At the WBC 54th Convention in Miami, a mandatory update was given for each division as the World Boxing Council prepare for the New Year.
Below are the announcements for featherweight and super featherweight.
Francisco Vargas v Orlando Salido was recently named the WBC’s Fight of the Year for 2016 amidst calls for a second helping in 2017. It seems more likely to be a repeat of the 2015 Fight of the Year involving Vargas and Takashi Miura following the latest developments at WBC 54.
Super Featherweight: Champion Francisco Vargas (Mexico)
Francisco Vargas won the title in a mandatory challenge in November, 2015. After his voluntary defense on June 4, the WBC ordered six months of rest for him to allow his cuts to heal properly. He is scheduled to make a voluntary defense against No. 7 ranked Miguel Berchelt of Mexico on January 28, with the winner to make a mandatory defense next.
On the same card, No. 1 ranked Takashi Miura of Japan will fight No. 2 ranked Miguel Roman of Mexico in a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger.
Featherweight: Champion Gary Russell Jr. (United States)
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz confirmed that Russell will make his mandatory defense against interim champion Oscar Escandon of Colombia on February 11.
The WBC ordered a final eliminator between No. 1 ranked Josh Warrington of Great Britain and No. 2 ranked Joseph Diaz Jr. of the United States to determine the next mandatory challenger.
Carl Frampton of Ireland and Leo Santa Cruz of the United States both requested that their fight on January 28 will be for the WBC Diamond Belt. The Board of Governors approved.
The announcements will have no bearing on any future fight between the eventual winner of Russell / Escandon / Warrington / Diaz and Frampton v Santa Cruz II.
The World Boxing Council ratings for December are set to be announced imminently as the WBC Convention draws to a close