We’ve already brought you word of some of the WBC’s myriad eliminator and title orders, and while my colleagues took care of the big ones, there’s still quite a few we haven’t covered. Thanks to ESPN’s Salvador Rodriguez, though, I can now do so.
Piggybacking off of others’ hard work is the best way to get ahead in life, kids!
At minimumweight, Luis Castillo will face Ayanda Ndulani for a crack at Panya Pradabsri. Melvin Jerusalem is on deck if Ndulani can’t make it.
At light flyweight, Kenshiro Teraji’s next WBC mandatory title defense will come against Hekkie Budler. Budler’s coming off a nice win over Elwin Soto, though he may have to wait a bit if the planned Teraji vs “Bomba” Gonzalez unification comes next.
Flyweight’s up in the air after Julio Cesar Martinez vs McWilliams Arroyo blew up again.
The vacant super flyweight belt will be on the line for Estrada vs Chocolatito 3. The winner has time for a voluntary defense afterwards, followed by a clash with the winner of Pedro Guevara vs Andrew Moloney. Guevara’s a former light flyweight titlist who’s only ever lost by split decision to John Riel Casimero, Yu Kimura, and the aforementioned Teraji. As for Moloney, he’s made clear that he wants Kazuto Ioka, but this could be a more expedient route to another title shot.
If/when Naoya Inoue moves up after his upcoming bantamweight undisputed bout with Paul Butler, Nonito Donaire would fight Jason Moloney for the belt while Nawaphon Kaikanha faced Reymart Gaballo in an eliminator. Not sure how all that works since Donaire’s ranked below Takuma Inoue, but WBC favoritism is never a surprise.
Things get weird at 122-126. There’s apparently a petition for Stephen Fulton, the super bantamweight champ, to rematch Brandon Figueroa for the interim featherweight title, which would become the full title if Rey Vargas elects to stay at 130 after his vacant title fight with O’Shaquie Foster.
There’ll be a mini-eliminator tournament at 122 that sees Azat Hovhannisyan fight Luis Nery (hell of a f***in’ fight right there) and Alan Picasso Romero fight Ra’eese Aleem. Winners square off for either mandatory status or the belt, depending on whether Fulton vacates.
As for 126, Mark Magsayo has been ordered to meet Isaac Dogboe in a final eliminator. Can I just say, giving the loser of a title fight an immediate eliminator stinks. Give the other contenders a shot.
Rocky Hernandez will be in line for the winner of Vargas vs Foster at 130. Robson Conceicao and Muhammad Yakubov will meet in an eliminator
As previously mentioned, the winner of Regis Prograis vs Jose Zepeda at 140 will face Jose Ramirez in his first defense. Teofimo Lopez vs Sandor Martin has been ordered to determine the next mandatory, which says a lot about what they think of Jose Pedraza’s chances.
Though he’s already the interim super welterweight champion, Sebastian Fundora will apparently fight Tony Harrison in March for a crack at Jermell Charlo. Seeing as Charlo fights once per year and has at least one other mandatory waiting for him after Tim Tszyu in January, that could take a while.
Carlos Adames is officially Jermall Charlo’s mandatory.
Badou Jack has been ordered to fight Thabiso Mchunu in a cruiserweight final eliminator that would see the winner challenge Ilunga Makabu. Mchunu’s the exception to my previously mentioned grievance regarding title fight losers, as his defeat to Makabu in their rematch was via Don King-aided decision.
Oscar Rivas still has a pending bridgerweight title defense against Lukasz Rozanski. Winner fights the winner of Alen Babic vs Ryad Merhy, which is a sneaky good fight despite being in a division that shouldn’t exist.