Canelo’s Mandatory and Real Challenge Awaits

By: Jesus Gonzalez

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On November 10, Superwelter Weight Erislandy “El Oro De Guantanamo” Lara (17W-1L-1D-11KO) and Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan (32W-0L-20KO) will face off at the Wynn Resort & Casino in Las Vegas NV for the WBC “Final Eliminator” live on HBO. WBC President Jose Sulaiman went on the record on a video posted on YouTube, saying the winner of Vanes vs. Lara will be the “Mandatory opponent” to fight the WBC Superwelter Weight Champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Sulaiman said the WBC would allow another voluntary defense for Alvarez if it was towards the end year but had to face the winner of Vanes vs. Lara for his next fight in 2013 or he would have to vacate his title.


Alvarez has not had a mandatory defense since June 18, 2011 when he defeated Ryan Rhodes in his hometown of Guadalajara Mexico. According to WBC rules, a champion must make at least 1 mandatory defense once a year. Both Vanes and Lara have been chasing Canelo. Vanes thought he was the mandatory challenger after defeating Mexico’s Saul Roman at the Staple Center on June 06, 2011. Vanes stopped Roman in Rd 7 and won the WBC Silver title but was never given his shot at Canelo.

Early this year Lara waited for his promoter (Goldenboy) to call him after the James Kirkland/Canelo Alvarez fight fell through. Then Canelo vs. Paul Williams was announced and fell through after Williams’ tragic motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Again Lara was not called upon to take Williams’ spot to face Canelo.
On June 23, 2012, Vicious Victor Ortiz faced Josesito Lopez in what was expected to be easy win and face Canelo on September 15, 2012 in what Goldenboy was anticipating would be Canelo’s first PPV headlining his own main event. Lopez battled for 9 rounds stopping Ortiz as he suffered a broken jaw. Again Lara waited patiently by his telephone but was never called upon to face Canelo. Canelo vs. Lara should have been an easy fight to make but Lara wasn’t even considered. A question only De La Hoya or his match maker Eric Gomez can answer.
Both Lara and Vanes will have earned their shot at the title after this fight which a lot of people criticize Canelo for winning the title against Matthew Hatton a natural 147 pound fighter. This will be interesting as both Vanes and Lara are Olympic standouts and technically undefeated fighters not counting the controversial loss Lara got on his record against Paul Williams.

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