Erislandy Lara has requested to leave the WBC Clean Boxing Program according to the governing body, but Lara’s manager has denied such a claim.
On November 6, the WBC sent out a press release on their website claiming that Lara, a former WBA “super” junior middleweight world champion, asked to be taken out of the program. The program serves as the WBC’s drug testing program in association with VADA in order to create a drug-free sport. The WBC stated that this would be the first time in history such a request was made.
With Lara being taken out of the Clean Boxing Program, he would subsequently be taken out of the WBC rankings. This would mean that Lara is no longer eligible to fight for WBC world titles. But Luis DeCubas Jr., Lara’s manager, disputed that such a claim was ever made.
DeCubas spoke to Boxing Scene regarding the news and deemed it “inaccurate.” DeCubas said his camp asked for Lara to simply be taken out of the rankings, not leave the Clean Boxing Program altogether. This is partly due to the fact that Lara is set to face WBA “regular” champion Brian Castano at a date and venue yet to be revealed. Lara was previously ordered by the WBC to fight Julian Williams in a final eliminator where the winner becomes the mandatory challenger for Jermell Charlo's title, but that fight is not happening.
"This news by the WBC is inaccurate. They were asked to remove Lara from the rankings because he will be challenging for the WBA world title against Brian Castano. Our teams are working on the exact particulars for more details. Also, this was done to give the opportunities to other younger fighters to enter the rankings and challenge for the WBC title," DeCubas said.
Lara has made a request to VADA to take part in year-long testing through the WBA's Fair Boxing Program in anticipation for the fight against Castano.