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09/25/2007 Archived Entry: "Peter Named WBC Heavyweight Interim Champ!"

Peter Named WBC Heavyweight Interim Champ!

September 24, 2007, Mexico City
From WBC President Jose Sulaiman:

Press Release

World Boxing Council heavyweight world champion Oleg Maskaev, from Kazakhstan-Russia, suffered a multiple disc herniation injury which will cause him to be inactive for at least for the next three or four months, according to his lawyer, which would lead the heavyweight division to 14 months without activity. Consequently, his fight against official challenger Samuel Peter from Nigeria , scheduled for October 6 at Madison Square Garden, will not take place.

To avoid the fact that the WBC Heavyweight division remains frozen, the WBC Board of Governors has conclusively voted to name Samuel Peter as the WBC heavyweight interim world champion.

Rules 1.26 (4) and 1.27 of the WBC Rules and Regulations explicitly allows the WBC, in an instance where an interim title is applicable, to recognize as interim champion the winner of a previous elimination fight. Samuel Peter won not only one, but two final elimination bouts in a row against James Toney in September, 2006, and in January, 2007.

Rules 1.26 and 1.27 read:

1.26 Vacant Title. If a title becomes vacant for any reason, the Board of Governors may in its discretion take whatever steps or actions it deems necessary or appropriate to fill the title, including but not limited to: 1) authorize and cause to be instituted a tournament or elimination contest among leading available contenders in the division of the vacant title, with the winner being recognized as the new champion; or 2) authorize or cause to be instituted a direct bout between the two highest rated available boxers and recognize the winner as the champion; or 3) appoint as challenger the champion of a lower or higher division to contend against the highest rated available boxer of the division for the vacant title; or 4) recognize as champion the winner of a previous elimination bout. This list is non-exclusive.

The Board of Governors may impose such conditions as it deems proper and necessary in its discretion upon the new champion winning a vacant title, including but not limited to: 1) designating the boxer against whom the first defense of the title must be made (who may be selected from the highest rated available boxers or a boxer selected through a final elimination bout); 2) ordering the new champion to make his first mandatory defense within ninety (90) to one hundred and twenty (120) days of acquiring the title; 3) if requested and feasible, to approve one voluntary defense, with the condition that the winner must meet his official mandatory challenger next. This list is also non-exclusive.

1.27 Interim Championship. The WBC may order an interim title bout when a world champion will be temporarily inactive and unable to defend his title for a period to exceed 6 months due to:
a) certified medical reasons
b) a legal impediment; or
c) reasonable cause strictly beyond his control.

In ordering the interim championship, the WBC will follow any of the steps mandated in Rule 1.26. If the inactivity is estimated to exceed one (1) year, the title shall be declared vacant.

Upon the return of the champion, the WBC will order a mandatory bout for the undisputed WBC title with the interim champion. Both boxers are bound to participate in this bout and cannot participate in an intervening contest, except in special circumstances approved by a majority vote of the Board of Governors. If the bout is promoted through purse offer procedures, the purse split will be 55% for the champion and 45% for the interim champion. The WBC may alter this split at its discretion pursuant to the provisions of Rule 2.11(d).

If the champion does not return after a year of inactivity, he will forfeit the title to the interim champion, who will automatically become the undisputed WBC champion.

The World Boxing Council will present interim world champion Samuel Peter his WBC interim world champion title in the following days.

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