By Carlos Boogs
Sauerland Event has confirmed that the World Boxing Association has ordered George Groves to face Fedor Chudinov for the vacant WBA super middleweight title. The two sides have until January 5th to reach a deal before a purse bid is ordered.
Chudinov (14-1, 10KOs) captured the WBA title last May when he upset Felix Sturm with a twelve round split decision in Germany. He made his first defense last September with a decision win over Frank Buglioni in London.
For whatever reason, the WBA ordered a rematch between Chudinov and Sturm - and it took place in February. Chudinov lost a disputed twelve round majority decision.
A while after the fight was over, it was revealed that Sturm had tested positive for a banned substance. A criminal investigation began in Germany and it took months before Sturm's B-sample was tested to confirm the initial test.
After all that, Sturm was never actually stripped and the outcome of the Chudinov fight was never changed to a no-contest.
The belt actually became vacant when Sturm himself dropped the title - telling the sanctioning body that he was unable to defend their championship due to nagging injuries. Sturm also left Germany and moved to Bosnia - which many felt was a move to escape criminal prosecution for the drug test failure.
For Groves (25-3, 18KOs), this would be his fourth world title shot. He was knocked out in two attempts to unseat Carl Froch, and then last September he lost a close twelve round decision to WBC champion Badou Jack.
Groves was very busy in 2016 - fighting four times. He stopped Andrea De Luisa in January, drilled unbeaten David Brophy in April, won a dominant twelve round decision over Martin Murray in June, and then came back last month and dominated Eduard Gutknecht over twelve rounds. Gutknecht took a real beating in that fight. He was hospitalized afterwards and has been in a coma for several weeks.