By Rick Reeno
Earlier today, the World Boxing Council announced - by way of a press release - that a deal was reached for David Benavidez (18-0, 17 KOs) vs. Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs), with the vacant WBC super middleweight championship at stake.
The WBC also announced a date of September 9th in Los Angeles.
But the WBC's announcement was premature, as the negotiations are still ongoing to finalize the deal. And the fight, once finalized, will not take place on the mentioned September date.
According to Sampson Lewkowicz, the promoter for Benavidez, the September date was given to the sanctioning body as a tentative placeholder of when the contest may potentially take place.
"We are still talking. I believe the fight will happen, but it won't happen on September 9. That was a tentative date that we gave to the WBC. We hope to finalize everything, including the date, by the next week," Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com.
The belt became vacant in January, after Badou Jack dropped the belt in order to make a move to light heavyweight.
The World Boxing Council had ordered Dirrell and mandatory challenger Callum Smith to face each other for the vacant belt. A purse bid was held, with promoter Tom Brown, on behalf of Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions, securing the promotional rights with the winning bid.
But there were ongoing issues with finalizing the fight, as documented on BoxingScene.com over the last few weeks.
There were a deal signed for September 9 in Los Angeles. In the last two weeks, Dirrell's camp made attempts to move the fight to September 8th in Flint, Michigan - which is Dirrell's hometown. Smith's promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, refused - because both sides already signed contracts to fight in Los Angeles.
Because of the friction, the fight fell apart, and then Smith officially signed to be a part of the World Boxing Super Series, which is a high stakes tournament taking place in the fall. Smith will now face Erik Skoglund on September 16th.