Just 24 hours before David Benavidez steps into the ring in Arlington, Texas, the WBC announced that it will look into his status as the man next in line to fight for the governing body’s super middleweight title.
The WBC released a statement on its website saying that on March 18, there will be a vote to decide the fate of the title, currently being held by Anthony Dirrell. The vote comes just a couple of days after Benavidez fights J’Leon Love on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia main card.
The title had undergone a couple of changes in the last few months. Benavidez was previously the WBC super middleweight champion but failed a drug test which forced the organization to strip Benavidez of his title and name him “Champion in Recess” while giving him a suspension. Benavidez then opted to fight Love as a stay-busy fight while a new champion was crowned.
Dirrell and Yildirim fought for the vacant title in the main event of a PBC on FS1 card from Minnesota. Dirrell won the title by technical decision after a ringside doctor ruled he was no longer fit to continue fighting in the 10th round due to a cut from an accidental clash of heads earlier in the fight.
Yildirim requested the WBC to grant him an immediate rematch as two of the three judges had scored the 10th round in favor of Dirrell despite the round not being over at the time of the stoppage. Had the fight been scored up to the ninth round, the scorecards would rule the bout a technical draw, meaning the title would have remained vacant.
As for Benavidez, he was promised an opportunity to fight for the title once more but with Yildirim making his request for another shot, the WBC will begin the WBC Board of Governors’ voting process on the matter. That process will result in a WBC ruling sorting out the division’s status, and which the WBC will publish soon after the voting process is concluded.