By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been informed that the WBC has set purse bid deadline of March 13 for the mandatory junior middleweight fight between full champion Vernon Forrest (41-3, 29KOs) and interim-champion Sergio Martinez (44-1, 24KOs). Promoters Lou DiBella [for Martinez] and Gary Shaw [for Forrest] have until the March 13 date to reach a deal or take part in a purse bid at the WBC offices in Mexico City.
Here is where the trouble comes in. According to a source that is close to the WBC, a request was made to grant Forrest permission for a voluntary defense of his title against Charles Whittaker (33-12, 21KOs) on an April date in the Cayman Islands. The Forrest-Whittaker fight, according to some of the grievances made to the WBC, is going to be part of a televised event on Showtime. Whittaker's family is from the Cayman Islands and I assume there must be a decent amount of money being offered for Forrest to take that fight in the Caymans.
Based on Forrest's intentions for an April defense against Whittaker, and several postponements of prior purse bid dates, Martinez's camp is pushing for the WBC to strip Forrest and upgrade their fighter to full champion status. Martinez has been in line to fight Forrest for at least a year, or longer, and at the very least it appears that his camp is trying to get the WBC to hold an immediate purse bid, instead of waiting until the March 14 deadline.
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