WBC Orders Title Fight To Fill Junior Featherweight World Title Vacancy

The mystery as to who will fill the vacancy created when former WBC junior featherweight champion Hozumi Hasegawa retired a couple of weeks, vacating the title, seems to be resolved.

The governing body announced that Rey Vargas and Gavin McDonnell are to fight for the vacant title, likely on February 18 or 25 in the United Kingdom. Vargas was the No. 1 contender to face Hasegawa, but when Hasegawa retired, Vargas was ordered to face the next leading available contender for the vacant title. That turned out to be McDonnell, who was No. 2 in the WBC's rankings.

Vargas, the WBC International Silver junior featherweight champion, is undefeated in his pro career and is coming off a TKO victory over Alexander Munoz back in September to win the vacant title. He is also a former WBC Youth Silver junior featherweight champion.

As for McDonnell, he is on a five-fight win streak and is also undefeated in his pro career (16-0-2). McDonnell is a former regional junior featherweight champion for the WBC and WBO. McDonnell is the twin brother of current WBA Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell, who has held the world title since 2014.

The WBC is the only governing body to not have a world champion in the 122-pound division as the other three major organizations have world champions as well: the WBA has Guillermo Rigondeaux as its "super" champion, the IBF has Jonathan Guzman as its world champion and the WBO's world champion is Jessie Magdaleno.

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