by Steve Kim
So what's the latest with light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who was scheduled to face Elieder Alvarez for the right to face the winner of the bout between WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson and former super middleweight titlist, Badou Jack?
Alvarez and his reps pulled out of last weeks scheduled purse bid for the Gvozdyk fight.
According to Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Gvozdyk, the Ukrainian will be facing the WBC's 11th ranked contender, Mehdi Amar (34-5-2, 16 KO's).
This bout will be on March 17th as part of the Top Rank broadcast on ESPN from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
"That is the fight for the interim title for the mandatory," said the veteran promoter on Friday.
"We're loading up these cards like you can't believe. We've got (Jose) Ramirez and Amir Imam, Michael Conlan, to whom we're dedicating the date because it's St. Patrick's Day and the Gvozdyk fight," said Arum, who mentioned that the Puerto Rican duo of Christopher Diaz and Felix Verdejo will be on the bill.
So did the WBC have no other choice but to protect Gvozdyk's position in the rankings and his right to become their mandatory challenger?
"When we talked to them, Mauricio (Sulaiman) was very, very upset with the whole situation. He believes that he's been played as a chump by all these machinations. I think one of the problems is that Stevenson is not a really good draw in Montreal and apparently has problems that he can't get visa's into most countries," stated Arum.
"In other words, I don't think he's allowed to come into the United States and (Donald) Trump is at the border saying, 'Not here, kiddo.'"
As for the Stevenson-Jack fight, Arum opined - "it's wonderful to make that fight but it would have to be up in Canada and there's no money for it."
Would Arum be willing to have Gvozdyk face Stevenson in Montreal if need be?
"F*** yeah, Canada's a great country. Why wouldn't I want to fight in Canada? The ring is the same,"said Arum, emphatically.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com