By Gav Duthie: Promoter Yvon Michel has declared the intention of Eleider Alvarez 23-0 (11) not to participate in purse bids for a final, final, final, final eliminator against Oleksandr Gvozdyk 14-0 (12). I apologize that the word final was written 4 times, but it was intentional because this would-be Alvarez’s 4th final eliminator to get a shot at the WBC title held by Adonis Stevenson.
Canadian Stevenson has not fought a mandatory challenger in nearly 5 years since he defeated Tony Bellew in 2013. Alvarez wanted his title shot and seeing that both he and Stevenson are promoted by Yvon Michel it seemed a straightforward proposition, apparently not. Al Haymon is pulling the strings here and his influence has persuaded the WBC to sanction Adonis Stevenson-Badou Jack. This is completely unacceptable, when Haymon did this a few years ago with Peter Quillin avoiding Matt Korobov the WBO ripped the title off him. The WBC solution was to order a further final eliminator between Alvarez-Gvozdyk and sugarcoat it as some 4-way tournament. Alvarez isn’t playing ball this time and why the hell should he. The WBC won’t be happy with this, but will they have the nerve to remove Alvarez from their rankings after all the hoops he has had to jump through?
Bending over backwards
Stevenson has shot down Alvarez as an opponent because he is not worth any money. Adonis didn’t have any problem earning smaller purses knocking out the likes of Tommy Karpency and a battle worn Andrzej Fonfara. Alvarez has signed with the same promoter as Stevenson, beaten the next best Canadian based fighters in Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal on Stevenson undercards and stepped aside on occasion. No Mas, as they say in boxing. If the WBC remove Alvarez from his mandatory position they are making a mockery of themselves and the sport.
I’m excited about Stevenson-Jack. It’s a good fight but it shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Other governing bodies would take the title from Stevenson and make the Alvarez v Gvozdyk fight for the vacant belt. The WBC however are constantly letting Stevenson do what he wants. Why should any fighter box in WBC eliminators or WBC silver/international title fights etc. Their word is meaningless if a champion can constantly avoid mandatory opponents. On occasion the WBC lax attitude to mandatories can help big fights get made as they don’t stand in the way. As an example, they have said no mandatory obligations would prevent a fight between Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua if they were to agree and it was the same with Floyd Mayweather who was able to chase big fights without mandatory objections. Unfortunately, though it can’t always work like this. We can’t have boxers fighting in half a dozen final eliminators before they get a shot until the WBC find a face that fits to be mandatory. I am looking forward to Stevenson against Jack, but the winner should fight Alvarez after regardless of whether he fight Gvozdyk or not.