According to World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman, WBC featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) will have to make a mandatory defense against Joseph Diaz.
Sulaiman indicates that Russell vs. Diaz will be "mandated for around May."
Russell has not been very active in the last few years.
The last time Russell saw action more than once a year, was back in 2014 when he faced Miguel Tamayo, Vasyl Lomachenko and Christopher Martin.
In 2015 he captured the WBC featherweight crown when he destroyed Jhonny Gonzalez in Las Vegas. in 2016 he made one defense when he battered Patrick Hyland at Foxwoods Resort.
And back in May in Oxon Hill, Russell went right through mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon.
Diaz (25-0, 18 KOs) on the other hand has been very active. In 2015 he fought five times, he beat Ruben Tamayo, Rene Alvarado, Hugo Partida, Giovanni Delgado and Juan Luis Hernandez.
Then in 2016, he fought four times - beating Jayson Velez, Andrew Cancio, Horacio Garcia and Victor Proa.
In 2017, he fought twice - with each fight taking place on two of the biggest events of the year. He defeated Manuel Avila on the Canelo-Chavez undercard and then beat Rafael Rivera on the Canelo-Golovkin undercard. Both fights took place on HBO Pay-Per-View from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.