The World Boxing Council President, Mauricio Sulaiman has finally explained the decision to order Deontay Wilder to fight Dominic Breazeale rather than Dillian Whyte.
Whyte is ranked number one by the WBC and was initially ordered to face Breazeale in late April in a final eliminator for the WBC belt.
The winner was due to fight the winner of Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury II before that bout collapsed when Fury signed a promotion deal with Top Rank and ESPN which put paid to the rematch for the foreseeable future.
So many fans were confused why Breazeale was then ordered to face Wilder ahead of Whyte but Sulaiman has explained the process and cited how the WBC came to their decision in an interview on Sirius XM Fight Nation 93.
"There are two ways of achieving this, by fighting a final eliminator or by voted in special circumstances by the board," Sulaiman said. "We do this on an open floor at every convention, and we hear from everyone before the board proceeds to make the vote.
"In the case of Wilder, he has been a victim of the circumstances. He was going to make his mandatory title defence in Russia when Povetkin had an adverse finding and the fight was off."
Bernard Stiverne was then due to fight Povetkin to decide who would fight Wilder but this fell through due to another adverse finding.
Sulaiman indicates that Stiverne was ordered to face Breazeale to be the mandatory challenger but then Luis Ortiz was found to have an adverse finding, which temporarily ended his hopes of a fight with Wilder.
Stiverne took the place of Ortiz to fight Wilder and Sulaiman illustrates how the WBC determined that Breazeale is now deemed the latest title challenger.
"We had Breazeale with a signed contract for a final elimination bout. The WBC board approved that if Breazeale won the fight (vs Eric Molina) he would become mandatory because he had a signed contract.
"Had Molina won that fight, he would not have been mandatory, though, as he came into the mix through a different situation.’
Sulaiman understands fans and media’s frustrations, especially as Whyte is ranked number one and Breazeale is number four.
However, due to the situation with Wilder’s mandatory defences falling through and the previously signed contract for Breazeale, the WBC feel it is right that he should still be the mandatory challenger.
With fight fans scratching their heads with the lack of match-ups so far this year, Sulaiman’s comments will help to explain the decision.
And yet, with Wilder, Fury and Joshua still avoiding each other, it looks set to be another year of frustration for fans of the heavyweight division.