Exclusive: WBC President clarifies Bellew / Stevenson mandatories
Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed both mandatory challengers for his organisation’s current champions at cruiserweight and light-heavyweight, Tony Bellew and Adonis Stevenson.
The former opponents, who went toe-to-toe in November 2013, have taken alternate routes since trading blows in Canada but are now aligned through their positions within the World Boxing Council.
Bellew, 33, is currently in training for a first defense of his 200 pound belt against American BJ Flores on October 15, five months on from a defining night at Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park on May 29.
The Liverpool man dropped Ilunga Makabu in three rounds to pick up the green and gold strap, his first world title, to the delight of a mass of supporters in a remake of his appearance in the Rocky spin-off ‘Creed’ movie.
Talk of Bellew facing David Haye has dominated the headlines, but Sulaiman wouldn’t be drawn on what would happen should ‘The Bomber’ move up to heavyweight for a massive all-UK clash with the two-weight world champion.
“Mairis Briedis is the mandatory challenger and he is set to fight he winner of Tony Bellew v BJ Flores,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News.
“We will not speculate on what may happen until that situation is presented.
“The ruling is very clear. Tony Bellew was allowed a voluntary against Flores and the winner must make the mandatory defense.”
Stevenson, on the other hand, is due to battle his mandatory before the end of the year, having recently defeated Thomas Williams Jr. in the 37 year-old’s voluntary bout at the Centre Videotron back in Quebec.
“Adonis Stevenson’s mandatory challenger is Eleider Alvarez and I believe they are ready,” said Sulaiman.
“The free negotiation period has begun and they will be fighting by the end of this year.”