Thursday was the last working day of the WBC’s 49th annual convention, led by WBC President Jose Sulaiman at Mandalay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Delegates can enjoy a free day on Friday and the fight card here on Friday night.
Several issues were discussed at Thursday’s general assembly meeting, but most of the day was devoted to mandatory title defenses.
Heavyweight: World champion Vitaly Klitschko of Ukraine is in a voluntary stage until September.
Cruiserweight: World champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk of Poland must have an immediate rematch with No. 1 ranked Francisco Palacios of Puerto Rico. This ruling was made after their first fight in April, 2011. Wlodarczyk had been approved for one voluntary defense, which he had on November 30. A final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger was approved between Giacobbe Fragomeni of Italy and Silvio Branco of Italy.
Light Heavyweight: An immediate rematch was ordered for world champion Bernard Hopkins of the U.S. and No. 1 ranked former world champion Chad Dawson of the U.S., unless their representatives mutually agree to another arrangement.
Super Middleweight: The winner of the December 17 fight between WBC world champion Carl Froch of England and Andre Ward of the U.S., who holds the world title of another organization, must next make his mandatory defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Anthony Dirrell of the U.S.
Middleweight: World champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Mexico must make his next title defense against Diamond Belt champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina, unless their representatives mutually agree to another arrangement. The mandatory title defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Marco Antonio Rubio of Mexico is due by June.
Super Welterweight: World champion Saul Alvarez of Mexico is in a voluntary stage until September. Two eliminators have been set to determine the mandatory challenger: James Kirkland of the U.S. is scheduled to fight Carlos Molina of the U.S., with the winner of that bout to fight Vanes Martirosyan of the U.S.
Welterweight: The WBC fully supports the fight between world champion Floyd Mayweather of the U.S. and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. It that fight is not made, Mayweather must make his mandatory title defense against Selcuk Aydin of Turkey. A semifinal eliminator was proposed between Devon Alexander of the U.S. and Marcos Maidana of Argentina, with the winner to fight Aydin.
Super lightweight: World champion Erik Morales of Mexico is scheduled to fight No. 2 ranked Danny Garcia of the U.S. The winner of that fight must next make his mandatory defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Ajose Olusegun of Nigereia.
Lightweight: World champion Antonio DeMarco of Mexico was approved for one voluntary defense, then must fight the rematch with Jorge Linares of Venezuela.
Super featherweight: World champion Takahiro Aoh of Japan must fight the rematch with Devis Boschiero of Italy, with the winner to make his mandatory title defense against Terdsak Jandaeng of Thailand.
Featherweight: The purse offer was held today for the mandatory defense of world champion Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico against champion in recess Elio Rojas of the Dominican Republic. Promociones del Pueblo won the purse offer, with a 60/40 split for Gonzalez.
Super bantamweight: World champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan was approved for one voluntary defense, then must make his mandatory defense against No. 1 ranked Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa.
Bantamweight: When a fighter wins a vacant WBC world title, they are committed to make two mandatory title defenses. Shinsuke Yamanaka of Japan, who won the vacant WBC world title on November 6, must make a mandatory title defense against WBC Silver champion Abner Mares of the U.S., with the winner of that fight to make a mandatory defense against the winner of the eliminator between James McDonnell of Great Britain and Hugo Cazares of Mexico.
Super Flyweight: World champion Suriyan Sor Rungvisai of Thailand was approved for one voluntary defense, then must make his mandatory title defense against WBC Silver champion Sylvester Lopez of the Philippines.
Flyweight: World champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam of Thailand has a voluntary defense scheduled for December 23, and his mandatory title defense against No. 1 ranked Toshiyuki Igarashi of Japan scheduled for March 27.
Light Flyweight: World champion Adrian Hernandez of Mexico has a voluntary defense scheduled for December 23, and is approved for one more voluntary defense before fighting mandatory challenger Gilberto Keb-Baas of Mexico.
Strawweight: World champion Kazuto Ioka of Japan is in a voluntary stage until August. A final eliminator was approved between No. 1 ranked Cuello D. Singwancha of the Philippines and No. 2 ranked Ganigan Lopez of Mexico to determine the mandatory challenger.
The 51st annual WBC convention in 2013 was confirmed for Cardiff, Wales. Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Neil McEvoy, the deputy leader of Cardiff council, said, “I want to thank the President of the WBC, Jose Sulaiman, and all the WBC governors and officials for their support and faith in Cardiff as a premier world destination. This is great news for Cardiff and great news for the WBC. We’ve been working hard for a long time to develop our relationship, and this announcement shows that our efforts have paid dividends.
“The WBC Annual Convention is the premiere event of its kind in the field of boxing administration and promotion. Each convention is attended by the sport’s main decision makers and financial backers, as well as a range of other delegates bringing their spending power to the host city. Capturing this event will enable Cardiff to showcase itself to the sport and allow us to strengthen further the ties between Cardiff and the WBC.
“The event will also bring direct economic benefit to the city with over 800 delegates expected in the city for around a week. The staging of the convention in Cardiff also provides us with the opportunity to work with the WBC to position the city as a superb venue for future big money world title fights.
“I can assure the WBC that they will receive a fantastic welcome - or “croeso” as we say in Wales - to Cardiff. We have a rich boxing heritage and our success in securing the 2013 convention will allow us to write new chapters to that heritage over the next decade.
“Cardiff and Wales will now have the opportunity to welcome some of the biggest stars in the world for a week in 2013. Cardiff will be the place in the world to be. Amazing news.”
Before giving a video presentation, WBC Cares Chairperson Jill Diamond said, “WBC Cares is your program. Since we ratified it in 2006, Jose Sulaiman and his family have supported it 100 percent. We’re in 164 countries helping children and anyone who reaches out to us – we’ll find a way to do it. We appreciate your time, we appreciate your donations – it’s totally funded by our members and the Sulaiman family. Any help we can get, the money goes right to the children.
“It’s an amazing, beautiful program that you will see from the video, and it’s your program. It shows people who we are as people, who the boxing community is, and I have never heard ‘no’ from any boxer or promoter, except if their schedule conflicted, to go to a hospital, a children’s home, an orphanage. We are building things. We have one group that a boxing gym is combined with a food center to feed children, and to give them lessons and place to get off the streets.
“Right now, one thing we’re focusing on is something called ‘WBC Project Gym Pass,’ asking gyms around the world to open their doors to needy children and from disasters so these children have a place to go for an hour or two to shower or get some lessons, some mentoring, some help, and in return we give them a Certificate of Excellence from the World Boxing Council, which to a gym means a great deal and tells them, ‘You are friends with us.’
“But we are all champions in this program – big champions helping little champions, and the WBC and Jose Sulaiman, who made this possible, thank you from our hearts for doing what you do, for being the kind people that you are. Thank you very much. I work with nonprofit groups all over the world and there is not one group, and I don’t care which sport, which organization, that works globally the way we do with no money, just with the kindness of our hearts. We continue to go all over the world with the diversity, and it you think this doesn’t make a difference in the childrens’ lives, having the attention of these people, these local heroes who they love, it inspires them, it empowers them, and I’m very proud of all of us for being a part of this group and of the WBC, because no one does what the WBC does around the world to help other people.”
Closing the convention, President Sulaiman said, “It is an honor to close the 49th annual convention in Las Vegas. Thank you so much for coming, and I hope all of you enjoyed seeing the way we handle things in the WBC.”
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?