Stephen Fulton has taken a proactive method for his subsequent battle as an undisputed conflict stays exterior of his grasp.
A petition filed by the unified WBC/WBO junior featherweight title to subsequent compete at featherweight was unanimously accepted by the WBC Board of Governors on Wednesday throughout its conference in Acapulco, Mexico. The ruling additionally confirms plans for Fulton to face Brandon Figueroa in a rematch to their terrific conflict from final November, this time with the interim WBC featherweight title at stake.
The interim title was made obtainable since present and not too long ago topped WBC featherweight titlist Rey Vargas was accepted to subsequent face O’Shaquie Foster for the sanctioning physique’s vacant junior light-weight title.
“We acquired a petition to have number-one contender Figueroa to have a rematch with Fulton, who conquered the (WBC) title towards Figueroa at tremendous bantamweight,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman famous in approving the battle. “We enable Fulton to maneuver as much as featherweight and battle Brandon Figueroa for the WBC interim featherweight championship.
“If Vargas doesn’t return, that battle will likely be for the (full) title. In any other case, the winner will battle Vargas.”
Vargas (36-0, 22KOs) gained the WBC featherweight title in a twelve-round determination over then-unbeaten Mark Magsayo (26-1, 20KOs) on July 9 in San Antonio, Texas. An effort was made to have Vargas face WBA ‘Tremendous’ featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19KOs), although the battle fell via because of problems past the fighters’ management.
As soon as that occurred, Vargas sought permission to problem for the not too long ago vacated WBC junior light-weight title. Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9KOs) was stripped of the WBC/WBO titles on the scales after lacking weight forward of a September 23 factors win over Robson Conceicao in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.
Vargas’ bid to turn into a three-division titlist opened the door for Fulton (21-0, 8KOs) to get a head begin on conquering his second weight division. The 28-year-old unified titlist from Philadelphia has aimed for an undisputed showdown with WBA ‘Tremendous/IBF titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8KOs), who’s pressed with an already ordered IBF necessary title protection towards Marlon Tapales.
Fulton is within the voluntary section of his title reign, as his June 4 win over the now retired Daniel Roman was acknowledged as a double necessary with the WBC and WBO. Fulton inherited the WBC-mandated title protection towards Roman following his majority determination win over Figueroa of their Combat of the Yr-level battle final November 27 in Las Vegas.
Figueroa expressed his curiosity in a rematch on the time, however prone to come at featherweight the place he now campaigns. The 25-year-old Weslaco, Texas native returned to the win column with a sixth-round knockout of Carlos Castro of their semifinal title eliminator on the identical July 9 Showtime card that noticed Vargas defeat Magsayo.
A date was not confirmed for the ordered Fulton-Figueroa interim title battle, although there are two choices awaiting the winner.
Vargas will likely be required to face the designated interim titlist ought to he return to featherweight after his bout with Foster. If Vargas stays at junior light-weight, the Fulton-Figueroa winner will likely be upgraded to full titlist and ordered to make a compulsory title protection. The ultimate contender will come from one other battle ordered throughout the conference, as The Philippines’ Magsayo was accepted to subsequent meet former WBO junior featherweight titlist Isaac Dogboe in a WBC-sanctioned closing eliminator.
Fulton, Figueroa and Magsayo all battle below the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) banner, with Magsayo moreover represented by Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions. Dogboe is represented by Prime Rank, whose on-site consultant Don Majeski confirmed to the WBC of the fighter’s availability for no matter was deliberate.
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox