WBC is informed that there is an agreement and that the fight will happen in December, at the latest.

2017 WBC Convention ruling: Champion Stevenson is scheduled to make a mandatory defense against No. 1-ranked Alvarez in December. No. 2-ranked Oleksandr Gvozdyk against Number 4-ranked Marcus Browne was approved as a final eliminator, and when the availability of Sullivan Barrera is known, he will fight the highest available contender.

*Results from the ruling
· Stevenson request to fight vs former champion Badou Jack.
· Alvarez reports he has agreed to step aside.
· Browne withdraws from fighting the final elimination
· WBC orders Gvozdyk vs. Barrera as a final eliminator. Barrera withdraws from the fight.

December 8 – The WBC Board of Governors made a new ruling on the division, which was:
· Allow Stevenson vs. Jack, with the winner committed to fight the mandatory next.
· Order Alvarez to fight Gvozdyk for the WBC Interim world title and mandatory challenger position, with the winner fighting the winner of Stevenson vs. Jack. Purse bid date January 12, 2018.

2018

January 10 – Alvarez withdraws from participating in WBC Interim world championship fight.

The WBC Board of Governors is in the process of analyzing this situation in depth and will issue an official ruling soon.

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