Promoter Don King is looking to put a stop to a potential WBC-sanctioned cruiserweight title fight.
A fight between Ilunga Makabu, whom King promotes, and Michal Cieslak that was scheduled to take place either on January 18 or January 25 in The Democratic Republic of The Congo is now in jeopardy as Fightful received a copy of a letter from The Lewis Law Firm, Inc. addressed to the WBC. In that letter, Don King alleges that a fight between those two fighters was scheduled without his knowledge, approval or consent. The WBC had listed the bout on its official website for the vacant cruiserweight title.
Neither the fight listing on the website nor the letter addressed which title would have been on the line. Both the world or Silver title are listed as vacant in the official rankings. Both fighters in question were ranked in the WBC's top two boxers in its cruiserweight rankings as of this writing.
When King first signed Makabu to a promotional deal months ago, King stated that his goal was to secure a world title fight for Makabu in The Democratic Republic of The Congo, Makabu's home country.
Below is the full letter:
January 3, 2020
Hon. Mauricio Sulaiman, President World Boxing Council
Re: Ilunga “Junior” Makabu v. Michal Cieslak (Cease and Desist)
Dear Mr. Sulaiman:
This firm serves as legal counsel to Mr. Don King, President and Don King Productions, Inc. (collectively "DKP"). It has come to DKP’s attention that the World Boxing Council (“WBC”) is sanctioning an unauthorized bout between DKP’s fighter, Ilunga “Junior” Makabu (“Makabu”) and Michal Cieslak (“Cieslak”) (hereinafter, “Makabu v. Cieslak bout” or “the bout”) scheduled to take place on or about January 18, 2020 or January 25, 2020 in The Democratic Republic of The Congo, without DKP’s knowledge, consent, approval or permission.
DKP is Makabu’s exclusive, world-wide promoter for any and all of Makabu’s professional boxing matches throughout the World and no one, other than DKP, is authorized to engage Makabu’s services.
Demand is made upon the WBC to cancel the Makabu v. Cieslak bout and to make such cancellation public by noticing said cancellation on the WBC’s website. Since the WBC sanctioned this bout without DKP’s knowledge, DKP must conclude that the WBC communicated with others to arrange this bout so demand is made upon the WBC to immediately notify the person or persons the WBC communicated with in arranging this bout and inform them that the WBC is not sanctioning the Makabu v. Cieslak bout and that the bout is immediately cancelled.
DKP further demands the WBC and others immediately cease and desist any and all actions or communications of any kind with Makabu. DKP has not and does not consent to Makabu’s participation in the Makabu v. Cieslak bout or any bout and has not and does not grant permission for anyone to engage Makabu’s services.
Please be assured that we take this matter very seriously and intend to protect DKP’s rights. DKP demands that the WBC take the steps requested in this letter on or before Saturday, January 4, 2020 to cancel the Makabu v. Cieslak bout, pull the WBC’s sanctioning of the bout and to cease and desist any and all communications with any person, persons or entities, other than DKP, regarding Makabu and to confirm to the undersigned attorney by email to [email protected] Carllewislaw. com that you have received this letter and that you shall promptly comply with its demands.
This letter does not purport to be a complete statement of all the pertinent facts in this matter and is without prejudice to any and all rights, interests and remedies at law, in equity or otherwise, DKP may have in connection with this matter, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.
/s/ Cornelius “Carl” Lewis
Cornelius “Carl” Lewis, Esq.
The WBC title had been through a roller coaster throughout 2019. The last champion was Oleksandr Usyk, who once ruled the division as the undisputed champion after winning the World Boxing Super Series back in 2018 and a new champion was supposed to be crowned in the semifinals of the tournament's second season after Usyk vacated all of his cruiserweight titles.
However, just before Mairis Briedis and Krzysztof Glowacki met in the ring for their semifinal bout in June, the WBC announced the title was no longer on the line for that fight. The issue came from an argument between the WBC and WBO, whose world title was also on the line in that fight, over who got to elect the four judges for the fight, which would have been for the unified WBC and WBO championships. The WBO got to assign three of the four judges (a fourth judge is in all WBSS fights in case of a tie) as well as the referee, but the WBC only got to pick just one judge.
The WBC has yet to comment on the letter nor has it made any announcement regarding the Makabu vs. Cieslak fight.