By Rick Reeno
A legal situation could be brewing between WBO junior middleweight champion Sergiy Dzinziruk (37-1, 23KOs) and cable network HBO. This past March, Dzinziruk accepted a deal to move up in weight to challenge WBC middleweight Sergio Martinez. Because he was willing to face Martinez at the higher weight, HBO guaranteed Dzinziruk another televised date at 154-pounds.
To date, the network has been unable to provide his promoters, Gary Shaw and Artie Pelullo, with a televised date. Several months have passed and Dzinziruk has his back against the wall. Because he stayed on the shelf while waiting for a concrete date from HBO, Dzinziruk's mandatory became overdue and now he might be forced to travel outside of the country to defend his belt against Lukas Konecny on September 30.
The network claims their boxing budget has been exhausted for the rest of the year, and advised Dzinziruk's promoters to have their boxer go through with his mandatory. They promise to place Dzinziruk on the network in 2012 - but if he loses his upcoming mandatory - then HBO's guaranteed date is off the table.
"They told us that the only way he would get on the network is to fight the best middleweight in the world and that's what he did. They promised him another date and we've been waiting and now we've got a situation where his mandatory is overdue. They claim they have no money and we should go through with the mandatory and they'll put him on next year, but they also said if he loses his title then they won't give him a date," Pelullo told BoxingScene.com.
"I sent them a letter, cc'ing everyone involved and put them on notice [regarding their obligation to Dzinziruk]. This kid came to this country because he wanted to fight here. Now his mandatory is overdue and he might have to go fight overseas. Some real damage has been done here."