AUSSIE Olympic sensation Cameron “The Hammer” Hammond will now face Argentinian Alfredo Rodolfo Blanco in Moree, New South Wales on July 7.
Hammond, 9-0 (4 KOs), was due to fight for the vacant WBC Eurasia Pacific title on that date, but clashes with China’s Yang Xin Xing, world ranked Roman Zhailauov and Matthew Lytwynenko have fallen through despite terms being primarily accepted by each of them.
Matt Clark, Hammond’s co-manager, and Hatton Promotions’ international matchmaker Philippe Fondu have searched around frantically for an opponent from Australasia or south east Asia, but none have been willing to step up to the plate.
However, Alan Kim, president of the EBPC, has said that the organisation will keep its title vacant so that Hammond can box for it in a rearranged clash with Zhailauov later in the year.
“Cameron Hammond is obviously feared by welterweights Down Under,” said Fondu. “We approached more than 15 boxers for this date and only Lwtwyenko was willing to accept but now he’s suddenly pulled out and cannot be reached anymore.
“We’ve searched for opponents in Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, The Philippines, Samoa and Japan and nobody suitable wants to take the fight so we’ll go ahead with the Blanco fight while working on a visa application for the EBPC fight with Zhailauov next.”
Four-time world champion Ricky Hatton added: “The problem with having a good prospect is matching him becomes difficult and that’s what we’ve experienced with Cameron.
“People have seen him on national TV or have looked at his record and they don’t want to take a risk against him. I’m really pleased that Blanco has stepped up and is ready to give Hammond a test and I’m looking forwards to flying out to Australia to see Cameron do the business.”
Despite stepping in at late notice, Blanco has a decent record and certainly won’t be jetting into Australia to make up the numbers. The 24-year-old has won 11 of 12 professional contests and has experience over eight rounds.