The WBC’s myriad champions now have their marching orders. As part of the sanctioning body’s ongoing convention, they released a full breakdown of the pending mandatory challenges yesterday.
A lot is stuff we already knew, like the fact that Dillian Whyte’s ongoing litigation is being used as an excuse to avoid naming him mandatory and that Ilunga Makabu has a date with Thabiso Mchunu before his planned Canelo clash, but there are a few interesting tidbits we haven’t seen before.
Down at super featherweight, they’re looking to stage a mini-tournament to fill the #1 spot Miguel Berchelt will leave behind in his move up to 135. The proposed bouts will see #2 O’Shaquie Foster face #3 Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov and #4 Robson Conceicao take on TBA before the winners square off for a crack at Oscar Valdez.
One would hope that Berchelt’s exit would compel Bob Arum to finally pit Valdez against Shakur Stevenson instead of faffing about with interim bouts.
Back in January, the WBC named Rey Vargas the mandatory challenger for Gary Russell Jr. Nothing ever came of that, and now the former super bantamweight champion has to take a back seat while Mark Magsayo challenges for gold. Vargas still gets a shot at the winner, but there doesn’t seem to be any sort of explanation for why he has to wait when he’s clearly good to go whenever.
The WBC and WBO have apparently agreed to name just a single mandatory challenger for newly crowned unified super bantamweight king Stephen Fulton: former unified champ Daniel Roman. Roman sits at #1 in both sanctioning bodies’ rankings, and since Murodjon Akhmadaliev will likely face Ronny Rios before pursuing an undisputed fight, there’s presumably plenty of time to stage this fight.
While Jason Moloney didn’t get his planned IBF final eliminator against Lee McGregor, he’ll instead meet #1 Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai for a shot at Nonito Donaire. Sor Rungvisai has a very Thai sort of record and figures to be pretty outmatched.
Finally, former GOAT Wanheng Menayothin will get a shot at revenge against Petchmanee CP Freshmart for the minimumweight belt.