Deontay Wilder has no interest in fighting for the WBC bridgerweight title after the green and gold strap became vacant, WBN understands.
Wilder is eligible to step down and compete for the belt as the World Boxing Council’s number-one contender at heavyweight and a WBC legend with ten title defenses behind him.
Despite previously stating his intention to one day win the cruiserweight championship to become a two-weight ruler, Wilder has given the new 224lbs version a wide berth.
Deontay Wilder at bridgerweight
Wilder scaled a full ten pounds under the bridgerweight limit for his last fight. But despite being able to challenge for the strap, “The Bronze Bomber” remains focused on winning an eliminator in the highest division.
The WBC has already sanctioned Wilder vs Andy Ruiz Jr. for the mandatory challenger spot. The winner will eventually challenge Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed crown.
Regarding the vacant ‘super cruiserweight’ title, the WBC has revealed the next two contenders who will vie for the honor of following the first-ever champion, Oscar Rivas.
“The WBC regrets the injury to Oscar Rivas. He suffered a detached retina in December and will not be able to fight his contracted bout with Lukasz Rozanski.
“Consequently, the WBC has placed Oscar Rivas as champion in recess. That’s until he confirms his decision about his future.
“The WBC Board of Governors has voted in favor of the following resolution to address the status of the bridgerweight division immediately,” they added.
Having initially stated their intention to stage a tournament, the WBC will push through a vacant title bout instead. Rather than a mini-competition, the WBC decided to add more than one stipulation for the new titleholder.
Vacant WBC title
“The WBC has ordered number one [rated] Alen Babic vs number three Lukasz Rozanski to fight for the vacant title with a 50-50 split. The winner committed to complying with two [future] mandatories.
“The first mandatory against the winner of the final elimination between Ryad Merhy vs. Kevin Lerena.
“The WBC orders number two [rated] Ryad Merhy vs. [number four] Kevin Lerena to fight a final elimination fight with a 50-50 split. The winner is fighting vs. the new champion with a 60-40 split in favor of the champion.
“The WBC starts a free negotiations period for both fights. If no agreement is reached, a purse offer will be held in Mexico City on Tuesday, 31 January.
“Promoters may participate via Zoom,” concluded the sanctioning body.
Deontay Wilder earned his chance to face former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz by defeating Robert Helenius in October. The win came after broken hand surgery following a second defeat to Tyson Fury in late 2021.
It was a stunning knockout on a Premier Boxing Champions Pay Per View to prove he’s fully healed.
In addition, Wilder’s fight with Ruiz Jr. should be confirmed sometime in January. WBN expects the fight to take place in Las Vegas or New York by the end of May.
So far, Cinco de Mayo hasn’t been ruled out in Nevada, with Canelo Alvarez considering relinquishing the regular date on the Vegas Strip.