The World Boxing Council completed the third day of its 54th annual convention today at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida.
Much of the afternoon was spent on mandatory world title defenses.
Cruiserweight: Champion Tony Bellew (Great Britain) - Bellew requested approval from the Board of Governors for a fight in the heavyweight division against David Haye, and the Board supports his request. Bellew will remain cruiserweight champion until he informs the WBC whether he will continue to fight as a heavyweight or return to the cruiserweight division. In the meantime, the WBC has ordered an interim title fight between No. 1 ranked Mairis Briedis of Latvia and No. 2 ranked Marco Huck of Germany. The free negotiation period starts today and if no agreement is reached, a purse offer will be held on January 14 or 15.
If Bellew decides to return to cruiserweight, the winner of the interim fight will be his mandatory challenger. If Bellew decides to continue at heavyweight, the winner of the interim fight will become world champion. Since the last mandatory defense took place in December, 2013, the WBC ordered a tournament between the top four available contenders to determine the next mandatory challenger.
Middleweight: Champion Gennady Golovkin (Kazakhstan)
Golovkin is in negotiations for a title unification bout against WBA champion Daniel Jacobs. The WBC ordered a four-man tournament between the highest available contenders to determine the mandatory challenger.
Lightweight: Champion Dejan Zlaticanin (Montenegro)
Zlaticanin is scheduled to fight No. 2 ranked Mikey Garcia of the United States on January 28. The winner of that fight must fight Diamond champion Jorge Linares of Venezuela in his next fight.
Super Featherweight: Champion Francisco Vargas (Mexico)
Vargas won the title in a mandatory challenge in November, 2015. After his voluntary defense on June 4, the WBC ordered six months of rest for him to allow his cuts to heal properly. He is scheduled to make a voluntary defense against No. 7 ranked Miguel Berchelt of Mexico on January 28, with the winner to make a mandatory defense next. On the same card, No. 1 ranked Takashi Miura of Japan will fight No. 2 ranked Miguel Roman of Mexico in a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger.
Carl Frampton of Ireland and Leo Santa Cruz of the United States both requested that their fight on January 28 will be for the WBC Diamond Belt. The Board of Governors approved.
Bantamweight: Champion Shinsuke Yamanaka (Japan)
Yamanaka made a mandatory defense on September 16, 2016, and is now in a voluntary stage.
A final eliminator will be ordered in January between No. 1 ranked Suriyan Sor Rungvisai of Thailand and the highest available contender to determine the next mandatory challenger.
Flyweight: Champion Vacant
No. 1 ranked Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai of Thailand will fight No. 2 ranked Juan Hernandez of Mexico for the vacant title in the first three months of 2017. No. 3 ranked Daigo Higa of Japan will be the first mandatory challenger. The WBC ordered No. 4 ranked Oscar Cantu of the United States to fight No. 5 ranked Muhammad Waseem of Pakistan in a final eliminator to determine the second mandatory challenger.
Light Flyweight: Champion Ganigan Lopez (Mexico)
Lopez made a mandatory title defense on July 2, 2016, and is now in a voluntary stage.
Minimumweight: Champion Wanheng Menayothin (Thailand)
Menayothin made a mandatory title defense on August 2, 2016, and is now in a voluntary stage.