The WBC light heavyweight title seemed headed for a four-man tournament for 2018, but Eleider Alvarez has resigned from the tournament, no longer wishing to wait longer for a title opportunity.
Alvarez revealed that he would no longer take part in the impromptu tournament. Alvarez has been the WBC's mandatory challenger to the light heavyweight title for several years, currently held by Adonis Stevenson, but never fought for the title. On numerous occasions the WBC ordered Stevenson to fight Alvarez, but on every instance a deal that would allow Stevenson to take an optional defense before fighting Alvarez was made.
The four-man tournament would have pitted Stevenson against former WBA light heavyweight champion Badou Jack and the winner of that fight would face the winner of Alvarez vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Alvarez vs. Gvozdyk would have been for the vacant interim WBC light heavyweight title.
The promotional rights for the bout were scheduled to be auctioned to the highest-bidding promoter on January 12 at the WBC offices in Mexico City, with Alvarez in line for 60 percent of the winning bid. The WBC released this statement announcing Alvarez's withdrawal.
Eleider Alvarez has officially notified the WBC that he is withdrawing from the WBC-ordered Interim World Championship fight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk. The WBC Board of Governors will now look into the effect of Mr. Alvarez’ decision on the overall status of the division and will produce an official ruling thereabout in the following days.
The organization has said that it will try and resolve the issue within the coming days. The long title reign by Stevenson has been one of bizarre decisions in regards to who the champion elected to fight. Stevenson complied with a mandatory defense when he defeated Tony Bellew in 2013. In 2014, Jean Pascal, the WBC's mandatory challenger at the time, decided to fight then-unified champion Sergey Kovalev and so the WBC ordered Stevenson to fight the winner of Kovalev vs. Pascal. Kovalev defeated Pascal, but Stevenson never fought Kovalev.
Alvarez became the mandatory challenger when he defeated Isaac Chilemba in 2015. Since then, Alvarez has had to fight three elimination fights.