By Matt Casavant
After months of uncertainty from the WBC and the Vitali Klitschko camp, mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20KOs) has been assured by the WBC that a bout with Klitschko will take place in the spring of 2014 provided Vitali elects to pursue his prize fighting career.
Camille Estephan, president of Eye of the Tiger Management and also Stiverne’s manager, confirmed the news in a Montreal press conference earlier this week. “The WBC guarantees that Vitali will fight Bermane if he fights again.” Estephan clarified that such a guarantee was provided to them during the WBC convention that recently took place in Thailand. Estephan also stated that official negotiations with Klitschko’s promoter K2 Promotions, would take place over the weekend in New York City. According to Estephan, Vitali must notify the WBC on whether or not he will defend his title by no later than November 30th.
One element to keep an eye on during negotiations is the current legal situation between Stiverne and his former promoter Don King. When asked if the litigation would impact or threatened in any way the championship bout from taking place, Estephan explained that he could not comment on the lawsuit as the matter was in the courts hands.
In the meantime, the 35 year old Stiverne is said to be focused and eagerly anticipating his long awaited title shot which he hopes will take place in either March or April of next year. Although other possible opponents for Stiverne have been rumored over the last few weeks such as American undefeated Heavyweight Deontay Wilder, Stiverne dismissed any candidate not named Klitschko.
“Wilder? He’s fragile. I mean, he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing but he’s not at that (championship) level yet.”