By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - If WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne (24-1, 21KOs) defeats Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32KOs) later tonight, Hall of Fame promoter Don King is going to submit a petition to the World Boxing Council to allow Stiverne to have a few voluntary defenses.
Last year, the World Boxing Council put together a heavyweight outline. They ordered Stiverne and Chris Arreola to fight for the vacant WBC title, which Vitali Klitschko vacated. Based on the WBC's outline, the winner of that fight would have to make a mandatory defense against Wilder - and then the winner of Stiverne/Arreola vs. Wilder would have to face WBC #2 Bryant Jennings in another mandatory defense.
Jennings is currently involved in deep negotiations to face IBF/WBO/IBO/WBA champion Wladimir Klitschko on April 25th. But if those discussions fall apart then Jennings will be in line to fight tonight's winner. Would Jennings get a shot next? Not if King has anything to say about it.
"No more mandatories, no more mandatories. This man has been fighting mandatories for the last four years. He beat Ray Austin [in a 2011 WBC final eliminator] to fight Vitali Klitschko. He waited and waited [for almost two years and never got Vitali]. He then had another mandatory with Chris Arreola [in 2013]. After Vitali went to become the mayor of Kiev, he had to fight Arreola again. Bermane beat Arreola again and now we have another mandatory [with Wilder]. He's had three or four mandatories already. I'm going to speak with the WBC, with my good friend Mauricio Sulaiman, because it's time for Bermane to make some money," King told BoxingScene.com.