The announcement today that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is looking to face Devon Alexander in a unification clash has thrown a lot of doubt over the situation regarding his WBC welterweight title and the IBF belt belonging to his potential opponent.
Both fighters have mandatory challengers to face and confusion is now surrounding what will happen with the titles they possess if the fight goes ahead and the stipulated title challenges that should have gone to Robert Guerrero and Kell Brook.
The first and immediate thought would be that Alexander should be stripped by the IBF for not facing Brook, but this is unlikely to be the case as the IBF would see a unification over a mandatory for any over their current champions.
Then, Guerrero’s chance to fight for the title would have to take the same priority with the WBC, so at the moment both face an anxious waiting game to find out whether they will be pushed out until late spring or early summer by the potential clash. Mayweather could promise the arrange to fight Guerrero in his second scheduled fight in September this year, which may sweeten Guerrero’s objection to ‘Money’ attempting to fight Alexander on his ‘Cinco de Mayweather’ bill in May.
Also, the winner of the Mayweather v Alexander unification could agree something similar to that of Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler, who have agreed to vacate the IBF super-middleweight title for mandatory Adonis Stevenson immediately after their unification contest and this could now be applied to Brook.
Brook, 26, would then be freed up to claim a chief support slot on the high-profile Froch v Kessler II undercard on May 25 and line-up the next available challenger to fight for the vacant belt on home soil at the O2 Arena in London.
Whatever both the WBC and IBF decide, it could be a busy few weeks to iron out the details if Mayweather is determined to secure compatriot Alexander for his 44th pro bout, rather than facing Guerrero as expected.