Exclusive: Adonis Stevenson requests voluntary defence, decision soon
The World Boxing Council have exclusively revealed to WBN that WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson has moved to fight a voluntary challenger, rather than his mandatory option in Tony Bellew.
This surprising news came just hours after Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that the WBC had ordered Stevenson to defend his belt against the Liverpudlian.
They will begin negotiations in the coming weeks.
WBN contacted the WBC in the wake of Hearn’s announcement. General Manager Jose Arreola Sulaiman told World Boxing News: “Stevenson has requested a voluntary defense just today.
“The WBC will look into this matter and will have a position next week.”
Sulaiman’s statement does not automatically mean Stevenson’s request will get granted. The WBC’s decision to refuse the appeal by the champion means that an interim fight before Bellew is a distinct possibility.
Bellew, 30, defeated Isaac Chilema to secure the number one challenger position. This win came before 35-year-old Adonis Stevenson demolished respected title holder Chad Dawson to claim the coveted accolade in just one round.
There was talk of a possible clash for Stevenson against Bernard Hopkins. However, it seems more likely that the oldest world title holder in history will reschedule his recently scrapped fight with Karo Murat.
Hopkins vs. Murat is a mandatory order. It should take place soon.
Suppose Adonis Stevenson’s wish to keep Bellew waiting is accepted. In that case, it may be mean the Briton will get forced to wait until December at the earliest to participate in another world title challenge.
Bellew previously lost to WBO ruler Nathan Cleverly in 2011.
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