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WBC outlines status of each world title at convention

The WBC has given "champion emeritus" status to retired welterweight and junior middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather. AP Photo/Eric Jamison

The WBC sets aside considerable time during its annual convention to formally set mandatory defenses and to go over the status of each of its world titles. It was that day again on Wednesday at this year's 53rd annual convention in Kunming, China.

Here's a rundown on where each division stands as it relates to the green and gold belt:

Heavyweight: A representative of mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin told the assembly that Povetkin (who fights Wednesday in Russia) will not be ready for his mandatory title challenge in January, when it's due. However, if he wins he will be ready in April or May, the representative said. At that point titleholder Deontay Wilder was approved for an optional defense (opponent TBA) on Jan. 16.

Cruiserweight: Titleholder Grigory Drozd is supposed to make his overdue mandatory defense against Ilunga Makabu in March.

Light heavyweight: Champion Adonis Stevenson has been ordered to make a mandatory against Sergey Kovalev (who holds the other three major alphabet titles) but the sides have not been able to make a deal, although the WBC said it will continue to help get it done. In the meantime, Isaac Chilemba and Eleider Alvarez meet in a final eliminator Nov. 28 in Quebec City.

Super middleweight: Titleholder Badou Jack is in an optional period and said at the convention that he wants to defend against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., who is also at this convention, said that his son also wants the fight.

Middleweight: Champion Miguel Cotto meets Canelo Alvarez in a huge fight on Nov. 21. The WBC once again reiterated that the winner will have to next make a mandatory defense against interim titleholder Gennady Golovkin (who holds two other major titles).

Junior middleweight and welterweight: Floyd Mayweather held both belts but retired in September. The titles were formally vacated on Wednesday with Mayweather being named "champion emeritus" in both weight classes, which means if he elects to fight again he can cut the mandatory line and get an immediate shot at his old belts. To fill the vacancies in both divisions, tournaments will be set up with the guidelines being ironed out.

Junior welterweight: Viktor Postol, who won the vacant title on Oct. 3, must make two mandatory defenses, which is the rule when a fighter wins a vacant WBC title. But because mandatory challenger Amir Imam is scheduled to fight Nov. 28 in Quebec City, Postol was approved for a voluntary defense, with the winner of that fight to make the first of two mandatories. The second mandatory challenger is to be determined.

Lightweight: Jorge Linares won the vacant belt in December 2014 and made his first mandatory defense against Kevin Mitchell. The second mandatory challenger is Dejan Zlaticanin and the sides will be ordered to negotiate.

Junior lightweight: Titleholder Takashi Miura will make his mandatory defense against Francisco Vargas on Nov. 21 on the Cotto-Alvarez undercard.

Featherweight: With titleholder Gary Russell Jr. suffering a cut and withdrawing from his Nov. 14 defense against Oscar Escandon, an interim title was approved. Mandatory challenger Robinson Castellanos had agreed to a step-aside deal to allow Russell-Escandon but with the fight off the WBC approved Castellanos-Escandon for the interim belt.

Junior featherweight: Leo Santa Cruz, who won a featherweight belt in August, vacated the WBC's junior featherweight belt and interim titlist Julio Cesar Ceja has been elevated to full titleholder and must make two mandatories. The WBC approved final eliminators to determine those opponents: Qiu Xiao Jun vs. Alexis Kabore and Rey Vargas vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was recently stripped of his alphabet titles by other organizations. Just because the WBC ordered these eliminators does not mean the four fighters will agree to participate.

Bantamweight: To determine the mandatory challenger for titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka, a final eliminator was ordered between Suriyan Sor Rungvisai and Anselmo Moreno. However, Yamanaka may vacate and move up in weight, in which case Rungvisai-Moreno would be for the vacant belt.

Junior bantamweight: Titleholder Carlos Cuadras is scheduled to defend the title against Koki Eto on Nov. 28 in Miyagi, Japan. The winner must next face mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Flyweight: Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai was appointed as the mandatory challenger for champion Roman Gonzalez.

Junior flyweight: Titleholder Pedro Guevara is in an optional period. A final eliminator between Jonathan Inguito Taconing and Juan Hernandez was approved.

Strawweight: Titleholder Wanheng Menayothin is scheduled for an optional defense against Young Kil Bae on Nov. 24 in Chonburi, Thailand. Denver Cuello and Saul Juarez were approved to meet in a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger.