The World Boxing Council has taken a big step as they have scheduled the purse bid date for the first defense of their newly crowned champion Bermane Stiverne and knockout artist Deontay Wilder. The WBC has announced that an agreement has to be met no later than September 12th by the promoters of both fighters or else an auction for the rights to present the fight will be held.
Expect that to happen.
After capturing the WBC silver belt with a unanimous decision in April of last year over Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola, the thirty-five year old Stiverne won the belt much faster and quicker against Arreola this past May by stopping him in the sixth. The belt became vacant after long-reigning Vitali Klitschko vacated it for a political career in his native country of Ukraine.
It was first announced that Wladimir Klitschko, the current WBA/IBF/WBO champ, would make a play to challenge Stiverne for the opportunity to unify the titles but surprisingly the WBC actually followed their rules and deemed that Wilder of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will be the first challenger for the WBC green and gold crown.
Stiverne’s promoter is none other than the legendary Don King. Golden Boy Promotions, or better said Al Haymon, are in charge of the career of Wilder. It would be a shock to the boxing world that Don King and Golden Boy would be able to come to an agreement to co-promote the bout. More than likely King will make a symbolic bid and allow Golden Boy to win the purse bid since the company helmed by Oscar De La Hoya is currently the more relevant in the sport.
The wild card in this whole scenario might just be a hip-hop mogul.
No, not 50 Cent but another New Yorker by the name of Jay-Z. The husband of Beyonce just made news a couple of weeks ago when his sports management company Roc Nation won the bid to present the middleweight championship fight between WBO titlist Peter Quillin and mandatory challenger Matt Korobov. With a bid of 1.9 million dollars, Roc Nation was above and beyond the bids of Golden Boy and Top Rank who actually promote the two participants. Golden Boy who has Quillin offered $1.2M while Top Rank was the more logical of the two with a bid just under the $600,000 mark.
David Itskowitch, the former Golden Boy executive that Roc Nation recently hired to head their boxing department, might have blown his load by winning the Quillin-Korobov fight. If Roc Nation really wanted to make a splash in the sport, they should have waited and made a play for the heavyweight clash between Stiverne-Wilder. Always considered the premier division of the sport, the heavyweight division holds a certain hold over the industry. With Wilder in the equation, a former Olympian medalist and the best U.S.-born fighter in the division, to have been the lead promoter for that bout would have definitely been the right move for Roc Nation to say they have arrived.