WBC updates status of world titles and mandatory situations

Deontay WIlder wants Anthony Joshua, but he may not be up next for the heavyweight champ. Don Emmert/Getty Images

Compared to the other three major sanctioning organizations, the WBC does the best job of regularly providing status updates on each of its world titles and the mandatory situations in each division. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman released a division-by-division breakdown on Tuesday.

Here's a look:

Heavyweight: Deontay Wilder made his mandatory defense in a rematch with former titlist Bermane Stiverne on Nov. 4 and knocked him out in the first round, so Wilder in a voluntary stage. Wilder has expressed his desire to fight Anthony Joshua in a unification fight and the WBC said it "will fully support such a tremendous bout." However, Joshua is likely to first unify with Joseph Parker this spring and Wilder is penciled in to defend against Luis Ortiz on March 3.

Cruiserweight: Mairis Breidis will face Oleksandr Usyk in a unification bout in the World Boxing Super Series semifinals on Jan. 27. The WBC said it "fully supports this great tournament concept and the cruiserweight mandatory defense will be addressed at the end of the tournament in May."

Light heavyweight: Adonis Stevenson will defend his title against former titlist Badou Jack on a date and at a site to be determined. Mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez has been ordered to face Oleksandr Gvozdyk for the interim belt. The winners are obligated to face each other in their next bout.

Super middleweight: David Benavidez is scheduled to defend his belt in a rematch with Ronald Gavril on Feb. 17. Benavidez outpointed Gavril in an action-packed and very competitive fight to win the vacant belt on Sept. 8.

Middleweight: Gennady Golovkin has been mandated to fight a rematch of his September draw against Canelo Alvarez and negotiations are taking place. The fight is likely to happen May 5. With the rematch nearly finalized, the WBC ordered mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo to face Hugo Centeno for the vacant interim belt.

Junior middleweight: Jermell Charlo has made consecutive mandatory defenses against Charles Hatley and Erickson Lubin and is now free to make an optional defense. A final elimination bout to determine the next mandatory challenger has been ordered between Vanes Martirosyan and Maciej Sulecki.

Welterweight: Keith Thurman, who has been sidelined since last March due to right elbow surgery, is supposed to return for an optional defense in April. Former titlist Shawn Porter, who lost a close decision to Thurman in June 2016, is the mandatory challenger. The Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios fight, which recently announced as a Showtime headliner on Feb. 17, has been upgraded to a final elimination bout to produce the mandatory challenger following Porter's title shot.

Junior welterweight: With Terence Crawford vacating the title in order to move up in weight, Amir Imam and Jose Ramirez will meet for the vacant belt on March 17 on ESPN. Regis Prograis and Viktor Postol are negotiating a bout for the vacant interim title. The winners are obligated to fight.

Lightweight: Titleholder Mikey Garcia has received special permission from the WBC to fight over the weight in February, when he will challenge Sergey Lipinets for another organization's junior welterweight world title. The WBC would like for Garcia to return to lightweight following that bout and next face Jorge Linares, should Linares retain his world title against Mercito Gesta on Jan. 27.

Junior lightweight: Miguel Berchelt will defend his title against former two-time junior bantamweight titlist Cristian Mijares on Feb. 10 in Cancun, Mexico. Should Berchelt win he will be obligated to make a mandatory defense. The WBC said it is in the process of voting on a request to appoint Miguel "Mickey" Roman, who stopped former titlist Orlando Salido in the ninth round of a tremendous slugfest on Dec. 9, as the mandatory challenger.

Featherweight: The WBC said Gary Russell Jr. will defend his belt in February though no date, location or opponent has been announced, much less even rumored. After that supposed fight the mandatory defense against Joseph Diaz Jr. is due.

Junior featherweight: Rey Vargas, who handily outpointed Oscar Negrete on Dec. 2, is allowed to make a voluntary defense and then will be ordered to make a mandatory defense.

Bantamweight: Luis Nery is due to face former titlist Shinsuke Yamanaka in March in a mandatory rematch.

Junior bantamweight: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai will make his mandatory title defense against former unified flyweight titlist Juan Francisco Estrada in the main event of the "Superfly 2" card on HBO on Feb. 24.

Flyweight: Daigo Higa is scheduled to defend his title against Moises Fuentes on Feb. 4 in Naha, Japan.

Junior flyweight: Ken Shiro retained the title by knocking out Gilberto Pedroza in the fourth round on Dec. 30 and next must meet mandatory challenger and former titlist Ganigan Lopez in a rematch of a majority decision win to take the belt from Lopez in May.

Strawweight: Wanheng Menayothin is due to next face mandatory challenger Leroy Estrada in an effort to reach 50-0.