WBC Settles 168 Pound Title Issue In Three-Man Tourney
The WBC super middleweight title is in the midst of controversy as two fighters lay their claim to being number one contender.
The first being Avni Yildrim, who lost a controversial bout to current champion Anthony Dirrell in February, which saw an immediate request for a rematch.
On the other side of this issue is former champion David Benavidez, who would lose the title due to testing positive for cocaine in 2018.
Earlier this week it was announced that Benavidez and not Yildirim will get the title shot at Dirrell in either August or September, with the winner taking on Yildirim.
“Yildirim fought like a champion against Dirrell. Unfortunately the bout was stopped because of accidental headbutt. It was unfinished business. I proud of Yildirim and Dirrell both. The day after the bout Oner and Yildirim visited me in Mexico and delivered their rematch request. I promised them that the situation will be fixed and both part will be satisfied. We agreed on terms with both sides and signed contracts,” said WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman at a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey with Yildirim and his manager Ahmet Oner.
“We lost the Dirrell fight because of an unfortunate stoppage,” Oner told reporters. “Yildirim was increasing his performance and was winning the bout if the bout was finished. That’s why we appealed to WBC. Thanks to Mr. President Sulaiman our apply was evaluated and we gained our title bout right.
Sampson Lewkowicz, who acts as Benavidez’ promoter stated that “I respect both fighter Dirrell and Yildirim. Their fight was really close, it could go either way. After the defeat, Yildirim behaved very gentlemen and he deserved another title shot and they took it. The champion in recess has rights to fight immediately with the current champion. This is rule and we conducted the rule. We agreed on terms, I really appreciate Oner’s approach to our agreement. Yildirim will fight on the undercard of Dirrell vs Benavidez. This is the perfect solution for everybody; boxers, fans and promoters.
“We are waiting for a decision from WBC about Dirrell’s injury. I believe that the title bout will be held on August or maybe on September. And the winner will fight with Yildirim on December or January. But this is boxing; we never know what will happen. I believe that Benavidez is the best super middleweight in the world.”
Initial Report: Boxing Scene