Former WBC heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne shown here with his promoter Don King prior to his title defense against Deontay Wilder in 2015.
The top two ranked heavyweights by the World Boxing Council (WBC), No. 1 Alexander Povetkin and No. 2 Bermane Stiverne, have recently been ordered to fight for the interim WBC heavyweight title.
The winner will become the interim champion and will defend the title until champion Deontay Wilder, is ready to come back from the injuries sustained in July.
“I would like to thank Don King and the honorable Mauricio Sulaiman of the WBC for giving me this opportunity to fight for the heavyweight title once again,” said Stiverne. “For the betterment of boxing in general, and the heavyweight division in particular, I plan to knock Povetkin out and bring this title to America. Then I will get my revenge against Wilder, when he is ready.”
Promoter Don King has been fielding calls from interested parties from all over the world that want to host this World Heavyweight Championship fight that will take place by the end of 2016.
Don King lists the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Philippines, the two locations of the most famous Muhammad Ali fights, at the top of the list of possible sites.
Kuala Lumpur is also among international possibilities and of course United States boing hotbeds New York and Las Vegas are sure to be in the mix as well.
“This sparked the idea to do something fantastic by memorializing “The Greatest of All Time” Muhammad Ali, to the benefit of the people,” said King “So, reflecting on my memories and my historical association with The Greatest…Ali, we, his spirit and I, seized upon the idea to create ‘A Salute to Greatness Championship Series’ by celebrating and paying homage to great boxing champions of the world and paying tribute to great champions of humanity and peace for the world in the spirit of Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, George W. Bush, Shimon Perez, Uri Savir, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Anwar Sadat, Jimmy Carter, Jose Sulaiman (WBC) and Hugo Chavez. We will spotlight countries that four decades ago held the most memorable heavyweight fights in history. We will visit new countries that maybe able to have that same impact on, to gain international fame and acclaim, catapulting the name of their country to the forefront of world recognition.”
“We want to bring the world together,” King concluded. “I have been taking calls, for weeks, from interested parties and we will consider all options. We want to reverse the affects that war, hatred, bombs and bullets have had …and with love, respect, harmony and togetherness we can make a better world.”
“I want to thank the WBC and its President Mauricio Sulaiman for this.” said King.
Bermane Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs), born in Haiti now residing in Las Vegas, won the WBC heavyweight title on May 10, 2014 by 6th round TKO against Chris Arreola. Stiverne knocked Arreola to the canvas twice in that round when referee Jack Reiss waved the count to end the fight. Stiverne lost the title via unanimous decision to Deontay Wilder on January 17, 2015. Stiverne followed that disappointing loss with a win against Derric Rossy on November 4, 2015 to vault him back to top contender and in position for the title.
Alexander Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs) from Chekhov Russia is the current WBC Silver Heavyweight Champion and former WBA Heavyweight Champion. Povetkin won the WBA title via unanimous decision win against Ruslan Chagaev on August 27, 2011. Povetkin had four successful defenses over a two-plus-year reign prior to a losing the belt against Vladimir Klitschko on October 5th 2013. Povetkin responded to that unanimous decision loss by stringing together four consecutive wins including winning the WBC Silver belt, which represents the No. 1 ranking.