On July 20, 2011, the WBC ordered a final elimination bout between the #1 and #2 rated boxers, Alfredo Angulo and Vanes Martirosyan. The WBC intended to determine the mandatory contender of the division. Vanes Martirosyan declined to participate in the ordered final elimination fight.

The WBC then sanctioned a semifinal elimination bout between Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland with the condition that the winner would have to fight Vanes Martirosyan for the official challenger position. Kirkland defeated Angulo and on March 30, 2012, the WBC ordered a final elimination bout between Kirkland and Martirosyan.

When James Kirkland suffered an injury and reported to the WBC that he could not fight Martirosyan, the WBC accepted Erislandy Lara to fight Martirosyan in a final elimination bout. The winner of that fight would become the official challenger to champion Saúl Alvarez.

Carl Moretti of Top Rank Promotions officially communicated to the WBC that Martirosyan declined to fight Lara for the position of mandatory challenger.

The WBC has consistently supported Martirosyan and wishes him the best of luck. The doors of the WBC remain open to Martirosyan for whenever he is ready to continue his career. The WBC pronouncement above is consistent with the WBC Rules, as set forth below.

Rules 3.7 Designation of Mandatory Challengers. The WBC shall always have the discretion to designate a mandatory challenger by:

a) Ordering a final elimination bout of two qualified contenders; or

b) Designating as official mandatory challenger a Qualified Challenger.

For the avoidance of doubt, the highest rated (or the highest rated available) boxer in the WBC rankings is never, solely by virtue of such position, the official mandatory challenger. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, including any communications attributed to the WBC, no boxer shall be considered as or claim any privileges associated with being a mandatory challenger unless

(i) the boxer has been officially designated as such by the WBC Presidency, and

(ii) the WBC Board of Governors has voted to appoint or ratify the designation of such boxer as mandatory challenger.