By Igor Lazorin, tass.
Evgeny Gradovich, the former featherweight world champion of the International Boxing Federation (IBF), will not fight Australian Terence "TJ" Doheny as scheduled on December 15 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The bout was sanctioned as an IBF super bantamweight eliminator.
According to Alexey Titov, executive director of the promotional company RCC Boxing Promotion, the contest was canceled due to undisclosed issues with the eyes of Gradovich. The fight was going to be part of the undercard to the heavyweight eliminator between Alexander Povetkin and Christian Hammer.
"Gradovich will not box on December 15," Titov said.
Doheny is ranked in the number #3 position, while Gradovich is sitting in the number #6 spot.
Doheny (17-0, 13 KOs) was very motivated to take a big step up in class, by facing his most experience opponent to date. The majority of his fights have taken place in Australia, with two landing in the United States in 2016. This would have been his second fight of the year.
Gradovich (23-2-1, 9 KOs) was riding high for several years as a Top Rank fighter who was trained by Robert Garcia and managed by well-known Egis Klimas.
He won the IBF title in 2013 with a victory over Billy Dibb and then retained the belt three times - including a TKO of Dibb in their rematch.
Gradovich began to decline in 2014, after fighting to a draw with Jayson Velez. The following year he lost a technical decision, and his world title, to current champion Lee Selby.
His next two fights were lackluster performances, where he won a split decision and a majority decision - which sent him up for an April 2016 clash with current WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez - who demolished Gradovich in four rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as part of the Manny vs. Tim Bradley trilogy card on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Gradovich dropped down to 122-pounds, but still he struggled to get clear cut wins with another two victories secured via split decision and majority decision.