When Amir Khan announced he would face Saul Alvarez for the WBC middleweight title it inadvertently threw a spanner in the works of the WBC 147lb welterweight tournament.
The tournament was announced in the wake of Floyd Mayweather’s retirement when he was stripped of his titles and made ’emeritus champion’ by the WBC.
The tournament is a rather unorthodox affair and was scheduled to play out as follows:
- Danny Garcia vs. Robert Guerrero (for the vacant 147lb title)
- Amir Khan mandatory challenger
- Lamont Peterson vs. Andre Berto (to become second mandatory)
- Sammy Vasquez vs. Aron Martinez (semi-final eliminator 1)
- Miguel Barrionueva vs. Azael Cosio (semi-final eliminator 2)
For some reason, unknown to us, the WBC overlooked Amir Khan, their silver champion, when making the 147lb tournament and decided to instead mandate Danny Garcia vs. Robert Guerrero for their vacant 147lb title.
Khan, ranked number one by the WBC, has prior experience of being overlooked thanks to Floyd Mayweather Jr, who ignored his mandatory challenger (Khan) for over two years.
So, last month when Garcia emerged victorious against Guerrero, he claimed the WBC welterweight title. Garcia was then ordered by the WBC to make a mandatory defense against Amir Khan before the end of June.
So, with boxing world eagerly awaiting Khan vs. Garcia II or Khan vs. Brook, we were collectively stunned when, last Tuesday, Khan announced that he would face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at a catchweight of 155lbs for the WBC middleweight title.
Khan’s decision left Garcia without a mandatory challenger, at which point the WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, stepped in and announced that the WBC will now choose a mandatory challenger for Garcia.
Since Lamont Peterson vs. Andre Berto had initially been issued to determine the second mandatory it is likely that the winner of this contest will now become Garcia’s first mandatory.
This will also bump up the positions of the other contenders involved. Both Sammy Vasquez and Miguel Barrionueva emerged victorious in their semi-final eliminators and Vasquez vs. Barrioneuva now looks likely in order to determine a future mandatory challenger.