The WBC has informed the promoters of Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan of a 30-day, free negotiations period for a final eliminator bout and the right to face the winner of a May 5 clash between junior middleweight titleholder Saul Alvarez and challenger Shane Mosley, the organization’s Secretary General Mauricio Sulaiman told RingTV.com on Monday.
“This will be for the final eliminator. The winner will be the mandatory challenger of the division at 154. The negotiations period will end on Friday, May 18,” said Sulaiman.
“The promoters, at all times, can request either an extension of that date, or a shortening of the free negotiations period. If they do not come to an agreement, then there will be a purse bid in Mexico City at the headquarters on that date.”
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Lara (16-1-1, 11 knockouts) is coming off a first-round knockout of Ronald Hearns on April 21. Prior to facing Hearns, Lara had not been in the ring since July of last year, when he lost a disputed majority decision to fellow left-hander Paul Williams, which many observers thought Lara had won.
“It has been ordered,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer. “And we will begin negotiations with Top Rank for that fight.”
But Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who handles Martirosyan (32-0 20 KOs), calls the move by the WBC mandating a bout against Lara “a joke.”
“It’s ludicrous. Martirosyan has fought about four eliminators,” said Arum. “So this is nonsense piled upon nonsense. This is absolutely nuts, what they’re doing.”
Both Martirosyan’s seventh-round knockout of Saul Roman in June of last year, and his third-round stoppage of Troy Lowry in February were listed as WBC silver titles, a way of designating the winner as having inroads toward fighting the division beltholder for the organization.
“Just count up how many eliminators Martirosyan has fought in. So we look at it as like, a joke,” said Arum. “You can’t take any of this seriously.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org