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WBC to start junior middleweight tournament

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The WBC will be kicking off an 8-man tourney in the junior middleweight division.

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The WBC's new tournament at 154 will be called "The Jose Sulaiman Cup: WBC Super Welterweight Tournament." Yeah I know, that sounds awfully terrible. This eight-man, single elimination, tourney (obviously named after the late WBC President, Jose Sulaiman) will be made up of boxers from eight different countries and three continents.

"This is a project that is near and dear to my heart. It was first the idea of the great Jose Sulaiman and had to be postponed when his health began to fail," said Lewkowicz. "So I am honored to be working with Mauricio and the WBC to bring his father's vision to life and honor him by doing so."

The first part of the tournament will kick off between April and May and will be 10 rounders. The semi-finals and finals will both be 12 rounders and will take place in September and February 2016 respectively. The top bracket will feature John Jackson (19-2, 15 KOs) and Dennis Laurente (49-5, 30 KOs), with the winner taking on the victor between Yudel Jhonson (16-1, 9 KOs) and Jorge Luis Cota Lugo (24-1, 22 KOs). The bottom bracket will have Sergey Rabchenko (25-1, 18 KOs) fighting Luciano Cuello (35-3, 17 KOs), with the winner to meet whomever emerges between Domonique Dolton (15-0, 8 KOs) vs. Lukasz Maciec (22-2-1, 5 KOs).

The opening-round participants will receive $50,000 each with those in the semifinals receiving $100,000 and the finalists, $200,000. Interestingly enough, I cannot readily determine if this is the same tournament the WBC announced late last year to determine Mayweather's mandatory challenger at welterweight and junior middleweight. The winner of those tournaments were supposed to be named Mayweather's mandatory challengers (assuming he's still fighting by then). Perhaps it is the same 154lb tourney and they changed up the format a bit, but it appears from this story that the winner of the tourney would get the WBC belt, which is one that Mayweather currently holds. Then again, maybe the WBC is just making up an entirely new belt altogether for this tourney. It's hard to keep up with these alphabet organizations since they kind of just make it up as they go along.