Ward recently communicated to the WBC through his advisors, and to the public via a
press release, his decision to relinquish his WBC Super Middleweight Emeritus
World Championship. The WBC has
vested the Emeritus World Champion honor only to a few elite, great champions.
Legendary WBC champions like Vitali Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather and Erik Morales have received the Emeritus status when extreme
interrupted their distinguished careers. In every instance the outcome has been
fair and just for all involved , proving that this rule is a great
Ward perceived the WBC Emeritus Champion designation as being stripped of his
world title belt. With all due respect to Andre's opinions and feelings, it is
imperative that the WBC clarifies to the public the chain of events that led to
Ward's designation as WBC Emeritus World Champion .
SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT SUPER 6 TOURNAMENT
2009 through the end of 2011, the WBC fully supported the super middleweight
Super Six World Boxing Classic tournament. The WBC's support was conditioned on
the organizers allowing the full participation of the WBC Champion clearly
stating on all communications that when the tournament was over, the WBC
Champion was required to make a mandatory defense. On December 17, 2011, Ward
won the Super Six tournament and the WBC Super Middleweight World Championship.
FIRST ORDER FOR MANDATORY DEFENSE
the spring of 2012, the WBC ordered Ward to make a mandatory defense of his WBC
title against Anthony Dirrell. Soon thereafter, Dirrell was involved in a
motorcycle accident, which freed the mandatory commitment at that time. In an
effort to keep the division active, the WBC agreed to sanction Ward's fight
against WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson as a voluntary defense
of Ward's title with the condition that the winner would make the mandatory
defense in his next fight.
ORDERED FINAL ELIMINATION TO DETERMINE THE MANDATORY
October of 2012, the WBC ordered that the highest rated available boxers in the
super middleweight division participate in a final elimination match. In
December of 2012, during the WBC annual convention, the final elimination fight
between Sakio Bika and Nikola Sjekloca was ratified, with the
winner becoming the mandatory challenger for the world
ACCEPTED TO SANCTION WARD VS PAVLIK VOLUNTARY DEFENSE
the convention, the WBC approved the Ward versus Pavlik fight as a voluntary
defense of Ward's title. The winner of that fight would then face the mandatory
contender without any intervening defenses.
SUSTAINED AN INJURY WHICH LEADS TO SURGERY
January of 2013, Ward underwent surgery to repair his injured shoulder and
issued a press release announcing he would be unable to fight for an indefinite
period of time.
BECAME MANDATORY CONTENDER
became the mandatory challenger by beating Sjekloca on February 16
ORDERED WARD VS BIKA FOR THE MANDATORY DEFENSE
February 21, the WBC ordered free negotiations for the mandatory defense between
Ward vs Bika. A reminder letter was sent on March 5.
VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO DESIGNATE WARD CHAMPION EMERITUS
light of his indefinite incapacity, and the fact that the WBC has never received
Ward's medical clearance or a definite availability date, on March 23, 2013, the
WBC designated Ward as the Emeritus World Champion by sending him a letter. The
WBC announced that designation via a press release on April 9,
the WBC Rules & Regulations clearly recognize, all World Champions enjoy
many benefits, but also have obligations. Even the greatest WBC World Champions
are called to honor their commitments to the WBC and to the fans by facing their
mandatory challengers in a timely fashion. Floyd Mayweather just fulfilled his
mandatory obligation facing Robert Guerrero, Klitschko will fight Bermane Stiverne, who is the mandatory challenger, just to give a couple
of current examples.
WBC granted the Emeritus Championship designation as a way to honor Andre Ward,
and to give him sufficient time to recover from his injury while keeping the
division active. The facts are clear: he boxed once in 2012, his last fight was
nine months ago, and he has not been able to indicate when will he be ready to
return to the ring .
WBC continues to support Andre Ward and considers him a great champion. The WBC
wishes Andre a prompt recovery and much success in his return to boxing and in
his work as a boxing analyst.