Despite an official WBA release stating the following: “WBA rules entitle the WBA President and the Championship Committee at their discretion to define a mandatory period. Sergey Kovalev’s Super Champion status was conditioned to an 18-month mandatory defense period. Due to the fact that this period is past due since May 7, 2016 his next opponent must be the certified official contender, Juergen Braehmer.
“Pursuant to WBA rule C.13 — Bout Limitations — the champion may not fight a boxer who is not the official challenger within sixty (60) days of the expiration of the mandatory defense period.
“Based on the above mentioned facts, on behalf of the Championship Committee, we hereby order a thirty (30) days mandatory negotiation period beginning July 20th, 2016 and will close at the end of the business day (- 5GMT) on August 19th, 2016,” Duva says the WBA will not inforce the Braehmer negotiations until after Kovalev battles Andre Ward in November.
“The WBA has confirmed to us that their letter was sent in error,” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News.
“The Mohammedi fight was sanctioned by both the IBF and the WBA as their mandatory last July. Therefore, Sergey’s WBA mandatory will not become due for another six months,” she added.
Ward must beat Alexander Brand next month in order to cement his place opposite Kovalev in Las Vegas at the end of the year, leaving Braehmer free for another defence of his WBA ‘regular’ belt and to train protégé Tyron Zeuge for his rematch with Giovani De Carolis.