By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that the International Boxing Federation [IBF] has approved the lightweight unification between their champion Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13KOs), and the WBO's champion Ricky Burns (35-2, 10KOs). The fight is scheduled for March 16th at Wembley Arena in London.
While the fight was officially announced on Monday, the IBF had yet to give their final approval.
Both Burns and Vazquez have already discussed their strategy of winning and then pursuing a three belt unification against WBC champion Adrien Broner. That plan will have to be put on hold, at least for a little while - unless some arraignment can be worked out.
The IBF and WBO reached an agreement which directs the winner of the March unification to make an immediate defense against the WBO's mandatory challenger, and then follow that up with a defense against the IBF's mandatory challenger. The winner might be able to bypass the second mandatory, but it's unlikely they will be able to bypass both. The WBO's mandatory is Jose Gonalez of Puerto Rico. His promoter, Puerto Rico Best Boxing, is already pressing for their boxer to face the March winner. If the Burns-Vazquez winner is able to secure a date with Broner, then a step-side fee for Gonzalez can always be worked out if necessary.
The two sanctioning organizations will work together to select the officials of the March unification.