Jermall Charlo seems set to begin his run at 160 pounds with an immediate WBC middleweight title eliminator.
WBN have been informed by WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman that ex-super-welterweight title holder Charlo has been ordered to face Argentine Sebastian Heiland for the chance to potentially face the winner of the massive September clash between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
“Yes, Charlo v Heiland is the final elimination bout in the middleweight division,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News this week.
The news was greeted with some relief by Heiland’s manager Sebastian Contursi, although also with a touch of disappointment as his fighter has been the top-ranked contender since a 2014 win over Matthew Macklin in the United Kingdom.
“All we have right now is that the WBC ordered the fight as an eliminator and there is a chance that the bout happens in the month of July indeed, but not a specific day,” Heiland told WBN.
“My personal opinion is that Heiland should have gotten a direct shot at the WBC Middleweight title long ago as he was seated in the No. 1 spot of the ranking for almost two years.
“With the Golovkin, Canelo, Cotto situation everything became confusing and behind schedule. But in the end, and hopefully, Heiland at least and at last will have the important fight he deserves.”
Asked about the encounter landing on the Broner v Garcia undercard set for July 29 – as expected, Contursi added: “I can’t really confirm that date or any specific date scheduled for that fight as of yet.”
WBN understands the fight is under review for the date in question and could be made official as early as this weekend.
Charlo or Heiland would then be in prime position with the WBC to be considered, alongside the IBF and IBO mandatories to be the next opponent for Canelo or Golovkin.
WBA had their mandatory in Danny Jacobs last time out against Golovkin meaning they would take a step back for the next contest, possibly in the first quarter of 2018.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay