By Ryan Burton
Shawn Porter became a two-time world welterweight world champion when defeated Danny Garcia via unanimous decision on September 8th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The highly anticipated match up was for the vacant WBC title and was broadcast by Showtime.
A few days before the fight WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman announced that the winner of the fight would have to make two mandatory defenses of the title. Part of the reasoning was because the title was vacant and that the previous WBC champion Keith Thurman had been out of the ring for a long time due to injuries and wasn't able to defend the title in a timely manner.
Andre Berto became the mandatory challenger when he defeated Devon Alexander in August and Yordenis Ugas won an elimination bout against Cesar Barrionuevo on the the Garcia-Porter undercard to become the second mandatory.
There has been a lot of clamor for a unification bout between Porter and IBF champion Errol Spence who has repeatedly called for fights against Thurman, Porter and Garcia.
BoxingScene.com recently caught up with Sulaiman to see if they would be able to green light the unfication bout prior to Porter taking care of his mandatory responsibilities.
"We have the WBC Convention coming up and that is where each division is put in an open floor for discussion and the voting of the board of governors. I cannot make decisions. The Board of Governors approves each division," Sulaiman told BoxingScene.com.
"Keith Thurman has a special provision because he was champion and because of injury he relinquished the belt. So he receives a grant from the WBC that once he is medically cleared and he requests the fight - he can have a direct championship fight."
Sulaiman said that while both mandatory challengers deserve a shot at the title, unification fights, especially of this magnitude, are very important in helping the sport grow.
"Berto is the mandatory and Ugas won an elimination bout but I am 100% in support of a fight that brings boxing to the level that we all want to see for the fans. I think Spence is a formidable champion. A unification will be well received and if it is requested we will put it into the board of governors for a vote," said Sulaiman.
The WBC Convention starts on September 30th and takes place in Kiev, Ukraine.
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