Deontay Wilder’s hopes for a showdown against Joseph Parker have been put on hold thanks to the World Boxing Council.
The governing body announced that Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion, and light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson are ordered to defend their titles against Bermane Stiverne (link is external) and Eleider Alvarez (link is external), respectively.
“The WBC has ordered the free negotiations period for the mandatory title defense of WBC champion Adonis Stevenson versus mandatory contender Eleider Alvarez and if no agreement is reached a purse offer will be held on Friday March 24, 2017 in Mexico City,” The WBC said. “[It also] officially confirms Bermane Stiverne as the mandatory challenger for WBC heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, so the period of free negotiations for this rematch begins, February 27.”
Wilder defeated Stiverne by unanimous decision in January 2015, to snatch the world title from him, in the main event of a card that took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
In the aftermath of his fifth-round TKO win against Gerald Washington, Wilder said he wants a fight against Parker, who is the WBO heavyweight champion, but the WBC’s announcement may have put a stop to those plans at the moment. Parker is already scheduled to fight Hughie Fury in his first defense of the title on May 6.
Stevenson won his light heavyweight world title back in 2013 and hasn’t lost a fight since 2011. Stevenson is coming off a July 2016 win over Thomas Williams Jr. in which Stevenson knocked out his opponent via knockout.