By Miguel Rivera and Jose Luis Camarillo, notifight.com
As BoxingScene.com previously reported on Tuesday, a deal is nearly complete for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs) to defend his title against James Kirkland (31-1, 27KOs) on September 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Canelo was originally scheduled to fight Paul "The Punisher" Williams, who suffered serious injuries in a tragic motorcycle accident last Sunday in Atlanta.
According to World Boxing Council President, Jose Sulaiman, Canelo-Kirkland will be sanctioned as a "mandatory defense."
"I am communicating with the governing board of our council in our [santioning] body for Canelo to make his mandatory defense against James Kirkland. The WBC had determined that the 'Perro' Angulo was the [mandatory] challenger, but Angulo went to Cancun to fight Kirkland and was knocked out. Then Kirkland was ordered to fight with Vanes Martirosyan, but [Vanes' camp] rejected it, and such, Kirkland is the official challenger," Sulaiman said.
The situation is strange because by all accounts Vanes agreed to face Kirkland, but then Kirkland suffered a shoulder injury in his March fight with Carlos Molina. Because Kirkland was injured, the WBC ordered Vanes to face Erislandy Lara. Vanes rejected the fight with Lara because there was no guarantee the winner would get Canelo in the fall, and then Lara was made the number one contender per the WBC.
Kirkland has now been medically cleared to face Canelo in September and both sides expect the fight to happen.
Lara, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions along with Canelo and Kirkland, vented his frustrations over being stepped over in a BoxingScene interview.
Vanes, who won a few eliminators and the WBC's silver title at 154, is also outraged.
"This is crazy, Golden Boy and [Oscar] De La Hoya know that I'm free to fight with Canelo, but they don't want give the fans the fight they want," Vanes said.