On July 14, 2016, WBA Championships Committee Chairman George Martinez contacted WBA World welterweight champion Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KO), the knockout artist from Clearwater, Florida, and WBA World interim super welterweight champion Jack Culcay (22-1, 11 KOs), from Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany, by way of Ambato, Ecuador, regarding their respective mandatory challengers.
The letter to each champion says, “Please take notice, that according to championship rule 11 you must defend the title against the official challenger every nine months (9) from the date you became the champion.
“Pursuant to WBA rule C.13 — Bout Limitations— the champion may not fight a boxer who is not the official challenger within sixty (60) days of the expiration of the mandatory defense period.
“This committee is granting you a period of thirty (30) days to negotiate your upcoming mandatory fight beginning July 14th, 2016 and will close at the end of the business day (- 5 GMT) on August 13th, 2016.”
The two letters differ when it comes to naming the mandatory challengers for both champions.
The letter to Keith Thurman states, “Since you won the championship on March 06, 2015 the next obligatory championship bout is past due from December 2, 2015, and shall box against the official contender (Interim Champion) David Avanesyan.”
The letter to Jack Culcay states, “Since you won the championship on May 21, 2016 the next obligatory championship bout should take place no later than September 20, 2016 and shall box against the official contender Demetrius Andrade.”
If an agreement cannot reached between Thurman and Avanesyan, or by Culcay and Andrade, “the championship committee may call a purse bid.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.