WBC secretary general Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed an assertion by Vitali Klitschko that the organization’s 42-year-old titleholder has until Dec. 15 to announce whether he will continue his career or retire after having announced his presidential candidacy in Ukraine in October.
Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs), who has not been in the ring since last September when he made the 10th defense of his belt with a fourth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Manuel Charr, informed his fans of the WBC’s decision on his Twitter account.
“To clear up any confusion,” said Klitschko, whose 13-fight winning streak includes 10 knockouts, “the WBC has given me until the 15th of December to to make my official decision to retire or carry on fighting. VK.”
Sulaiman concurred with Klitschko’s statement.
“Yes, that is accurate. At the convention, Vitali Klitschko asked for Nov. 30 to allow him to get back to us with his final position about his future and his career,” said Sulaiman, referring to the Nov. 3-through-9 WBC convention. “But with the holidays, and with the impossibility to attend several phone calls, we’ve allowed him until Dec. 15 to have him make his decision.”
The WBC’s three highest ranked contenders to Klitschko’s title are, in order from 1-to-3, mandatory challenger Bermane Stiverne, Chris Arreola, and Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, according to Sulaiman.
“I prefer not to speculate,” Sulaiman said of who may fight for the title if it’s vacated. “Not until we have the correct information coming on Dec. 15.”
In his last fight in April, which was designated as a WBC elimination bout for the right to face Klitschko, Stiverne (21-1, 20 KOs) scored a third-round knockdown on the way to a unanimous decision over Chris Arreola (35-3, 30 KOs), whom Klitschko stopped in September of 2009.
In his last fight in September, Arreola stopped Seth Mitchell in the first round.
The 6-foot-7 Wilder (30-0, 30 KOs) is coming off October’s fourth-round stoppage Nicolai Firtha, whom he dropped three times. Wilder is a 28-year-old 2008 Olympic bronze medalist from Tuscaloosa, Ala.
LIBORIO SOLIS LOSES IBF, WBA BELT ON SCALES IN ADVANCE OF DAIKI KAMEDA DEFENSE
Venezuela’s Liborio Solis (15-3-1, 7 KOs), who has a seven-bout winning streak that includes two knockouts heading into a Dec. 3 bout with Japan’s WBA counterpart Daiki Kameda (29-3, 18 KOs), has lost his IBF belt on the scales as a result of having missed weight.
Solis had three tries to make the 115-pound limit but only attempted to do so twice in the time permitted, coming in at 118 and 117.5, respectively. The IBF belt is at stake for Kameda, who can not lose his WBA title.
JEFF LACY STOPS MARTIN VERDIN IN THIRD ROUND
Former super middleweight titleholder Jeff Lacy (26-4, 18 KOs) ended a nearly three-year ring absence when he stopped Martin Verdin (20-17-2, 11 KOs) in the third round on Saturday at The Bell of Baton Rouge Casino in Baton Rouge, La.
THOMAS DULORME WINS FOURTH STRAIGHT BOUT
Puerto Rican welterweight Thomas Dulorme (20-1, 14 KOs) won for the fourth straight time during a run that has included two knockouts with Saturday’s unanimous decision over Hector Velazquez (55-20-3, 38 KOs) in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Dulorme last suffered defeat by seventh-round stoppage to Luis Carlos Abregu in October of 2012.
TRAVIS KAUFFMAN RETURNS WITH FIRST-ROUND KNOCKOUT
Heavyweight Travis Kauffman (27-1, 20 KOs) scored his ninth straight victory and his fifth knockout during that time when he scored three knockdowns on the way to a third-round stoppage of Jason Barnett (14-15, 7 KOs) on Saturday at Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.
Kauffman last suffered defeat by fourth-round stoppage to Tony Grano in September of 2009.
J’LEON LOVE, BADOU JACK, MICKEY BEY, CHRIS PEARSON HEAD MAYWEATHER PROMOTIONS CARD
Middleweights J’Leon Love, Badou Jack and Chris Pearson will appear in separate bouts as will junior lightweight Mickey Bey on Dec. 6 on Showtime at 11:50 ET/PT from the Little River Casino in Shelton, Wash., Mayweather Promotions and Showtime announced last week.
Jack (15-0-1, 10 KOs) is coming off a majority draw with Marco Antonio Periban in September, and will face Rogelio Medina (31-4, 25 KOs), who was last in action when he a majority decision to Marco Reyes in October.
Pearson (9-0, 8 KOs) will be after his eighth straight stoppage victory against an opponent to be determined, and Bey (18-1-1, 9 KOs) will attempt to rebound from his 10th-round knockout loss to John Molina in July when he meets Petr Petrov (32-4-2, 15 KOs), who is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Dejan Zlalaticanin in April.
Also on the card will be hard-hitting super middleweight Lanell Bellows (6-0-1, 5 KOs), junior welterweight Ashley Theophane (33-6-1, 10 KOs) and junior welterweight Cortez Bey (8-1-1, 4 KOs), Mickey’s younger brother.
Bellows meets Eddie Hunter (8-9-2, 2 KOs), Theophane takes on Robert Osiobe (14-7-4, 6 KOs), and Cortez Bey faces Virgil Green (7-2, 1 KO),
In still other bouts, cruiserweight Omotunde Tabiti (5-0, 3 KOs) fights Justin Davis (1-0), and super middleweight Luis Arias (7-0, 3 KOs) has Cameron Allen (5-13, 3 KOs).
JULIAN RAMIREZ RETURNS NEXT FRIDAY
Southpaw featherweight Julian Ramirez (9-0, 6 KOs), of Los Angeles, will return to the ring next Friday, Dec. 13, against an opponent to be determined at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif.
Ramirez is coming off a first-round knockout of previously undefeated Abraham Rubio in August.
MIDDLEWEIGHT ANTOINE DOUGLAS, SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT JERRY ODOM IN ACTION WEDNESDAY
Middleweight Antoine Douglas (10-0, 6 KOs), of Burke, Va., will face Colby Hunter (4-0, 4 KOs), super middleweight Jerry Odom (5-0, 5 KOs) meets Eric Moon (1-3) on Wednesday night at New York’s BB King in Times Square, promoter Lou DiBella announced on Monday.
Photo / Sean Gallup-Getty Images
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com