By Alexey Sukachev
A fight for a vacant EBU middleweight belt between former world title challenger Maksim Bursak of Ukraine and his French counterpart Julien Marie Sainte has been reportedly re-scheduled to February 2 from its previous date of January 26. The fight is penciled to take place in Aulnay-soun-Bois on the northeastern outskirts of Paris.
WBO #6 Bursak (25-1-1, 11 KOs) has fought once in France, losing a wide unanimous decision to then-undefeated Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in May 2012 in a bid for a vacant WBO interim middleweight title, which was later upgraded to its full version after Dmitry Pirog was stripped of his regalia by the World Boxing Association. Bursak came back in July to stop overmatched Estonian Sergey Melis within 40 seconds.
Interestingly, Melis is one of two common opponents for Bursak and Marie Sainte. The latter, who is now ranked #3 by the WBA, needed three rounds to do the same to then-unbeaten (13-0) Melis in October 2009. Another common rival for both contestants is Georgian journeyman Mikheil Khutsishvili, who was stopped in seven by Bursak in 2008 and defeated on points by the Frenchman in 2012. Marie Sainte, 32, is now 34-2, with 24 KOs, and enjoys a nice winning streak, being successful in his last 16 bouts.