By Adrian Warren
Jarrod Fletcher may have got the jump on fellow Australian boxer Daniel Geale in the battle for a crack at WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Geale's camp had hoped to negotiate a mid-year bout with Golovkin after the former IBF and WBA Super champion's bout with Britain's Matthew Macklin scheduled for later this month in Texas was cancelled,
However, the WBA has announced that it had sanctioned No.2 rated Fletcher, not third-ranked Geale, as their mandatory contender for Golovkin.
Geale's camp could offer Fletcher money to step aside, though the WBA would have to approve any change of opponent.
The WBA said 30-year-old Fletcher was the highest available contender as WBA interim champion Dmitry Chudinov, from Russia, is going to fight No.4 rated Patrick Nielsen on June 1.
Ironically Queenslander Fletcher was earlier approached about fighting Chudinov on that date, but negotiations broke down.
Instead he has landed the bigger fish in noted Kazhakhstan power-hitter Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs), with the bout expected to occur within 120 days.
"I believe in myself, always have and I've been waiting for my chance," Fletcher said.
"To prove I'm the best in the world I need to beat those at the top, whether that be (WBC Champion Sergio) Martinez, Geale, (IBF champion Felix) Sturm or Golovkin.
"I know I've got what it takes and I will now prove it."
Fletcher's record stands at 18-1 (10 KOs), with his only loss being a second round stoppage by Britain's Billy Joe Saunders in London in September 2012.
His last fight was in February when he outpointed Max Bursak on the undercard of Golovkin's title defence against Osumanu Adama.
Fletcher's manager Adam Wilcock will have 30 days to negotiate a deal with Golovkin's management otherwise the bout will go to a purse bid.