Benavidez Named WBC “Champion In Recess”

After failing a drug test, WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez is no longer champion, reshaping the 168–pound division.

During the WBC Convention, the governing moved to name Benavidez “Champion in recess” which means that the 168-pound title is now vacant. This comes after an announcement was made in mid-September that Benavidez tested positive for cocaine on a drug test administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) on August 27.

Originally, the WBC ordered Anthony Dirrell to fight Chris Eubank Jr. for the vacant belt. Eubank then rejected the WBC, which prompted the organization to put Avni Yildirim in place of Eubank. If Yildirim fights for the WBC title, he would be the first Turkish boxer in history to fight for a major world championship.

This isn’t the first time a world champion was named “Champion in recess.” WBA cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev was also named “Champion in recess” which allowed the title to be contested in the World Boxing Super Series, eventually won by Oleksandr Usyk.

Dirrell previously held the WBC title from 2014 to 2015, but lost the belt to Badou Jack by majority decision in Dirrell’s first title defense. Yildirim has been very busy since his October 2017 loss to Eubank, winning all five of his fights.

Original Story: Boxing Scene

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