By Alexey Sukachev
According to Egis Klimas, the manager of both featherweight Evgeny Gradovich and red hot light heavyweight KO artist Sergey Kovalev, the former is in line to face IBF featherweight champion Billy "The Kid" Dib (35-1, 21 KOs) from Australia on March 1 at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA.
A few days ago, Dib's original opponent Luis Franco of Cuba, who had previously agreed to fight the Australian titleholder, unexpectedly withdrew from the fight, citing his intentions to retire from prizefighting - while IBF #1 ranked and mandatory challenger Mauricio Javier Munoz, who had controversially defeated Franco in the IBF final elminator last year, rejected his chance due to medical issues.
Dib, now 27, hasn't been seen in the States since his losing effort in a stinker against Steven Luevano in October 2008, fighting exclusively in Australia. March 1 will mark the third defense of the title he has won against Jorge Lacierva three years after that.
IBF #11 Gradovich, 26, of Arapohoe, NC, by way of Igrim, Russia, made his debut in 2010 after having a lengthy and successful amateur career. He is 15-0, with 8 KOs, including three victories over undefeated fighters between October 2010 and April 2011. His most notable victories came against rugged veterans Francisco Leal and Jose Angel Berranza the last year. He is signed with Top Rank.