Tony Bellew won the WBC vacant cruiserweight championship on May 29, 2016 by knocking out #1 contender Ilunga Makabu in three rounds in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Mandatory contender Mairis Briedis reached a step aside agreement with Bellew to allow him a voluntary defense vs. B. J. Flores on October 15, 2016.
During the WBC Convention, Tony Bellew requested special permission on the rule 3.87 to participate in a WBC Special Event in the heavyweight division, which the WBC unanimously voted in favor and ordered an interim championship fight between Mairis Briedis and Marco Huck, as well as a final elimination bout between Kudryashov and Durodola.
Bellew knocked out highly regarded heavyweight David Haye on March 4 to become a major attraction in the heavyweight division and is at this moment uncertain of his next steps following his life changing victory.
With Bellew possibly unable to defend his cruiserweight title for some time, the WBC Board of Governors unanimously voted to designate Anthony Bellew as Emeritus Champion of the World, which grants him the right to fight for the cruiserweight championship at any given time with full support from the WBC while maintaining his rights as world champion.
The Emeritus Champion designation is a privilege, which has been successfully used by some of the great champions of the history of our organization including Vitali Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins, Erik Morales and other greats.
The WBC hereby confirms that the fight between Mairis Briedis and Marco Huck that will take place April 1 in Germany, will be for the WBC cruiserweight championship of the world and the winner will abide by the ruling of the WBC Board regarding the mandatory defenses.
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