When Was the Last Time a Champion at Middleweight Fought His Mandatory?


By: Shane Willoughby

The WBC is seen by many as the most prestigious organisation, every fighter some time in their career wants that green strap. However, with them introducing this franchise belt in the middleweight division, it has raised some sobering thoughts.

When was the last time the WBC champion defended the belt against their mandatory challenger in the Middleweight division? The current WBC champion at 160lbs is Canelo Alvarez who has held the title since defeating Gennady Golovkin last September.

Before that triple G was the WBC champion and held the title since 2016. Golovkin was interim champion before that and was the mandatory challenger for Canelo for a while. Canelo held the full version of the WBC before giving it up in 2016.

So even though triple G was mandatory, he still didn’t get to fight for the champion. Before that Canelo won the WBC Middleweight title in 2015 after defeating Miguel Cotto, however, the title was vacant at the time.

During the entirety of triple G’s rain as WBC champion and the two times, Canelo Alvarez held the title neither one fought a mandatory. According to the WBC rules, the champion has to fight a mandatory once every 12 months.

We have to go back all the way to 2012 when Sergio Martinez who was WBC Diamond champion at the time and became mandatory for Julio Cesar chances jr. That was the last time the WBC champion fought their mandatory challenger.

Since then the title has been vacated, stripped, passed around and now they have decided to create a franchise belt. If the mandatory status wasn’t challenging enough to handle.

Jermall Charlo has been waiting for a shot at Canelo for a while but the chances of him being forced upon Alvarez is gone because Charlo is now regular champion. There were rumours that Canelo would relinquish his title as he did in 2016, but unfortunately not.

Canelo did, however, get stripped of his IBF belt that he won earlier this year, for not fighting mandatory challenger Sergiy Derenvyanchenko. At least there are governing bodies which stick to their rules.

Either way you look at it the WBC need to address the situation in the Middleweight division and hopefully, we don’t have to wait another 7 years before a champion finally decides to fight their mandatory.

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