by Steve Kim
What's next for light heavyweight contender, Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KO's), who is rated number two by the WBC (who's title is held by Adonis Stevenson)?
"As you know the WBC ruled for a mandatory fight between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Marcus Browne, Marcus Browne pulled out," said the manager of Gvozdyk, Egis Klimas, to BoxingScene.com.
It's not clear why Browne declined this particular fight or what Stevenson will do in the immediate future. Earlier this year, the World Boxing Council ordered Stevenson to make a mandatory defense against Eleider Alvarez, who has been the mandatory challenger for the last two years.
Stevenson vs. Alvarez was being targeted for a January date on Showtime.
But now there are rumblings that he may not face Alvarez next, and instead Stevenson may pay a step-aside fee so he could instead fight former world champion Badou Jack, who has recently moved up to 175.
Stevenson, Alvarez and Browne are all advised by Al Haymon and fight under the Premier Boxing Champions banner.
So where does this leave Gvozdyk for the time being headed into 2018?
"I was told by our promoter (Top Rank) we're going to have a date some time in February, probably," answered Klimas. "They're looking right now to get an opponent and I don't know if we're going to be fighting for an eliminator, are we going to be going straight into a championship bout? I really don't know."
'The Nail' stopped Craig Baker on August 19th in Lincoln, Nebraska in his last bout and prior to that he knocked out Yunieski Gonzalez in three rounds in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
He was ringside this past Saturday night in Fresno, California and watched Artur Beterbiev capture the vacant IBF world title with a twelfth round stoppage of Enrico Koelling.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.