Responding to news of a supposed showdown between WBA Champion Alexander Povetkin and WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck scheduled for February 25, Greg Cohen, promoter of former unified heavyweight champion and current WBA #1 contender and mandatory challenger Hasim Rahman, wishes to remind representatives of Povetkin and Huck (and anyone else who claims to be fighting Povetkin next), that Hasim Rahman will be Povetkin's next opponent.
"Rahman is Povetkin's mandatory. Povetkin already had an optional defense against Cedric Boswell." explained Cohen. "I have the letter from the WBA. Povetkin has until February 27 to fight against Rahman. The only way they could fight Marco Huck is if we stepped aside and we're NOT stepping aside."
The letter, from Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, Executive Vice President of the World Boxing Association, clearly states that "...According to rule 13 title matches are limited to a sixty-day period expiration date starting from December 27, 2011 in which the World Champion or official contender are forbid (sic) to participate in a different bout. The first 30 days would be considered as the free negotiation period."
Cohen says he doesn't know who is behind the stories and releases being put out to the contrary, but there is no doubt about what will happen on Team Rahman's end. "There have been several erroneous reports about Hasim fighting someone else or of someone else fighting Alexander Povetkin. We wish to state for the record that Hasim Rahman fully intends to enforce his mandatory status and face Alexander Povetkin early next year.
The letter from the WBA is below:
October 7, 2011
Mr. ALEXANDER POVETKIN
WBA HEAVYWEIGHT World Champion
(contact info removed)
Please take notice, that pursuant to championship rule 12 you must defend the title against the official contender one hundred and eighty days (180) from the date you became the champion.
Since you won the championship on August 27, 2011 the next obligatory championship bout will be due on February 27, 2012, and shall box against the highest available contender Hasim Rahman.
Also we must notify that according to rule 13 title matches are limited to a sixty-day period expiration date starting from December 27, 2011 in which the World Champion or official contender are forbid to participate in a different bout. The first 30 days would be considered as the free negotiation period.
If no agreement is reached within the time indicated a purse bid will be called.
Gilberto Jesus Mendoza